I am standing at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC. It’s a magnificent structure high atop a hill overlooking the field where their historic first flights took place. The memorial features strong words etched into its surface. Words like “dauntless resolution,” “faith” and “conquest.” I am waiting patiently for tourists to vacate long enough to take photos, and I watch a family snap some of their own. The husband wants his wife and very young daughter to stand at the base of the memorial while he does his best to try and capture the moment.
The wife and daughter get into position but before the husband can take one photo, his wife says, “Do I look fat?” The husband shakes his head no, and gives her an encouraging smile. She yanks on her shirt, repositions herself, clasps her arm over her daughter’s shoulders and the two smile while the husband takes several shots.
Afterward, the mom says, “I am the least photogenic person I know! I look terrible in photos! That’s why I take the photos. I don’t know why I did this!”
The husband says something to her I cannot hear, but the daughter takes her mother’s hand and says, “I love you, Mommy.”
This transaction was almost painful to watch, but I imagine it happens around the globe every second.
I felt empathy for all parties:
1) The wife who is uncomfortable in her own skin, feeling her size or perceived flaws are unflattering and not worth photographing, missing the joy of the moment and most likely, not loving herself for all the wonderful things she is.
2) The daughter, who is learning it’s “normal” to find flaws with one’s self and put herself down if she believes she’s imperfect, and who also perhaps could not find joy in this moment upon hearing her mother’s angst. I don’t know whether to love or cry at her efforts to help her mother feel love as it feels like a role reversal, with the daughter so young.
3) The husband, who must likely battle his wife’s perceptions of herself that do not match his own, and for whom it may never feel like a battle he’s winning.
This example is precisely why I threw myself into the topic of self-loathing and produced The Self-Loathing Project. The constant verbal and non-verbal assault women (and men) have with themselves is pervasive.
Perhaps you have similar feelings when a photo is about to be taken. Perhaps this will help you see things from a different perspective. You really are fabulous just the way you are. With some effort, you can believe what others do, too.
Pick up a copy of The Self-Loathing Project for a little help and perspective with that—or any number of resources that now exist on the topic.
#theselfloathingproject #selflove #loveyourself #authorkatherinecobb
If this book was required reading for girls and women, we might have a shot of truly doing the fulfilling prophecy of lifting each other up. Molly Galbraith isn’t just a mouthpiece for the “lift each other up” movement, she is providing tangible, thought-provoking exercises to help you find your way. That turns this book into a passive self/humanity-help book into one of action. And I love me some action.
When I think back on my relationships with women, there are so many words: friend, conflict, ugliness, caring, bully, partner, meanness, champion, envy, gossip, competition. I think that last one is the crux of the problem: women always feel they are competing with one another, whether for love, jobs, fame, popularity or whatever. It creates the idea that there’s not enough to go around, which makes it pretty hard to live in harmony.
I’m not the only one who found it easier many times to hang out with my guy friends, who seemed less complicated and certainly weren’t competing WITH me (although sometimes, admittedly, for me). Not to suggest men don’t come with their own set of complications and issues.
But women have also been the powerful forces in my life—guiding me, shaping me, and loving me. So I truly have come to believe we must lift each other up. And this book helped me with some of the bumps in that road I’ve had (with one of the best bits about forgiveness I’ve come across), as well as challenged me to verbalize my core values.
I highly recommend!
Molly Galbraith is the cofounder of Girls Gone Strong and the author of Strong Women Lift Each Other Up.
#mollygalbraith #strongwomenlifteachotherup #lifteachotherup #women #girls #womenempowerment #womensupportingwomen #benice #bekind
This Independence Day, freedom was on my mind. Three decades ago when I started my recovery from “addictionisms,” one of the twelve promises stated I’d know a new freedom and a new happiness.
Over the years, I’ve put in the work, and that promise—and the other eleven—has come true in spades. But the scales tipped in my favor again in the past months with some stragglers—mostly about conquering some issues that prevented better health.
Freedom—or enslavement—comes in many forms.
In the past year, I’ve witnessed:
• Someone struggle with addiction, and another begin recovering from it.
• Someone find their soul mate, another leave an unfulfilling marriage, and another repair a union that was very nearly lost.
• Someone’s child struggle to return to himself after a debilitating injury and another child soar with accomplishment.
• Someone delight in getting their bodyweight below 200 pounds for the first time in decades and another who embraced every one of their 200-plus pounds.
• Someone welcome a miracle baby into the world and another take their own life.
• A widower find a second love and another become a widower.
• A dog overcome trauma and a traumatized dog be put down.
Life brings us everything on the continuum. We can’t know light without darkness, so I count my blessings for both the ying and yang.
Perhaps this will prompt you to take stock of how you are free, or where you are still enslaved—and also show how we each define or experience those aren’t always the same. Wherever you are on your journey, I believe when we seek answers, they will come. Maybe not as quickly as we desire, but the answers are there, waiting for you. May freedom ring loud and clear for you.
A collection of columns, articles and general