Hi. I wanted to tell you about something that’s been brewing in my heart-place lately.
Recently I was privvy to a conversation between Glennon Doyle Melton and Elizabeth Gilbert. If you’re thrilled by just the idea of these two in one space—let me link you to the Big Magic Podcast wherein they both talk about creativity and making space for the process.
There’s a point where Glennon talks about a revelation that she had which resonated so much with me that I immediately emailed my thoughts and ideas to myself so that I could write them to you semi coherently.
Glennon talked about how, as a girl who was becoming a woman, she’d been objectified so much that in time she started to objectify herself, too. Her body became this thing that was viewed, used, considered apart from her whole self—and something that she treated that way, as well. And I think we all do this.
I think it’s taken me a while to really understand what is meant by “objectify”. For the longest time, I thought it meant pointing out that pretty girls are pretty in a way that makes them feel weird. And since I was not conventionally pretty, I couldn’t be objectified. Oh the way a young mind built in a patriarchal structure works.
It’s really about taking a whole, thoughtful, soulful person and stripping away the things that make them human until all that’s left is this one aspect or two that works or doesn’t work for someone else.
Maybe “working”for you means “looks visually pleasing”. Maybe it means, “makes me coffee every morning.” Maybe it means, “provides me orgasms.” Maybe it means, “entertains me.” Maybe it means, “makes me look good.”
Another human isn’t an art piece, a coffee maker, a vibrator, a television, or a barometer of your worth. We are whole. We are vast. We are deep and wide. We are mind married to soul married to body.
And we are getting a divorce before we even had a chance to get to know each other.
We do that in a lot of different ways. We cover up our bodies and show off our minds. We shut down our minds and show off our bodies. We hide our souls. We focus on what our bodies can do. We focus on what our bodies can’t do. We don’t have a clue what we’re worth but we keep trading for the hope of finally feeling whole. Remember how whole it felt to be four years old, running naked in the back yard on a summer day as free as you ever could be? When did that leave? We can’t get back to that by trading what we have for what someone else will offer us. We get back to that through remarriage. Body. Mind. Soul. Whole.
But there’s this change that I’m seeing among the women in my life. Something that’s exciting me.
It starts out with myself or my friend looking in the mirror and not thinking of a list of things we could stand to change.
Then it moves up to, “I feel good.”
Then she’ll probably post a selfie pretending that it wasn’t because she was so audacious to actually be feeling herself. Maybe she’ll hashtag it with #accidentalselfie.
One day she might post another one with “sorry I know selfies are lame but I really liked my lipstick, today”.
Then a few months later #sorrynotsorry for really digging myself!
And then like my friend Jessica said the other day, “I just keep getting happy about things about myself.” I read this caption on an Instagram the other day and it filled my love tank all the way up. I cried. Love for her. Love for me. Love for the way we’re all growing, forever. I love that we’ll never stop.
I hope you learn to love your voice, your mind, your spirit, your body. The way you are “too trusting”, the way you laugh too loud, the way you think too much. I hope you learn to never apologize for speaking up too often. I hope you drape yourself in flowy knits because you love the feel against your skin and not because you want to be covered. I hope you have the most delicious and unapologetic sex—feeling free and glorious in what your body can do. I hope you don’t give people a choice but to see you as whole and entire and free.
I hope you remarry your body to your mind to your soul and find your peace and wholeness when it’s all connected. I hope you also remember that it’s a constant, beautiful, fulfilling practice.
I love you.