Beautiful War Wounds

Courage.  That’s what it took as I eyed a skort of all things.  A garment that didn’t know if it wanted to me a skirt of shorts so it decided to be both. That pretty much explains how I felt, a beautiful woman, yet who also saw herself as a tattered mosaic masterpiece.

I wanted a short skirt for years, yet never saw myself wearing one, so I admired other women who were petite, had flawless skin and toned legs. A mini-skirt?  No, not for this woman.  I had too many scars or “war wounds” from being on the battlefield called life.  There were stretch marks that told the story of how I overate to fill the emptiness of my soul resulting into wearing 18-20 dress size, and how I had borne two children out of wedlock. 

When you saw these marks of passage on my legs, you got a glimpse of me, and that part left me more naked and vulnerable than an actual totally naked person walking the streets.  Besides I was raised by modest Baby Boomers who taught conservatively, and the conditioning thereof I sought to youthfully rebel against right from the start.  But today, I felt bold enough, confident enough, comfortable enough in the skin that’s been faithful through our love hate relationship.

Yes, the picture in this blog post is my actual leg.  One day at a stop light I casually looked down at the broken veins on my thighs.  They softly reminded me of all that my body had endured, yet still was faithfully reporting for battle duty.  I had a very hateful relationship with the skin I’m in.  It was never enough to my taste in comparison to others on television, family and friends.  It wasn’t light enough, even enough, tone enough. 

If you could only have heard the conversations between my mind and body, you would call my mind the most abusive of parents.  My skin never did anything right and was neglected of genuine love and appreciation.  According to PychCentral, 80 percent of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their appearance. And more than 10 million are suffering from eating disorders (https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-do-women-hate-their-bodies).

I mean think about it.  Do we as women ever take the time to simply appreciate the miracle of our bodies?  No, not standing there with a chart of societal standards of what it should be, could be, but of what it is.  An absolute wonder.  My body has endured recovering from chicken pox, bearing two healthy children, losing over 100lbs, and resurrecting from cuts and bruises back to an almost flawless hue.  It was as if the more life experiences came its way, the more determined and stronger my skin became.

My skin was teaching me what I was made of, what we as women are made of. 

Resilience

So today, I took a picture of the war wounds.  The markings of life which I previously hid, shrunk from, and never would have disclosed to public scrutiny, until I finally saw no one on this earth could ever say anything as bad as what my skin has not already heard from me.  Whenever I wear my skort, this little frock some may smirk and say is on the border line of indecent exposure, I rejoice.  I give my body honor.  I give my skin healing sunlight.  I give my body humble esteem to finally be free, be free of critical me.

Ladies, allow my transparency to remind you to stop criticizing the Divine miracle of you.  Practice self-care by accepting with grace every stretch mark, freckle, wrinkle, crease, blemish, all war wounds.  For the ability to openly love oneself completely, is the gateway to authentically loving the world in the most genuine way.


This article was written by Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru” .  Angela is a transformation coach, helping women around the world to no longer fight Life, but embrace it by clearly defining their seemingly impossible goals and create a plan of action to live a life they love.  Click hereto invite her to speak at your organization or for information on private to group coaching sessions.

Can We Talk?

As I was busy cooking before hubby arrived, and trying to pay attention to my friend on speakerphone, who was filling me in on a troubling circumstance in her life, I heard her ask…”Can we talk?”  But wait a minute, I thought we were talking.  What was I missing?  Did she say something that I didn’t catch in between the stir frying of vegetables and bubbling of jasmine rice?

I stopped everything and said, “Let’s meet at the coffee shop in 45 minutes”.  I felt a little guilty for not fully providing her my full attention, and knew in our coffee shop spot, I’d be all ears and heart.  As we sat down, I noticed that her body language was slumped, her hair unusually messy bunned, and her eye contact somewhat reaching into my soul for an invisible anchor to rest from it all.  She took a deep breath and verbally dumped. Literally dumped everything from her fears, doubts and insecurities; all conjured up from this “circumstance”.

Patricia, my friend, was never the needy type. She’s always proven resilient, confident and in control during the most challenging of times; yet today, clearly not her normal self.  I was taken aback for a moment, as I took my eyes off of her for a reaching distraction, and grabbed my spoon to stir my coffee.

After listening and providing my best wisdom on how she can use her strengths to overcome this challenge, Patricia kept pushing back with excuses to why the challenge was more dominate than her abilities to overcome it.  It was after she kept dodging my wisdoms with heavily grey filtered responses for over 35 minutes, that I became thoroughly exhausted.  I suddenly realized, in the dodgeball game of it all, Patricia only wanted to vent.  I was invited to ‘talk’, but this was a way for her voice, which had gone unheard originally, finally be heard.  She didn’t want me to come to the rescue or offer a way of escape that had gone previously noticed.  She wanted to stay where she was, and claim defeat.

Not all of our friends want advice or a way to even grow from an experience.  And knowing when to pull back and not allow ourselves to be drawn into the frenzy is self and relationship preserving.  “I could’ve listened just as well on the phone while still at home”, I thought to myself.  But in my cooking frenzy, which had now become guilt for not really listening at the beginning, and in all honesty, need to be a friend, I put on my ego empowered wonder woman cape and came to the rescue.

The point of this open and honest writing is to make sure in the everyday conversations with love ones that we are fully present, and if at that time the opportunity is not conducive to be so, let people know you’ll connect with them later.  This is a way to not only honor yourself, but also them.  I’ve learned a lot from that coffee shop meeting.  I’ve challenged myself to be present minded in conversations, to allow others the space to voice what they need from me, and to ask more questions verses providing unsolicited advice.  We are all walking on different paths on this journey called Life, and meeting each other where we are, is the best way to be a friend.


This article was written by Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru” .  Angela is a transformation coach, helping women around the world to clearly define their seemingly impossible goals and create a plan of action to live a life they love.  Click hereto invite her to speak at your organization or for information on private to group coaching sessions.