You never know when an epiphany will hit you. It makes me crazy how often these life changing realizations have been in front of me all the time. I just couldn’t see them - or maybe I wasn’t ready to see them. When these breakthroughs happen, it’s like the sky opens up and the angels sing. I finally get it. The message sinks in.
I love old pictures. I’m one of those weirdos who buys family photos at estate sales of people that I don’t know. I love the ones that spur my imagination with stories that nearly tell themselves. There are so many clues and insights into the subjects of these pictures, and into the mind of the photographer. Seeing a collection of pictures of the same person are especially interesting, letting me piece together what their life must have been like.
Lately I’ve been scanning a bunch of old photographs of my life, family, and friends. It takes at bit of work to take the albums apart, scan the photos in batches, then work them over in a photo editing program. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at, and thinking about, these pictures.
Maybe it was all the technicalities of processing these photos that helped me see them differently this time. I felt like an archeologist, studying the pictures for clues, much like I do when I look at the images of people I don’t know. I saw things I haven’t noticed before.
If you read my last newsletter, you know I’ve been thinking about body image a lot lately. (Click here if you missed it.) We are so hard on ourselves, it’s ridiculous. The things we don’t like about our body and the way we talk about them is cruel.
So much time lost, money and energy wasted, and high levels of stress and anxiety endured because we have convinced ourselves we can mold our body into a shape that isn’t humanly possible. These false narratives cost us too much.
What makes me the saddest is that how we see ourselves usually doesn’t match the way we actually look. I’ve spent my entire life thinking I looked one way, wanting to look another way, and not realizing that there was no way, because that’s not how I’m built. These pictures helped me realize this.
Look at these powerful arms! The part of my body I’ve been the hardest on, has been with me since birth.
I’ve always wanted bony knees and a thigh gap. Not going to happen. Looking at this picture helped me realize that’s not how my body is designed.
These pictures gave other clues into who I’ve always been. Looking at these pictures, a friend told me she can see my inner-Jillyness already coming out when I was a little girl.
I’ve always like to have fun!
I am a natural showboater. I don’t know what I was talking about in this picture with my sister and cousins, but I sure did upstage my cousin, Jeff. I also noticed in this picture that my knees are hereditary. The baby in front is my sister. We have the same knees.
I’ve always had a flair for fashion. It cracks me up that I still pose this way for pictures.
When I first started writing my blog, I wrote about what I’d wished I could go back and tell my younger teen self. (Read it here.) Part of healing from the past, is learning to nurture the child within us. By recognizing the things I wish I had known then, I can forgive myself for what I didn’t know and love myself for who I’ve become.
I want my much younger self to know that you were, are, and always will be exactly the person you were meant to be. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Kiss and make up. It’s time to make peace with who you are.
Love you just the way you are,
The Finishing School for Modern Women, located in Wichita, Kansas, offers classes to help women find their authentic selves; not because we need finishing, but because we’re never finished. We bring together women of all ages, to learn from experts and each other, how to claim our power in business, finance, communication, and life. To learn more about our live classes visit https://www.finishingschoolformodernwomen.com or https://schoolmodwomen.com/ for our online classes and free social membership.