Giving Ourselves a Great Big Kiss

Recently, I was visiting my wonderful friend Nancy at her blog… BacardiMama. Nancy and I have never met in person, but the exchange of our thoughts and words and life experiences and questions and laughter has created an amazing bond. We are both mothers and grandmothers and teachers. Women. It used to be that women sat on their front stoops in the evenings and shared their thoughts and words and life experiences and questions and laughter. Or chatted over the fence while hanging laundry. Today, we chat over the internet. It truly is another world.

But one thing that hasn’t seemed to change since I can remember… beginning as a pre-teen, is the self-criticism that girls and women feel. We hardly ever give ourselves a big kiss on our own lips.

This brings me back to Nancy and her recent blog post. It’s about The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and an “assignment” to find things you like or love about yourself. Ah… how different is this? Nearly every (nah, every) magazine or television segment or internet clip advises us how to look better, thinner, younger. It’s like we all need molding and squeezing and altering and tucking and changing to make ourselves want to give ourselves that big kiss on our own lips.

Now, I don’t mean to say a healthy lifestyle of exercise and good nutrition doesn’t increase energy and even life-expectancy… but these are changes that begin on the inside and work on the inside and then radiate to the outside. It’s the incessant “media” focus and criticism of the outside that has girls and teens and women reeling with self-doubt and self-criticism.

And it’s, like… why aren’t we ever asked what we do like or love about ourselves? I think The Sisterhood has something big and important going on here. And it’s hard, damn hard, to step out of our selves and analyze the good stuff. The stuff about ourselves that we do like or love. It’s hard to think about it, talk about it, write about it. We, as women, are taught to be rather selfless and humble, but at the same time we are bombarded with ways to changes ourselves.

So we stand in front of a mirror and say, “Hmmm. Ummm. I’m not supposed to like this. Or that. Or those.”

We glance at magazine covers and read headlines about changing this or that or those.

We spend billions of collective dollars on remedying this or that or those.

But we rarely say (or even think), out loud, “I love this or that or those about myself.”

So back to Nancy’s blog post. I must admit that it took me a little while to really concentrate on what I like or love about myself. I began with my face. What I saw was my life’s journey… and how I love and appreciate each, as my grandchildren say, “crinkle” and laugh line and those crow’s feet. I see the faces of my Mom and Dad and grandparents in my face. I like that. I re-discovered that I love the color of my eyes. Green with golden starbursts in the center. Everyone in my family has either brown or gray or blue eyes… so these green ones are somewhat of a wonderful mystery to me, a connection to a generation long, long ago on another continent, another land. And I love the “done” mark over my lips… the kind that sinks in a bit like when you’re testing cupcakes or cake as it comes out of the oven.

And speaking of lips, I think today I’m gonna give myself that great big kiss on my own lips, right below those crinkles and green eyes and done mark.  Thank you, Nancy, for posting this wonderful post and getting me to think, to see, to say out loud a bit about this and that and those.

Now, what about you? What do you like or love about yourself?

Giving Ourselves a Great Big Kiss was last modified: May 10th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (7)
  1. Hmmm. I like my eyes, which turn from green to blue to gray, depending on what I’m wearing – or maybe what mood they’re in that day. Other things I like, or not like, depending on the day, or maybe MY mood, ya know? 🙂

  2. I love that parts of me are very dainty. My ankles are slender, even when pregnant. Before kids, my ring size was 4.25. My feet are only a size 6, and my insteps are very high and slim.
    But then, there are parts of me that aren’t dainty, and I love those too. I love that my hips show that I’ve carried two children. I love that when I laugh, I put my whole body into it, and I love that when I hug, I SQUEEZE.

  3. I love this post so much, probably because you featured one of my favorite friends, Nancy and YOU of course. I admit it is hard to like what I see when I look in the mirror mainly because I’m not that size I would like to magically be. But after reading Nancy’s and your post, I see myself in a different way when I look into the mirror. So what if I’m not a size 12 or even 14. I am going to start by saying, I love my eyes. I get a lot of compliments on my eyes. I also love my hair and how it usually does what I want it to do and the thickness and bend it has. I like my hands because I see my mom when I look at the lines and aging that’s starting to take place. I like my skinny ankles, which is the only part of my body that is skinny. And lastly, I like my smile. It is genuine most of the time.

  4. I do like that my eyes are very large, still a deep, very dark brown. They’ve been referred to as ‘cow eyes,’ meant to be complimentary. I’m not sure about that, but I like them nonetheless.

    I really like that my gray hair has come in ‘silvery,’ as my hair stylist says, and that I no longer worry about roots showing.

    I like my 5’7″ stature.

    I like, as stated in one of your earlier posts asking what we like best, my crow’s feet. They tell of a life lived, of love and laughter, of experience.

    I like that my frame is slender. When I was grossly overweight, many people said that I just had a big frame, but after having lost a great deal of those excess pounds, I discovered, not so much. My frame is tiny. I never, every thought I’d refer to ANY part of me as ‘tiny,’ but there you are.

    I like my long fingers, ‘piano hands,’ even though I never did play the piano very much.

    This sounds facile, but I really had to dig deep to find these positive attributes. I don’t suppose you’ll ask what we DON’T like!

  5. Thank you Sharon. I am honored to be a part of one of your blog posts. It was good to come here today and read this. It is weigh in day and it wasn’t pretty. I’m not doing great on the 21 day challenge either. I am getting backon board with all of it though. When I read on Facebook that you were riding 45 miles, it inspired me big time. Love you!!

  6. Oh Wow, Sharon! You are so right that “…It’s hard to think about it, talk about it, write about it…” Yikes!

    Ok, you’ve given me courage and good reason to go pour a fresh cup, settle into my favorite porch corner, take a deep breath, and do this!

    Your imagery of the ‘done’ mark around my lips has forever changed my cringe into a sweet smile, with the wafting smell of fresh baked cupcakes 🙂

    This is my first visit to your site and I’m already enamored 🙂
    Thank you for bringing your action plan for implementing Nancy’s wisdom into the spotlight…

    Love it!

  7. Wow! Great post, Sharon! So right too. This post, like many others is only one of the reasons why I love ya! Speaking of which, I’ve got an award for you on my blog.

Giving Ourselves a Great Big Kiss was last modified: May 10th, 2010 by Sharon Couto