I’m thinking a lot the past couple of days about old patterns. One I’m happy to keep around.
I’m still enjoying the granny squares. My 63 camo squares are now nine green burritos that are actually strips of seven squares. I just can’t stop until they are all joined!
Do you see it? Of course you don’t. You see a horse standing at a funny angle and an older woman in cowboy attire laughing at him. Here’s what I see.
How many years of Brené Brown telling me I’m fine just as I am must I endure? How many affirming and empowering images of women of all sizes must I see? How many articles about why women tend to add belly fat after menopause must I read? Why do I still judge myself negatively when I see candid shots of myself?
It just goes to show that the patterns I got into as a child, where I was made fun of daily for being fatso, tub-o-lard, elephant, hippo, water buffalo, wart hog, fatty fatty two by four can’t get through the bathroom door…um, telling myself I’m fine just won’t erase. (Was that grammatical? Cut me some slack.)
The gray hair? It’s fun. The wrinkles? They seem a small price to pay for wisdom. And my health is so good! But my first thought when I see my body is judgmental.
The good news is that just like how you can vary granny squares and do cool things with them, I’m able to take a second look at my body and give it permission to change. I have lots of fun with it, and not wasting time planning how to achieve some ideal pant size gives me time to enjoy my life.
Patterns are what they are because they are ingrained. They’re deeply grooved in your psyche and not easy to smooth out. But, progress is possible. I’m proof. I now wear shorts, sleeveless tops, and bathing suits in public. Five years ago that was not true. I’ve modified my pattern!
Later: I’m not begging to be told I’m cute or not fat or whatever. I know I’m slightly bigger than I’ve been most of my life and I’m fine with that. I know I’m fine the way I am! I’ve gotten so much better about not caring what others think, too. My point here was that the old patterns that must be in my limbic system kick in before my higher processing can react sensibly.