Bad Hair Cut, Bad Hair Day, Bed-Hair – Bad me?

About six months ago I went to the hairdressers, my normal hairstylist was off sick and so I was allocated a stylist I’d not had before. He asked what I wanted done and I explained how I usually had it and he started to cut with vigor, the longer it went on the more worried I got but he was so confident I thought ‘he must know what he’s doing’. When it comes to drying my hair I usually just scrunch it and leave it dry, but he asked me to bend my head over so he could dry it upside down, by this time I was super worried, when I lifted my head up I had one big afro. He then patted it, tweaked it and hair-sprayed it until I was hit by the realization that he’d given me an old ladies hair do. I was horrified!

The cut was such that it reacted to every wave and kink, curling in ways that the style did not intend, but my hair took it there regardless. Clearly this guy did not take the time to notice all the kinks and curls I have already, but cut to some style he had in his head as being ‘universal’ and ‘one size fits all’.

Continue reading “Bad Hair Cut, Bad Hair Day, Bed-Hair – Bad me?”

My Relationship with Me, Love and Tenderness

What’s in a relationship, who leads, and how or with what do they lead?

I’ve been with my partner for 6 years and used to blame him for quite a list of things, such as not being emotionally supportive, not understanding me, and not giving me what I thought I needed. I pretended to accept things as they were, even though I was secretly fuming with a poisonous resentment that was eating away at me and draining my energy. Like some kind of self-appointed martyr I assumed that I was always the one leading the way, moving us forward, pulling us up. I kept going round and round in a never-ending maze of mental confusion, wondering how I could ‘solve’ our relationship, as if it were an emotional crossword, the key to which always felt just out of my reach. If only I could spend every hour while I was asleep – as well as the daylight hours – thinking about it, then surely I could solve it, I thought to myself over and over. I went and spoke to counsellors, supposedly taking responsibility but subtly blaming my partner, and always frustrated at having to solve ‘our relationship’ by myself. But the relationship with me was where I needed to start…

Sorting Myself Out and Looking Within

As it turns out, there was no solving or fixing to be done – not mentally, at least. It sounds crazy to me now, but at the time I couldn’t see that first of all I needed to sort myself out – the last place on Earth I’d thought to look, because in my arrogance, I’d assumed I was getting along just fine: I wasn’t dying or debilitated by disease. But if I’d come down from my head and mental thoughts and into my body and feelings, I could have seen all the evidence telling me that, actually, things weren’t so great with me – and maybe that’s where I should start. For starters I felt just how anxious I was most of the time, but just thought that anxiety was who I was; part of my identity and something I’d have to put up with and learn to manage. I felt so sensitive and kept wishing other people would stop reacting so I wouldn’t have to react to their reactions! I was exhausting myself trying to perfect and control my external environment so that I could feel less stressed out. I only ever seemed to feel amazing when I’d done a brilliant piece of work, or was complimented on what I was wearing when I’d made the effort to dress up.

When I abandoned myself in stressful situations and let myself be owned and run by anxiety, I expected my partner to step in and rescue me, and got upset when he stood strong and didn’t pander to my emotional dramas. Now, finally, I’m beginning to take responsibility for myself, learning to stand firm and stay with myself rather than abandoning myself into an abyss of tears and overwhelm.

I realised from looking within that what I wanted from my relationship was what I’d being denying myself – a greater connection to myself and to others, tenderness, love and appreciation for myself as the amazing woman that I am.

Finding Tenderness and Love Within

I used to feel so frustrated at my partner for not treating me with the tenderness I felt I deserved and wasn’t receiving from him. But as my awareness of this fact grew and the heavy fog of emotional reaction began to clear, I started to question how loving I was being towards myself:

  • How could I expect anyone else to treat me tenderly, if I was beating myself up, being harsh on myself and pushing and driving myself with determination to do everything?
  • Why was I waiting for him to show me tenderness, gentleness and love first, instead of being and living all of those qualities myself?
  • What does love look like? – Is it aligning with my partner’s post-work bad mood, so that we can connect through it and I can feel good by ‘helping’ him? Or is it calling it out, and not allowing an insidious and negative energy to run through our home and end with me feeling tension and stress in my body.

Tender ME; Our Tender Relationship

Now I’m starting to let go of the control and experiment with what happens when I take the lead by being myself – truly tender and gentle – first.

How much more amazing would I feel and could our relationship be, if I could hold this love and tenderness within myself no matter what, rather than lose myself in reaction and judgment to his reactions, knowing that I am more than enough as I am already?

What has happened has been a true transformation of our relationship from blame and resentment to a deepening of our love and appreciation. There have been uncomfortable confrontational moments as I re-learn to stand up for myself and express what I’m truly feeling, instead of acting out the safe and known pandering routine. But also there has been more tenderness, gentleness and consistent connection. And most of all there’s a stronger and growing deeper love and respect for myself in expressing and leading from my heart, and feeling how incredible it is to be the powerful, graceful and truly tender woman that I am finally allowing myself to be, and in my relationship too.

by Anonymous, UK

You may also like:

Looking for Love in all the wrong places  …. hear Sharon Gavioli’s journey
to finding Love within.
Naturally, Tender Me by Amina Tumi 

Finding The One: The Waltz of Romantic Idealism

I have recently been looking at some of my romantic notions and their origins so that I could choose what to keep and what to let go as I move forward in my life. Contemplating my former addiction to Jane Austen novels and, of course, Mr Darcy, together with my unceasing search for the one, lead me back to my very early childhood and the many times I danced with my Father.

My Dad assures me he used to sing to me and dance with me as a baby and I recall feeling a great sorrow around age 9 when suddenly there was no longer the physical affection there had been prior to this time. When my Dad started to waltz with me as a teenager, this seemed to me a return to those times of warmth and affection. I enjoyed the feeling of being nestled in his arms, although I was advised quite often it’s the man who takes the lead.

Reflecting on these early experiences revealed a surprisingly large can of emotional worms.

Continue reading “Finding The One: The Waltz of Romantic Idealism”

My Reincarnation through the Menopause

My menopause began when I was 47 years old and this was at a point in my life when everything was changing. My marriage had come to an end and my daughter and my son were preparing to leave home. Little did I know at that time that this was just the beginning of life, and that I was about to be reincarnated. I use the word ‘reincarnated’ because that is how it feels in retrospect – as though:

All that I had been before was a shadow of the woman I am today.

I am now 69 and the intervening years have been a gradual unfoldment from a point where I felt discarded and where:

I had no concept of how it would be to live life without the recognition of being needed. Continue reading “My Reincarnation through the Menopause”

True Mothering – from a Daughter’s Perspective

When I was a small child I held a connection with my mother like nobody else. For the first 5 days of my life it was just her and I in a hospital room, all the staff and nurses simply left us to be with each other knowing I was the 4th child born in the family and that mum knew exactly how to be with her new born.

I knew what love was, it was the warmth my mother wrapped me in with her eyes, as well as the swaddled and delicate way she held me. She cared for me unreservedly, and from the very beginning I knew I was supported to simply be myself.

Then I began to mother my own mother… Continue reading “True Mothering – from a Daughter’s Perspective”

The Natural Yearning and Impulse to Express our Beauty

Why does it feel like we have to attain beauty and we are not beautiful until it has been gained or purchased?

Why isn’t anyone telling us that we are already truly beautiful and amazing?

Why are we not supported to seek forms of expression that confirm our beauty?

I have started to observe a pattern of how we have been side tracked to express our beauty via the misrepresentations of outside influences. Magazines, music, pop stars, movie characters and story lines, movie stars and self-help programmes all influence and suggest how to dress, wear make-up, what to say, how to say it, our attitudes – even our postures and gestural movements. Continue reading “The Natural Yearning and Impulse to Express our Beauty”