Accepting and Expressing Greatness — A Story About Shoes

Since childhood I have had an issue with my feet.

They always looked too big to me and my toes seemed too long, out of proportion as to how I judged beauty to be. As an Asian woman, I grew up holding onto the image that beauty is being soft spoken, never drawing attention to oneself and about having tiny and delicate feet, as most of the women that I grew up with had small feet, and I would compare myself with them. I would deliberately buy shoes that were a little bit too small, convinced that my feet should and could fit into them. In consequence, my feet would suffer but there were always justifications for doing this, such as in time the shoes would either ‘magically’ stretch, or that my feet were actually as I believed them to be, smaller and more delicate than they are.

The concept of delicateness to me then was one which was purely determined by outward appearances (but now I understand that delicateness is a quality within myself no matter how I looked on the outside), and so I could not accept that a woman of my petite stature could have feet that seemed so long. I did not want to stand out with my “big” feet, and was continuously finding ways to literally “fit in” to what was my accepted ideal of myself. 

There was a lot that I didn’t accept about my outward appearance. Not only did I not like my feet, I also did not like being petite. I wanted to grow taller or have smaller feet, anything but just being me. A few years ago my body went through a lot of changes. I lost a lot of weight and was constantly receiving negative comments from everywhere.

At that point, I realised I had been living entrenched under the mercy of how the world thought of me, and I chose to stop.

Throughout the years with working on accepting more of myself, I have continued to discard shoes that are too small and felt uncomfortable. Although recently, when feeling much closer in connection to myself, I still found myself buying another pair of shoes that were a bit too tight!  Not only did this expose a pattern of self-sabotaging shopping, it showed me that subtly and insidiously, I keep coming back to the familiarity of holding back.

Holding back has been a picture that I have accepted as a normal part of being a woman.

So in every aspect of expression, holding back has been normal and familiar for me in life—from the tone and manner in how I speak, the way I hold myself, the food I choose to eat and how much, the way I dress, how much money I allow myself to have, the way I move…. all reflect that a lack of self-worth is normal, if not expected of myself. This was the picture of how being a woman should be in my growing up.

Consequently, not expressing myself in my greatness and fullness is what feels familiar; accepting abuse also feels familiar, but this familiarity is no longer what my body can accept anymore.

So one day when I put on a ‘favourite’ pair of shoes, I stopped to truly feel. Although these shoes did not hurt, they were quite pointy and the tip of my feet felt capped and therefore the whole of my body did not feel fully spacious. My feet, just like any part of my body deserve to be truly expressed, therefore capping the expression of any one part of my body can only lessen the expression of all parts—and ultimately, the expression of my whole being. There will always be beautiful shoes around which are just a bit too small for me, and it is up to me to say “no”.

I discarded these shoes and never looked back, for there is no greater beauty than to accept and express the greatness that we truly are.

Our innate greatness is so natural and powerful that not even the strongest picture of culture, nationality or religion can hold back our expression when it comes from the connection we have built with ourselves, for our worth is far greater than any man-made ideal.

To have come to this understanding is an appreciation of, and an inspiration from Serge Benhayon.

By Adele Leung, Image Director and Fashion Stylist, Hong Kong

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961 thoughts on “Accepting and Expressing Greatness — A Story About Shoes

  1. “There was a lot that I didn’t accept about my outward appearance. Not only did I not like my feet, I also did not like being petite. I wanted to grow taller or have smaller feet, anything but just being me.” – this is something a lot of us can relate to… a picture we have of how we ‘should’ be and can never measure up to. This picture is fed to us from a young age and is there governing us till such point that we realise its control and ditch the picture. Except there is often another picture there waiting – so the game is to discard all the pictures till there are none left, and then we can be left to be and express all the beauty that is already there within us without any impositions placed upon us.

  2. It feels slightly ludicrous to me that we are all completely sold on the idea that in order to be seen as either beautiful or attractive that certain body parts need to be either large or small. The fact that we can look at a part of our own bodies or the part of another person’s body and instantaneously note that it’s unattractive based purely on it’s size is a reflection of just how caught up we’ve become in the world of matter rather than recognising and registering that we are made up of energy and it is this that precedes matter. Individuality versus commonality.

  3. Even though we are human beings we give little attention to our being, we have a world that is so focused on physicality and the standards we have set for our bodies – it all feels horribly superficial. I too have been brought up in a body based environment, and had little idea about nurturing the truly beautiful qualities within myself, nor in understanding their power in the world to inspire others and confirm another’s being. The world as it is feels very ruthless as when we make it about the appearance of the body we can find so many differences, faults, weaknesses etc, and it can become a source of constant comparison, misery and individuation. On the inside as soulful beings our essence is equal and much the same, it’s unique expression varies but the utter beauty of equality we feel with others is a joy to live, and our being lovingly nurtures the body unconditionally. It’s a completely different relationship to the body to place the being first, then its love encompasses the body exactly as it is, just as we would a precious infant.

  4. It is very common to say that small feet on women are attractive. I wonder where this comes from, there’s an association with a woman who has small feet to be small overall. And perhaps women are “supposed” to be small. Such beliefs are so ingrained in your understanding of life that we don’t even realise how deep they go.

  5. I used to compromise a lot when I bought shoes simply because I like them, even though at times they were too small – ‘surely they would stretch’ – or they were rather uncomfortable – ‘I need to walk them in’. Oh, how my delicate feet suffered; but no more. These days I appreciate the continual hard work my feet do, day in and day out, so I never buy a pair of shoes unless my feet feel totally at home in them and that they are super supportive from the very first moment. No wonderful bargain or beautifully presented pair of shoes will ever change the way I now buy my shoes; I love my feet too much.

  6. Perhaps having big feet in relation to your body size is inviting you to make a deep imprint on the world everywhere you walk.

  7. “for there is no greater beauty than to accept and express the greatness that we truly are.” and there we go, the words that confirm the beauty of a women and put a whole industry out of business.

    1. Maybe in years to come ‘The Beauty Industry’ will be an industry that focuses solely on supporting women to return to the truth of who they already are and hence support them back to being their original blindingly beautiful selves.

  8. ‘There was a lot that I didn’t accept about my outward appearance. Not only did I not like my feet, I also did not like being petite. I wanted to grow taller or have smaller feet, anything but just being me’. I am sure this is something most women can relate to. Rejecting our bodies is simply a symptom of lack of self worth/self loathing. Letting go of hurts, learning to appreciate what we bring and how to connect to all that we are supports with a deeper settlement in everyday life, which brings not only a deepening acceptance of self but a celebration of self too. All vestiges of critiquing my own body are long gone.

      1. Very true – the beauty of the self loving reflection can expose how deeply entrenched in self loathing someone can be. They can choose to admit it and begin the healing process, or in the total identification of the self loathing, dislike intensely what they are being offered and attack the person reflecting what they dare not choose.

  9. We can be critical to ourselves but at the end we do not want to change with someone else. So best is to accept ourselves in full 🙂

  10. Hear hear Adele to accepting and expressing the grandness that we are. For me it has been definitely a process of letting go of the holding back and how comfortable it is not to shine. But really in truth how comfortable is it when we are under so much tension and dis-harmony from not expressing all that we are. Ironic really!

  11. Letting go of all the things that we’ve held onto and perhaps valued in some way, but that actually keep us small and protected, feels incredibly liberating.
    The more we do this, the more all of the seemingly tiny ways we’ve held back and sabotaged ourselves become more apparent and obvious – showing themselves in order to be reviewed and discarded.

    1. Spot on Bryony, and this is a bit like renovations….when you paint one wall and make it look pretty, then suddenly the other walls show themselves to also be needing a coat of paint, or the furniture now looks shabby and needs an upgrade etc etc. It is a gradual process where one thing leads to the next as it it gradually revealed what is needed.

  12. “for there is no greater beauty than to accept and express the greatness that we truly are.” A beautiful sharing and understanding of the capping we do to ourselves and the lack of self worth we create by looking to the outside instead of our inner beauty from within and the appreciation and fullness of this. A great reflection from our shoes and the love for our feet and ourselves expressed with such clarity.

  13. There is no greater joy or blessing than walking on the earth in the fullness of who we truly are in essence.

      1. Beautifully and simply expressed. It makes me consider, if I am holding back what is naturally there for me to express, in how I move, dress, speak, work, then I am holding back an angle and aspect of connection to the universe.

  14. Our feet are our foundation, so to wear shoes that are uncomfortable and compromise how we walk and how we move will also compromise our expression, everything is connected we can’t ignore any part of our body without it affecting the whole.

    1. Well said Alison – everything matters, nothing can be taken in isolation as all is connected to the whole.

  15. This makes so much sense, ‘capping the expression of any one part of my body can only lessen the expression of all parts—and ultimately, the expression of my whole being.’

    1. And this micro example of capping is identical to the macro version, i.e. when just one of us doesn’t live the fullness of who we all are in truth then the truth of who we all are is capped. We’re here to collectively live the greatness of God, let’s all go to it!

  16. “for there is no greater beauty than to accept and express the greatness that we truly are.” – an inspiring reminder today, thank you.

  17. ‘There will always be beautiful shoes around which are just a bit too small for me, and it is up to me to say “no”.’ And walk in the light we know we are from. Shoes that fit properly can give us a true basis to walk our own walk, be our beautiful selves in life.

    1. I have recently discovered shoes whose soles have been made from foam, ooh I just love the feel of them as I walk, it supports me to walk with purpose and ease. Walking and how I walk has become incredibly important to me in recent years and so my footwear plays a pivotal role to how my walk feels in my body.

  18. A great example of how when we accept beliefs about ourselves we conform our body to live in a way that is far lesser than our true nature. Looking within rather than outside ourselves builds a connection to our essence so that we are able to know and accept ourselves from our true qualities and naturally share the beauty of these qualities in our expression with others.

  19. I have wondered while reading this blog but never brought it up before about you’re being Chinese and thinking your feet are too big. Could there be some connection with the Chinese cultural tradition of the past where feet were bound to keep them small? Can these kind of beliefs be held in our bodies from past lives?

  20. ‘therefore capping the expression of any one part of my body can only lessen the expression of all parts—and ultimately, the expression of my whole being’ This is similar to wearing clothes that are too tight . It restricts our movement and however good they might look it is just not worth the discomfort and the assault on our body. Likewise when we go without a coat or a cardigan because it spoils the look. If our body is cold looking after it with something warm needs to come before anything else. And as someone else commented it is not what we wear but how we wear it and how comfortable we are in our own skin in the first place.

      1. Yes absolutely agree diningwithoneandwith love. When we are joyful for example it matters not what we are wearing it is the joy that is felt and when someone walks with grace, it certainly is breathed in and through the clothes.

  21. This abuse is unfortunately so common with many women, lovely that you are no longer accepting this capping, ‘Consequently, not expressing myself in my greatness and fullness is what feels familiar; accepting abuse also feels familiar, but this familiarity is no longer what my body can accept anymore.’

  22. Wow isn’t there literally thousands of ways we cap ourselves as women. Now is the time to expose all that rot and instead stand strong shining who we are.

    1. So many parts of the body that show that each part is of equal values and deserves as equal care.

    2. The difficult thing is that most of us have no conscious awareness that we are, in fact capping ourselves, it is quite literally just the way that we are and because it is ‘just the way that we are’ most of us don’t see it. ‘The way that we are’ is an alignment and when we are aligned to a consciousness that doesn’t want us to know the truth of who we are then it doesn’t provide us with the option of knowing the truth about how we’re being. That’s what is so incredible about the methods of support offered by Universal Medicine, is that they support people to shift their alignment over time and so gradually the blinkers come off and we’re able to see the truth about how we’re choosing to be and what we’re choosing to do because those options come as part of our new alignment.

  23. Accepting any pace that is not coming from the steadiness that we know we can connect to from within brings less love and care that we know is on offer for ALL.

    1. The trick to life is to let Life set the pace and to fall in with that but we don’t, we’re hellbent on setting the pace ourselves and that’s what we do. We set a highly irregular pace, one that is completely out of step with the true rhythm of life and then wonder why everything’s so haywire, not least of all our health.

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