Feb 15, 2014

The Art of Losing

Confession: I am an extremely fearful person. My fears, I realize are part of my stressors and trigger my anxiety and neurosis and when it does, I tend to have a panic attack. There are so many things I am fearful of that most of the time, I prefer to "play it safe". I am definitely not the person who would come into mind when you ask anyone to name a "daredevil." But then again, playing it safe never did anything for anyone... did it? Part of the consistent fears that linger on is my fear of not pleasing everyone. I have already admitted that I am pretty self-deprecating, which is why criticism no longer surprises me as I have probably thought of such and put it into consideration (and more) way before anyone points it out. It is not that I am insecure as I find myself not really competitive with other people. It is more of a case of that I am always in competition with myself that I always need to be more, do more, look better. I am quite tough on myself and am my own harshest critic because I am afraid of spiraling down and not always being at my best. This of course reflects on how I chose to look and present myself. There are times, I prefer to go through the classic and boring route because that is what is fail-safe and tried and tested. Naturally, after some time, being "safe" with how you look becomes passe and boring. In my fear of putting myself, down... I end up doing more damage to myself, I have learned and this is why...as much as possible I try to conquer my fears in my physique and appearance.

I realize that pushing aside one's negative thoughts and having a "devil-may-care" attitude when it comes to how you look never really hurt anyone in such a profound way. This is why, despite feeling "fat" and "meaty," I decided to wear this outfit which in all ways goes against what I would describe as "safe." It is not that I have anything to prove to anybody... It's that I have something to prove to myself: that no matter what I think or perceive, when I want to wear something, I wear something... even if it is my weekly "I feel fat" kind of day. This explains why I dared to be risque in this cropped top (that hugs every part of my body) and a particularly body-con skirt with two tricky prints: snakeskin and some psychedelic loops with two zippers in such loud colors. Even my choice of shoes, diverted from my go-to choice of black... Instead, I wore this tri-color pair of sandals which matched my skirt more. It was a risk that paid off well since I ended up being absolutely comfortable and confident in this outfit and had absolutely no regrets. Conquering one's fear even in such a mundane and petty things does wonders to one's self-esteem and is a small victory of sorts. No more walls. I would not have it any other way.

Reversible Cropped Top: Zoo | Double Print Body-Con Zipper Skirt: Romwe.com | Tri-color Strappy Heels: GoJane.com | Silver Bib Necklace: +RUCKUS | Metal Bejeweled Cuff: GoJane.com
Hair Extensions: STYLD.Extensions 

You see, lies are a denial of fear: a way of maintaining control. Our fear is like the first tile in a string of dominoes. Our denial of our fear causes us to lie, to cheat, and to become people we do not respect in order to maintain our illusion of control. We lie because we are fearful, we are fearful because we lie. It is a never-ending circular process, and we feel stuck in the middle of these raging feelings. Marge Piercy once said, "All women hustle. Women watch faces, voices, gestures, moods. The person who has ti survive through cunning." I know this statement to be true. I find that most women are accomplished research scientists. I once stumbled upon this saying that goes that the F.B.I. has got nothing on a woman who wants to find out about something. I gather, we have developed skills for gathering data that would put most researchers to shame. We are constantly scanning faces, bodies, and situations for clues for what is acceptable and what we can get away with. We have, unfortunately, in many situations become people who "survive through cunning." Our hyperalertness emanates from our fear that whatever we do will not be enough- our fear is that we are not enough, no matter what we do. The end result: we convince ourselves that we have to be cunning to survive, or so we have come to believe. We scan and hustle and we don't even know we are doing it. It is only through some level of self-awareness that we can realized these truths. The fact is, we have to remember, like I always do this: I am enough. All I can do is just accept what I have to give. 

It is such a relief to admit our fears, to ourselves first, then to others. It is a relief to admit our powerlessness over our fears and that they are taking over our lives. This admission, as simple and basic as it is, opens the door to an awareness that if we return  to our inner process (our power greater than ourselves), then we can feel sane again. We have to admit: all of us are afraid sometimes and that's okay. We're human. When our life is ruled by our fears: that's obsession... and a recipe for self-destruction. In life, sometimes, we have to admit that there are times when we lose and concede, in order for us to get to another level.

xx, JL

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