Self Acceptance …. What I Learned … from Writing the Blog I Want to Read …part 5


I believe one of the greatest gifts I have received from blogging is
Self Acceptance
My blog at times is as much an online journal
as it is about sharing lifestyles.

Part 5
in my series
Write the Blog You Want To Read
is my most recent revelation
in an ongoing journey of self acceptance.



Some posts come quickly to me
but  it is really after I have sat with the revelations
for a while
to know it as my truth.
Some posts are harder to publish …
but I have found …
there is exactly where   the personal growth lies.

Some posts even come in a manner so powerful
I can't not write them …

This post is one I had to write ….



I have learned sometimes life can break you open
and
 bring you to your knees …
but
it is right here
if you can just hold on
and
 accept the breakage
there may be a beautiful gift involved.
But the journey will not be easy
and sometimes
it begins by asking what can I learn from this situation
and 
how can I share it then
to help others.

Writing my blog 
has been so cathartic for me.
Besides sharing my personal style
it became an online journal of thoughts
first on my transitioning life phase
but then
like the peeling of an onion
it has progressed deeper
to realms I had not even recognized.

But  in the breaking open
I not only learned to listen closer to
my heart and soul
I afforded myself the time to examine
the pieces of my life I wanted to keep
as well as ask
is this true?


Two weeks ago
on one of my hikes
I encountered a big black dog
yes, it was with it's owner
but when it came to  jump on me
I reverted to my five year old self
eyes closed,  fists clenched and arms protectively crossed.
Because you see
when I five
I was bitten by a dog.
So now at 55 I am afraid of dogs.

Yep.
You get it …
How could something that happened a half century ago
still affect me today?

Because 
I have never taken the time to update
my personal story
form an adult perspective.
This realization
left me open to 
wondering how many other 
views of myself 
have I not updated
with an adult's perspective.
I had some ideas
quietly stirring
but they made me a bit uncomfortable…
so I thought on other things.


Watching Brene' Brown
on Oprah's  Super Soul Sunday
speaking on shame
and
it hit me.
Because I have been open to the truth
and
 looking for insight 
to why I do what I do.
"When the student is ready
the teacher will come."

It is a shame 
that as an educated adult
and
 mother of three adult children
sounds so cringe worthy
it makes me ashamed of my shame.

I realized  in that moment of flooding tears
that almost my whole life 
well 
let's just say from a really young age
I have been ashamed of my weight.
Such shame 
has had me on the run my entire life.

The shame of weighing more than 'others'
has had me on a lifetime track
of having to prove I was better than others
in everything else
just to feel
I was OK.
That I really was worthwhile.

The fear of not being good enough
and the shame of being more than 
has had me
performing at almost masochistic levels 
so many times in my life.

At the height of my madness
 I  was attending UCLA in design
and 
commuted over an hour a day to save money.
I left at 3:30 in the morning to avoid traffic.
I had all of my classes
on two days of the week
so I could
work full time 
as an assistant manager at a large fashion retailer.
This store was 45 minutes away the opposite direction  from where I lived and UCLA.

Now before you think
like I did at the time
what an ambitious hard worker
I was also a full blown bulimic 
with an eating disorder so bad
it  would eventually derail my finishing college for years.

I believe my shame of weighing 'too much'
manifested at a particularly young age
when my young parents
were realizing my baby sister of 6 months
not only had down syndrome
but a heart defect as well.
I remember being about six
and 
wanting to make things better for everyone
and 
wanting so badly to be perfect 
to make up for the sad things.

Now as an adult
and mother of three adults
my heart breaks for that little girl
especially knowing 
she would grow up to be 
so very hard and cruel to herself.

But
that is not at all
really
why I write this
but rather 
the context 
behind my message.

Today 
I realize
that just like going into
'oh my gosh I'm afraid of dogs'
mode
even though the bite happened
50 years ago

My weight shame
is too
an opinion 
forged as a 
scared little girl.

So it is time for me to 
lie my shame
right out front
because
it is only 
taking shame 
out of the darkness
can we truly find our light.

So today
I no longer 
want to 
be motivated
and 
to feel devalued
because
I am not the cultural
stereotypical beauty

As I wrote in this post

I am not
young
thin 
or 
rich.

but I am still of tremendous worth.


Today
I realize 
worshiping at the alter of
not enough
serves no one.

Today
I realize I am an adult 
who no longer needs to be motivated
by the beliefs of 
a scared child.

Today
I also know
we all need to change the conversation
from
not good enough
to 
celebrating 
who we are today

because
as we each can heal
from
a belief of 
being not good enough

we can each then
offer 
a hand back in love
to help another
heal
and
find
their own
inherent worth.

It is a gift not only
to 
ourselves
but
our daughters
and
their daughters 
who 
come behind us.


As always my friends


I wish you love and joy
as you style your life.






Here is a list of the links to the entire series







PS ~ I have never been so moved and humbled
as I have by your comments on this post.
It is this interaction
that is one of  the true beauty of this blog.




41 comments:

  1. Wow, Tamera...what a very courageous post! You speak for so many of us, who unnecessarily carry on old burdens which need to be left behind. You are a beautiful woman, inside and out.

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    1. Thank you so very much Margy … because of my huge respect for you and your zest for life … your kind words … truly touch my heart!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  2. Thank you for a wonderful post that I shall read again. Watch Brene Browns TED talks. They hit closer too home every time I listen. You are courageous to open up for us.

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    1. Thank you Cornelia, for your kind words … and the suggestion! I am reading Brene's book The Gifts of Imperfection … and recognizing so many truths! I will have to check out her TED talks too!

      As always, thanks so much for visiting my dear!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  3. I am sending a cyber standing ovation. Not because of the struggles you went through, but because you came out the other side with wisdom and insight. Thank you so much for sharing. Bravo.

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    1. My dear thank you ever so much … because the coming out the other side … is exactly the message I was trying to relay! Your cyber ovation … touches my soul!

      xoxo
      Tamera


      !

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  4. What a beautiful and poignant post. I love this: "worshiping at the alter of not enough serves no one." It's so very true. I've also had so much shame about my body that's taken decades to work through (and I'm *still* working through it). But each time we show the world self-love and self-acceptance, I believe it shines a light to show others the way. Kudos to you for your courage, openness and honesty and for being one of those gentle lights showing the way.

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    1. Thank you my dear … for the gift of these beautiful words … they warm both my heart and soul … You so captured the spirit and intention of this post … with the most eloquent of words! Thank you also for sharing your own struggles … that too is a gift. I do believe in the sharing of our own vulnerabilities … they not only foster deeper connections … but can help shine a light for us all.

      In much Gratitude
      Tamera

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  5. Acceptance is the heart of love. Your openness is so beautiful. I believe you encourage freedom. As you share your heart about accepting yourself, it has also given me the understanding that I am accepted by you. Does that make sense? It reveals to me that you are accepting. This is so valuable because I believe most people feel rejected in one form or another. And I want you to know that I would never know that you struggle with not feeling thin enough because in my eyes you are a tiny, adorable, beautiful woman. I was thinking about you all day and wondering if you are packing for your trip to the Napa Valley. I just sense that you are going to have an amazing time. It is a beautiful time of year to visit. You are in my prayers for traveling mercies. xxo Kerrie

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    1. Kerrie, your beautiful words … brought me tears of gratitude. I am realizing more and more … the truth that you speak of … that " acceptance is the heart of love". I have found self acceptance to be not only be transforming … in how I view myself … but I have realized … the more I do accept myself … the more accepting and nonjudgemental I have become of others … which is almost life changing in it's self. As I accept my own vulnerabilities and humanity … with love … there is a direct translation to my view and love for others.

      Connecting with you is a beautiful gift to my soul. Thank you for your visit and the gift of such eloquent words. I look forward to our friendship.

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  6. Dear Tamera, thank you for this brave, thought provoking post. You are peeling the layers and revealing a beautiful, courageous, inspiring woman. ..acceptance of oneself takes much time and practice ,.our childhood experiences have such a profound affect on the adults we become. Take care my dear as you continue your journey of self discovery. xx

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    1. Thank you so much Jill … for your sweet words … they touch my heart. Self acceptance truly is an ongoing experience … and life journey. I so appreciate you visit and encouragement my dear!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  7. Dear Tamera, I have been following your blog for more than a year and am finally bold enough to post a comment! I have recently created my own blog/website (I am an illustrator focused on Fashion Illustration) at the ripe old age of 50. I, too, left a career in NYC to raise children, one of whom has significant special needs, and I am determined to recreate myself and recharge my illustration career now that my son has entered boarding school and my daughters are adults. Thank you for your heartfelt sharing and particularly for this series! I would love to send you an illustration I did of you -will do so in the next few days. Hope you don't think this is weird - I am constantly sketching people! Have a beautiful day - I am so envious of your So-Cal lifestyle - we are still freezing in Boston! Beth http://www.bethbriggs.com/

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    1. Oh Beth, I just checked out your Beautiful blog! Kudos to you for recreating yourself and recharging your career! I am finding this second phase to be a wonderful time of life … time to pursue my life long passions (I agree with your statement in your bio … of having the same interests as I did before 10 … I was making clothes and designing rooms for my trolls :)) ) I so admire your incredible fashion artistry … I have always had such a fascination with fashion illustration … you are truly gifted! I would be beyond honored, to have you do an illustration of me … what a gift!

      I am so happy you are enjoying this series! Blogging has been such a life changer to me … I am passionate about sharing it with others! thank you for your dear comment … and I look forward to learning more of your story!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  8. I too am not young, thin, or rich...but I am rich in joy and happiness to be having a great time at 60!! Excellent post, Tamera. Thank you for sharing your journeys with us. I was in a car accident in sixth grade and still have difficulty in cars speeding on freeways. It is a constant battle and whenever I step out in courage I am rewarded, but the next car trip I go right back there...I completely understand why you faced the dog that way. BTW, I always love your pictures!

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    1. Thank you so much Pam! You are always an inspiration at enjoying this phase of life … your zest is catching!

      I enjoyed your post on the importance of skincare … I will be improving my regime this weekend with a scheduled appointment!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  9. Your honesty is so refreshing. I still struggle with so many things. I have literally spent thousands and thousands of dollars on clothes in the last seven years trying to feel valuable and beautiful after my divorce and the discovery of a lifetime of betrayal. I have to keep centering myself and remember I'm valuable no matter what I weigh or what I wear. As a new blogger its taken me a while to get focused and write from my center! You make be feel brave. Thank you.
    Suzanne
    www.chapter-two.net

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    1. Suzanne … thank you so much for sharing your heart … and your struggles … we are all bound by our journeys in being human. I am finding personal self acceptance of the good … the bad … and the ugly … to be very freeing. I too, can recognize years of choices made … trying to feel 'good enough'. I so appreciate your gift in words my dear. I look forward to learning more about your transformative journey!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  10. This post is FULL of good topics!
    First off your not FAT!You and I are tall women and well we will NEVER be THIN THIN.IT's OKAY, as we can wear clothes that trail and drape…………
    Dogs,I was wondering about the lack of pets as you haven't mentioned any in the few months I have been following………I'm so sorry you had that experience as a little girl which has left you with a fear of the MOST BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.They have so much love and warmth to give.I think you should think about adopting a dog when that last SON departs for college.He will be GREAT company and very amusing!Something to think about!
    You were VERY focused at a VERY young age to work full time and go to school!I applaud YOU for that.Not many girls at that age would have the stamina or the drive.
    Your sister was fortunate to have YOU helping to make things better……………and how GORGEOUS of YOU to want to to do that!Seems you were playing adult before actually becoming an adult!Now, its YOUR TIME to PLAY.
    I have to say THANK ~ YOU TAMERA for NOT being the STEREOTYPICAL BEAUTY!!!
    You are a breath of FRESH AIR……….stay that way……..please!I believe I can speak for all your fans WE ADORE YOU AS YOU ARE!Don't change a thing………….except that fear of dogs!WE MUST CONQUER THAT FEAR.
    XOXOXO
    Your biggest FAN.

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    1. La Contessa … thank you for your sweet, sweet comments! My sharing my body issue is really more of a metaphor for old beliefs made in childhood … that still cast shadows today … and my coming to grips with accepting myself today.

      You are quite right, in my perhaps considering a dog … After writing this i had a dream … where a friend and her dog … were both trying to convince me of the love involved in relationship. I know so many people … that receive such meaning and love from their dogs!

      My dear … you are also quite right … now is my time to play! I feel at this age I am being offered my lifetime dream of unbridled time for creative pursuits … My heart is ever so grateful for the opportunities!

      Thank you for your visit dear friend … hope to see you next Tuesday … I have something for You!!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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    2. Then I will THERE with bells on…………maybe not bells but baubles for sure!!!!!!
      XOXOXO

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  11. Tamera, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your authentic self. You are a beautiful woman inside and out and I truly hope you know that. I relate so much to what you've said-here in my 40s and my child self views still have very deep roots, most noticeably in times of surprise or crisis. This week has been full of drama and crisis for me; I needed to hear the words you've so eloquently shared. Isn't it interesting that when you need to hear certain things, they find their way to you? For that, I am thankful.

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    1. Holli, thank you for your kind words … I am so sorry your week has been full of drama … and crisis … hard roads to be sure … I am grateful that my words could help … we are all bound by our journeys in humanness. I hope things become more peaceful for you soon my dear!

      Sending hugs of love and comfort
      xoxo
      Tamera

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  12. I love how honestly that you write and in such a wonderful poetic style.
    First off I have never once looked at you and thought you were overweight. Women measure ourselves against so many standards and I think by talking bravely like you have here you are giving others an insight into the pain of being human. You are showing us how you are growing, healing and evolving into a magnificent and beautifully articulate and creative soul. Wow Tamera if there was a blog award for excellence you would get my vote.
    Enjoy your journey and thank you for putting yourself out there as you peel away each layer we get to know the true gem that you have become.

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  13. This touched me deeply. Thank you for writing it.

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  14. Tamera dear-this is a deeply genuine and intimate post and you are courageous to put your story out there. I admire your honesty and sharing your journey with so many of us who struggle with our own level of confidence or value. You are a gorgeous, glowing woman (inside and out) and I can attest to that as I've met you twice. Your journey provides hope for so many of us who are on similar paths.
    Thank you for sharing your heart.
    xx, Heather
    PS-See you in a few days lovely friend!!

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  15. Oh my sweet sweet friend, I believe what I just read are words from a lovely lady who looks at life and others and herself with an OPEN heart, which is a heart that looks outward ( a closed heart looks inward). With this kind of heart you can do and see and understand things you could not otherwise do or see or understand. With this kind of heart you can endure pain, forgive freely, renew strength and then bless and help others in ways surprising even to yourself, which you have done today to so many many women.

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  16. Moved beyond words, my friend! I've read quite a few of Brene's books. Her wisdom about our shame opened so many windows in my soul. Your brave sharing is such an inspiration. See you soon. xoxo

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  17. Thank you so much for publishing this series on writing the blog you want to read. I have found it truly inspirational. I have been on the fence about starting a blog and, partially because I found your series, I have recently started a blog of my own (danaldaggett.wordpress.com). I am planning a post about blogs that I read and I plan to put your blog high on my list (I hope you don't mind!) For so long I thought that I had to find a subject and target an audience. Now I am having a great time writing about what I love and finding that there are people that want to read it. Thanks!!!

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  18. Beautiful post...beautiful woman. It is absolutely astonishing how much those little painful events from our pasts create our lives today. In fact, often wreaking havoc. In recent years I've worked to remember as many of these childhood events as I can and forgive them. It really helps create a more peaceful present. It looks like you're doing this same work with dogs (and an overall theme of fear), with your sister (and an overall theme of not being enough) and body image (with your overall theme of shame). Keep thinking, probing and remembering as much as you can on these topics so that you can forgive and release these feelings from your present. I support you in this fully. (I studied Design at UCLA, too, and grew up in Orange County. Even though I live in the mountains now, and wouldn't have it any other way, I absolutely looooooooove seeing all your beachy images!!) With gratitude for your beauty and inspiration!

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  19. Tamera love your honesty and soul searching. I also feel like every year I am growing and realizing how I am and why and how I wish I were, if that makes sense. It sounds like you wanted to make everything right as a child. I was also that same kind of child. A pleaser I guess. You really had some tough things to contend with. You are brave and inspiring! You have done so well with your life!!
    So excited to see you very soon! xoxo Kim

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  20. What an AMAZING post, with very wise words :) and your blog is so fab and fun.

    Check out my new post....How you decorate a small space to look bigger :)

    Have a great weekend dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - inredning it's, Swedish for decor :)

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  21. I've read and reread your post over the past week. Each time, I am gently guided to a deeper level of understanding and appreciation. In relation to writing the blog one wants to read and finding the life one wants to life, I think it's this post that is having the most significant impact on me. But then, I've thought similar thoughts with each lesson. You've taken great care with the sequencing of your topics...each episode in perfect alignment with the greater whole. Thank you Tamera! I am learning so very much!

    Now, to comment on the personal aspects of your post, I will say that childhood impressions, fears, and insecurities can and do get so intrinsically tangled within our cells that it's only natural that they get carried along with us through adolescence and our adult years. Beliefs that no longer serve us may manifest as shame, after all there can be a deep inner conflict between those long held beliefs and the person we are today. It can be a challenge, unconditional self love; but words, images, connection, beauty...all things found in your blog...are all strong ways of helping heal old wounds. This, I learned from you!

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  22. Love this post.

    You are brave. And gorgeous x

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  23. Your writing today so touched me. I've been away from my blog for months. I had very serious surgery and simply did not have the energy to get back on the horse. I have been stuggleing with the idea if I should write about my surgery. Am I beeing too open? Should I just brush it away, even though it has had a profound affect on me? But when I read your blog I see where being open with one's life be it what to pack or inner battles. Letting people into your life helps everyone. So I will write about my surgery, unless you think I shouldn't. I live in Southern California and it would be very easy to meet for coffee, lunch or shopping. Oh, going to Napa, Yountville week after next. I certainly will try on a Panama Hat and say you sent me.

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    1. Sandra thank you for your heartfelt comment. I don't feel comfortable on advising on sharing personal stories. But I can say … doing so for me changed my life from feeling irrelevant and left behind when my children moved on with their lives … into I a woman who is revitalized, hopeful with a heart full of gratitude for the beauty in the world.

      When I share personal stories … I do do when I know it to be my truth and ask myself …do I stand behind this whether no one comments … or even worse it brings out trolls. When I can say yes to both I push publish.

      I think many times it is in life's rough patches that we truly connect … and find out we are not alone in dealing with the hardships that inevitably come everyones way. I am also learning from those who have traveled rough paths! If you do choose to share your story … let me know … I would love to read my dear!

      Enjoy your trip to Napa … be sure to check out the hat shop! Perhaps on your return we can meet for coffee!

      Congratulations on your recovery from your surgery!

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  24. Still reading your blog - what a blessing you are. I've followed many blogs but have never found one that fits ( being a woman of a certain age) I do like fashion but I care more about what's inside a person. By the way you are beautiful inside and out. I have 3 daughters and 8 granddaughters and I want them to value who they are. Your words are a great path to loving oneself and opening yourself to loving others with the same kindness. Thank you again - can't wait to read more.

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