The Winged-Women™ self-love movement began with a punchline….
“What’s black and white and red all over?”
The punch line was, “the newspaper,” as it was actually “read” and not “red.”
That’s a joke from the third grade that still makes me cringe a little, because inside of my insecure self, the punch line had felt like “me.”
The joke really was on me. As it turned out, Shame was the wolf in my fairytale.
Let me explain….and I promise to leave out the ancestral drape of incompatibility between my mother and grandmother, but will brush on instead, their only apparent common ground, which was the love of the color red. In fact, I think (for those of you who have read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale) my grandmother would have been the first woman to willingly sign up to be a handmaid, if only for the red robes…. She loved red. “The redder the better,” she’d say. But grandma “T” was nobody’s handmaid! And red is the exact color to depict her colorful, exuberant personality.
For brevity, I start with the fact that my mother had 9 children and many more pregnancies. There are, of course, multiple ways I could take this story down that road, but let’s leave it alone for today….
I bring it up only for context; to provide the background story of the scarcity culture that took root like wild weeds on fertilizer. It’s challenging to care for and feed nine hungry mouths…especially when the reaper throws a random ‘death bomb’ that explodes your family dynamic, and leaves no psychic glue to put the pieces back together (if ever they had been together).
Being the third generation of incredibly strong-headed women (I changed “bull-headed” to “strong-headed, just because it sounds nicer, but bull is more accurate), one would assume my roots would have been firmly thriving in soils of security. But childhood did not lend itself to that sort of inner security. At least not until after first, in “sink or swim” fashion, drowning me in a quicksand of shame that supported only the cultivation of insecurity….
Scrapping my way out of that mire did eventually build self-image. But it didn’t do much for my sense of worthiness. When eventually, I figured out that shame was the wolf in my fairytale, and that it was up to me to re-write the story, only then did the wolf retreat. That had to come much later, after the soul searching and requisite forgiveness…and the important lesson of learning to give up an identity of “survivor.” Owning that label only brought more to survive. That’s one of those lessons in hindsight that has us saying, “If only I had known then…” but then, hindsight always has been a bit of a tease.
There is a difference in worthiness and deserving. I heard Iyanla Vanzant say it to Oprah one day while they were making amends. I found it quizzical, and from there, I contemplated deeply to find my difference, and to clarify my worthiness and my deservingness for a fulfilling life.
The joke about what’s black and white and red all over hurt me because I had only one dress for school, and in my mother’s insensitive way, she bought me a bright red dress that no one could miss. I felt so conspicuous. I felt shame, even though I had done nothing wrong. The circumstances created a guilt about poverty, about not having the same lovely things as did my school chums. And the thing is, those classmates were never cruel to me. I was not bullied or shamed. All the ostracizing took place inside my head; the same head that was creating walls brick by brick around my increasingly tender heart. And that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. It was as real as I made it. There was an enormously transformative lesson in that awareness that eventually, allowed me to sort, sift, and release, and to share the gifts of my excavation with you.
The thing is, everything in my life has led me to the woman I am. And I like her very much. I also like to wear red dresses. 🙂 And without the wolf in my fairytale, there would have been no deep excavation, and no transformation. There would be no Winged-Women™ Academy. I wouldn’t have the skill set that shame brought. That’s the gift in my story. I am blessed with clarity and passionate purpose that only came of peeling back the layers to find my truth, and my power.
My hope is that you too, have found yourself, and that you enjoy your company. And I hope you wear whatever makes you feel fempowered. I hope you feel both worthy and deserving, because you are. If Shame or Guilt or Self-Doubt or Worry or….whatever, are the wolf in your story, let’s change that.
And to support you in that transformation, here’s a little freebie to help in the process….
Here’ the thing: Your self-acceptance, self-worth and deserving are in the pilot’s seat of your life. You alone have the power to decide the trajectory for your life. But for a smooth flight, your inner navigator probably needs some training. You wouldn’t just hope into the cockpit of a 747 and start down the runway. You would take ground school before you solo. And you would take instrumentation school before you stepped in the pilot’s seat of the jet powered craft.
In other words, if you could have created the change, you would have. And you haven’t. You haven’t learned to read the instruments yet….
So, here’s an introduction to ground school, and it’s completely free. It’s a mini course offered at the new online Winged-Women™ Academy. Enroll, and quickly get this refresher on confidence and worthiness, because it’s really time to fly on your own….
Learn more and/or Enroll: Confidence Becomes You.
Enjoy your free flight.
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