Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Becoming spiritually naked.
Unraveling. Peeling off the layers. And learning to really look at what's hiding underneath, and to be with it.
I started hiding underneath heavy makeup when I was about 12. At first it was to "just" cover up the teenage pimples. Soon, I realized how much I could alter my real face and how much more I loved the mask. How my natural brows were "too light" and my natural lashes "too short" and how my skin was just never smooth enough.
I almost completely stopped wearing makeup during my last relationship. Partly because as they say "I neglected myself" (which in itself is one of the prime examples of violence in our language and thinking about what it means to be a woman). But mostly because I trusted that I was loved with or without makeup. I started becoming comfortable with my real bare face because I noticed that it was lovable.
We’re supposed to know inherently that we’re good and lovable as we are. But sometimes, oftentimes, when we lack this knowledge it is the love of others that redirects us home: to the love within. At the same time, no amount of external love can “convince” us to love ourselves. At some point, and I pray that we all arrive in that place, we need to fall in love with ourselves. And if falling in love is too big of an ask, to at least befriend ourselves. To find the kind of warmheartedness with which we look at our friends’ faces, and extend it to ourselves.
For me gratitude is yet another point of entry: becoming super real about the unfathomable strength and health of this body, which not only allows my soul to be on this earthly plane and live this human life, but it has actually created another human being from scratch ;)
Becoming real about our social and cultural conditioning is another moment of clarity: this culture, especially if you’re a woman, has fed you lies since your birth: that only if you look a certain way you are worthy of love and happiness. Please don’t underestimate this fact and stop blaming yourself: we have all internalized this toxic messaging and we all have to put actual time and effort into unlearning it.
Relinquishing self-hatred can begin with learning to see our own bare face and not looking away in shame. Staying instead, and asking “Can I learn to love what I see?”