I will call her Dove rather than her actual name in order to protect her privacy, but Dove fits her well because she is gentle like that. I ran into Dove at a store after not seeing her for several years. She recognized me and opened up immediately. She opened up about a lot. Dove is a lovely, small-framed woman with a beautiful head full of gray hair. It is wild and carefree, but Dove is not. She said many things, but the bottom line of our conversation is that the insecurities we hold about ourselves as young women, as young-ish women, as mothers, as employees, entrepreneurs, and professionals... they CAN last well into our graying years, a lifetime really.
I say CAN because they do not have to!
In my mind, I had a previous belief (before I began coaching) that we get it all together and know who we are as we age. Not true. The grayscale brings wisdom, but not necessarily
self-esteem or self-actualization.
Dove received kind words from a few people who have loved her over the years.
She holds onto them as precious gifts, though clearly there have not been enough of them. She has little positive to say about herself aside from these past compliments.
At probably close to 70 or maybe over 70, Dove still longs to be a tall, blue-eyed,
blonde-haired American beauty. Somewhere in her life it was instilled into her
that this was the image of happiness and confidence. In her mind, she is the opposite of that and she is just not enough.
My heart was breaking during our conversation. Honestly, I have a very hard time seeing women in this state and not stepping immediately into a coaching role. She was unaware that the very topics she was hitting on were the passion of my coaching profession. Actually, I never told her I am a coach. Why didn't I tell her? Something in my spirit told me not to bring it up and just let her talk. Had she asked me what I was doing now, I would have been honest, but that segue never opened up.
Our conversation began by me exclaiming how great she looked. She honestly looked younger than years prior. Her hair was cut shorter and looked great. I didn't hesitate to tell her so. I told her she was beautiful and I was not just referring to her appearance. She is a truly lovely soul,,, though clearly hurting.
During later parts of her conversation, she essentially said, "I am adding to my list of kind words spoken over me during my life the fact that you said I look okay." She said this as she touched her hair with an embarrassed expression. She repeated this sentence three times and I finally got the opportunity to stop her. "NO, I do not want you recalling this conversation in that way. I did not tell you that you look okay, I told you that you look great and I told you that you are beautiful."
Will Dove remember the conversation the way it happened or the humbler version she was turning it into? Have others spoken kind words in her life that she also could not hear correctly? How about you?? Can you believe good things about yourself?
Not just about your looks, but anything about you? Dove's parents were reportedly unkind, pushy, and harsh. They set her up for a lifelong journey of "not enough". Perhaps you have had people in your life who have tried or managed to bring you down, too.
This never has to be the end of your story or the way you remain!! I hold you as so much more and believe you can arrive at a place where you see it in yourself. The first step is deciding you want something different and opening yourself up to new possibilities. The second step might just be hiring a coach to help you find the real you, all the inner and outer beauty that is you!
"The grayscale brings wisdom,
but not necessarily
self-esteem or self-actualization."
Open yourself up to new possibilities.
You are enough!!