This has been a volatile week in the US. My heart goes out to the friends, families and the congregation of those lost in Charleston. What a terrible and dishearteningly preventable tragedy.
And how ironic (or not) that this happened during the national conversation across social media about race, centered around Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who chose to present herself as black to her friends and colleagues. While hearing about her complicated story, the details of which are still unraveling, I was reminded of this post I wrote last year about 12 Years a Slave star Lupita Nyong’o.
Nyong’o had given an incredibly moving speech about how racism and western perceptions of beauty made her feel as a young girl, and I was struck by what an example she is for all of us. She is someone who owns and honors who she is, with a powerfully vulnerable authenticity.
The Wrong Kind of Change
I know that Dolezal’s reasons for changing her appearance go beyond the purely aesthetic, and yet, I’m still reminded of how many incredible, successful women feel that no matter who they are or how they look, they are “not good enough.” I see it in my work every day.
This feeling puts women on a constant path of striving: to do more, to be more, to earn more, to look more glamorous and to make whatever changes they can to themselves, hoping that will bring them closer to finding love.
This feeling is why 90% of the women who submit profiles to my matchmaking network tell me, in extended detail, all about their degrees, their careers, the awards they’ve won, the property they own, their interests, their volunteer work — while saying little about who they are as women, inside.
Unfortunately, this is misguided. Love is not about how you look or what you do.
The ONLY way to find true, deep acceptance — that soulful connection and amazing, transcendent love — is to seek it as your most authentic self. Any love you find as someone else is false, because it’s not really for you, is it?
Whereas if you first embrace and acknowledge the true and inner you, and shower it with love, kindness and compassion, you will find the solid ground to warmly and joyously share that real self with rest of the world.
And THAT is when you’re most likely to make that true connection. Men (and women) will be drawn to you! The real you.
As I said in my earlier post: Like anything meaningful, love requires great risk. It needs you to be bold and lit up from within so it can find you. Your joy and happiness with who you are will be your biggest asset, and the special ingredient that reveals to the world the beautiful woman you already are.
You Are Enough. Promise yourself you’ll begin today to share your true and loving self with the world. Let yourself be an example.
With much love and support,