The picture above doesn't seem connected to bathing suit season, but I think it is...
Slightly-Brit sent me this bear picture months ago - months. I laughed hard when I first saw it, and it still cracks me up. It's vintage Karen - it's so me!
And I wanted to share it with you, because I figured it'd make you laugh too. But...
I couldn't! It's too unflattering - I look ridiculous. The angle is crazy, my nose looks like a bulb, I look toothless - and hell, I'm bigger than the bear!
I don't suppose I need to explain the picture, but I feel compelled to: it was about a month before Christmas, and my mother, Slightly-Brit and I did our traditional visit to a local nursery/garden shop that tarts itself up (in a good way) for the holidays.
I was being silly (I am silly - it's a big part of my personality). There was a bear in one of the display rooms (there were actually a number of bears in different display rooms - just a regular holiday with the bears, wtf?) - and, on impulse, I stuck my wrist in its mouth and pretended it bit me.
On impulse - like the time, aeons ago, when I did a Quasimodo impression (complete with hunched back and dragging leg) in the middle of a crowded restaurant - to the horror of my friends (who thought, as I did, that I was shy - I was shy back then, but impulse seemed to occasionally trump shyness).
Only this time, with the bear, Slightly-Brit was there with a camera. So I now have visual evidence that I look ridiculous when I'm being silly...except I don't really have that evidence.
Because how we look is a matter of perspective.
When I was in high school I had a teacher who made me think. He interpreted history (and culture) in ways I'd never imagined. When he asked for responses he wanted thought-out replies, not his own thoughts spat back at him (which is what most of my teachers seemed to expect).
When he spoke (from up on the auditorium stage - his classes being enormous), I saw a middle-aged man (with a bony, not particularly handsome, face) morph into a Greek god! Every fricking time!!
More recently I sat at the feet of a short, lumpy, elderly woman who became Love in my eyes. She was soooo beautiful that I could've sat and listened to her (falling into her beauty) forever.
I don't know what my high school teacher told himself when he looked in the mirror in the mornings. I don't know if the elderly lady knows that she's beautiful.
But, to me, there's no question - they ARE beautiful!
The truth is, for ALL of us - when we let our natural Self show - we ARE beautiful. Right now!
If you were in the restaurant when I channeled Quasimodo - or in the garden nursery when I was bitten by a bear - if you were right there - I imagine you'd have seen silliness and joy.
I think there's a good chance you would have seen my beauty - my silly beauty (and not focused on how toothless I looked). You probably would've joined in the joy, because I think that, when I'm being silly, I become Grandmother Love - or a Greek god(dess) - if you look from the right perspective.
My friend Gin White, from Subtle Harmony, shared this quote on FB the other day: "The question is not what you look at, but what you see." ~ Henry David Thoreau
What if we look for evidence of beauty in ourselves? What if we change our perspective and see with eyes of Love??
How do YOU see yourself as beautiful? I'd love to hear!
p.s. The bathing suit season thing - it connects, I swear it does - but explaining it is beyond me at the moment - sigh.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~If you'd like a (metaphorical) hand in seeing yourself from a different perspective - seeing yourself with eyes of Love - check out the Body Image/Body Love category of the blog, especially the Body-Part Wednesday posts.
Choosing Me! is another self-love tool - it's an mp3 I created about reconnecting with your body (and you can listen to a preview when you go to the link above).