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self-portrait tuesday: embracing imperfection

February 28, 2006

I have to admit that I found this month’s SPT theme rather challenging. Like many women, I’m very critical of my own appearance. I have a hard time accepting let alone embracing my many imperfections. The past 5 years have been particularly difficult as I’ve been struggling with an illness that has greatly affected my appearance & self-esteem. mostly i’m an upbeat person, but there are times when the situation gets me down. times when i’ve found it hard to look in the mirror – afraid of what i’ll see. but a couple of days ago, i found a post on michelle’s blog & it made me stop & think:

"Who profits from your self-loathing?

Something about that question stops me dead in my tracks. Something about it causes me to gasp and fall to my knees. I get it. By staying small, by remaining locked in a battle with our own minds, bodies, and spirits the world only gets part of us. And part of us is never enough. Part of me is never enough. No one will profit from my smallness, from my powerlessness, from my self-degradation. The world needs my light and my voice and my power and my story. It needs yours too. Healing our relationship with ourselves is the first step, and maybe the hardest step. Turning away from the ugly parts sure seems a lot easier than cradling them in our arms. And still, that is the gift I most need to give myself."

thank you michelle! your words spoke to me … made me think about the time i’ve wasted feeling down about myself … pulling myself down. reading your words of wisdom made me determined to get out of the pity-pit & accept where i am. learn to embrace my imperfections. learn to be OK with me.

so … in the spirit of embracing imperfection, i’m sharing this self-portrait. the photo was taken last year & i’ve experimented with filters in PSE3 (this is a chalk one – i think!). i can still see the signs of genetics, age & weariness around my eyes … but hey – that’s me & that’s OK!

20050420mecanvaschalkweb

a favourite quote:

i believe in the power of dreams. i can be anything, go anywhere ~ des’ree

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11 comments

  1. Gorgeous photo Charleigh. Love the filter that you have used.


  2. WoW Charleigh… what a powerful read your blog is tonight. WOW! Love the photo too!


  3. OMG what is it, I too have been very critical of myself these last few days Charleigh…lol maybe it is the portal we are both working on at the moment…lol.

    I see you as a beautiful, wonderful, caring, kind, intelligent and amazing person and feel blessed to know you.

    This is a stunning self portrait of you…as always your eyes shine to me.


  4. Oh Charleigh, thank you! And thank you to Michelle too! What true and comforting words, I think this message needs to get around to all women.

    And I think you are beautiful :o)


  5. You look beautiful, Charleigh! This is an inspirational quote – I don’t understand why we feel the need to be so critical of ourselves – I’m totally guilty of it, myself. It’s scary to be your worst critic.
    Helen


  6. wow – I think you are on to something here. Illness does having a way of wearing you down when it is something you are constantly dealing with, which means you need to have the right attitude and prove that it really is mind over matter at times. BTW, I think your imperfect image is beautiful πŸ™‚


  7. You are just beautiful Charleigh πŸ™‚

    πŸ™‚ AL.


  8. Ahhhhhh Charleigh.
    You know, there isnt a woman out there that doesnt feel that way?
    Maybe not all the time .. but EVERY one can relate to your post at some time or another.Longterm illness is a bitch.It erodes at your happiness and makes it hard to see the lightness and the fun. It also makes it hard to see the beauty in yourself.
    i know that when I shaved my head last year, the hardest thing for me was dealing with the “plainness” of me without hair.but you know what? it was the MOST amazing thing I have ever done. because .. the people i loved treated me as they always did, and the people that didnt know me, either asked questions and were friendly, OR they stayed away.
    Bottom line: I WAS STILL ME> with all the friends, family and support i always had. and “they”, the “they” we all seem to worry so much about.. didnt matter.
    Now be sure to understand.. i am NOT comparing my little experience with the crappiness of longterm illness. What i am saying is that by doing one of the things i was MOST terrified about, and thus , having to be confronted with a completely DIFFERENT and foreign self image every day when i looked in the mirror, and then realising that the ONLY person who was concerned about my looks was me…
    it was an ephiphany for me. My hair , which forever had been a source of pressure and effort and lets face it, anal-level attention, is now simply hair.
    I dont have bad hair days anymore. I simply dont place emphasis on my self being judged by my hair. Lord knows people have better things to do. and happily now.. so do I.
    πŸ™‚
    Love and support to you sweetie.
    and remember:
    True beauty can be seen by both the seeing and the blind. TRUE beauty has nothing to do with what you see in the mirror. and you, my dear.. are truly beautiful.

    Ngai
    xxxx


  9. Ms Mims

    I can only reiterate what the other girls have said, and tell you that I happen to think you are incredibly beautiful, both inside and out.

    love Kass


  10. Thanks so much for sharing all that Charleigh, how powerful and moving those words are.
    Your self portrait is gorgeous, a beautiful shot of your face, which is lovely btw. I love that you’ve captured a little insight into your soul in the photo (it’s in your eyes) and that’s where true beauty exists. πŸ˜€
    Wx


  11. I’m glad I dropped over here Charleigh! What a powerful post -thank you so much for sharing this with us and thank you too to everyone that commented. I don’t know you that well Charleigh, but from what I do know you are a very kind person.
    Chris.



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