Signing off for a little while…

I’m feeling anxiety and depression coming on…

I think I’m going to step away from being online for a little bit today, to see if I can re-group. If you haven’t already done so, I would be honored if any more people are interested in participating in my contest.

I’ll be back, but I need a little break sweet people of WordPress. ❤ 😦

Contest Update

Yesterday, I posed a little contest among my followers and I ma beginning to receive some submissions.  Right now, I am leaning towards one, but I am open to see what other creativity any of you might have.  I’m hoping to get as many submissions as possible, before tomorrow (although, I might extend it another day).

Looking forward to seeing more submissions!

BYJ: Day 30 – Name the Beautiful

Beauty?  What does it actually mean? How can someone tell what is and what is not beautiful?  Society? Individual tastes? Is it really that subjective?

I have to admit, after writing about Speaking Positively, I’m a little frustrated by this part of the BYJ – Name The Beautiful.  The author suggests writing in the Beautiful You Journal the people I find beautiful and what about them I find beautiful. This is a challenge for me for two reasons and I have already decided how to handle one of the reasons.  Honestly, I have quite a few followers on here that I find amazingly beautiful for several reasons, but I’m not going to list them.  I’m not going to list them, because I don’t want to put any of them on the spot and I don’t want to inadvertently create any Rivalry between anyone.  The other challenge is that defining what I see as Beauty creates an automatic negative feeling within myself, because some of what I find beautiful is truly shallow and I recognize that I can never meet those standards of beauty that I have. But before I talk about the second challenge, let me list the qualities of some of these women that I think are beautiful and why I find them beautiful.

I tend to look at beauty in a couple different ways – physical (or surface), attitudinal (behavior towards others) and spiritual (inner).  It seems readily obvious that there is physical beauty, so let me list some of the things I’ve seen here on WordPress that I find beautiful:

  • There is a woman I follow that I absolutely love her hair. It’s long and beautiful. I simply love it and it appears as if she maintains its health.  She also does her make-up softly, truly in a way that enhances her features. And she has an absolute amazing smile. Granted, it’s always hard to tell online, but her skin also looks exquisite. There is another woman that I’m friends with that has an amazing body and curves that any guy would probably die to get his hands on. And yet, another lady that has such a beautiful smile and wonderful teeth that it makes me wish I could show that kind of joy and brightness. I know for a fact I can never meet these levels of beauty.
  • I follow another woman that has amazing fashion sense and I love the outfits she wears and shows off.  Actually, I follow several blogs with women that show various outfits and the dresses I see are absolutely amazing.  Granted, I have worn a dress and skirt from time to time, but I am totally and utterly self-conscious about how I look in beautiful clothes and dresses and shoes.  Sometimes it makes me feel like I just don’t make sense. OMG!  And there is a woman on my local news station that I totally LOVE and totally wish I could dress like her!  I know it’s all for the camera, but she is so beautiful…I’ve literally had dreams where I felt like I WAS her – silly, I know.

There are many others that exemplify some of the qualities I mentioned above – in fact, some are way too numerous to mention….ugh…I could probably spend all day writing about it and it just made me realize how shallow I might be.

Then, I mentioned something I call “attitudinal beauty” and these are the women that treat other people so wonderfully. There are sooo, sooo, sooo many of these wonderful ladies on here that it’s hard to indicate each and every one of them, but some of the qualities that I have noticed are the fact that they are encouraging, accepting, challenging, loving and caring. I have one friend that no matter how negative I feel about myself, she is always willing to help me see something more positive. I have a friend that has offered to have a girls’ night out, if we ever get the chance to meet. And there are a couple of Christian women that don’t judge me, they don’t make me feel bad and are truly loving – although, I’m not what they might expect in another woman, they still treat me like I’m a human being, I love the encouragement I receive from others and I find it wonderful when people offer compliments.  Basically, those girls that focus on treating other people as important, like they matter and do everything they can to make someone feel good is a great example of attitudinal beauty that I believe I already exemplify! ❤

Spiritual Beauty almost seems like an obvious thing, but I think it’s difficult in practice.  I have a follower on here that I absolutely love her spiritual beauty (she demonstrates the other qualities, as well) – she is at peace with herself. To me that is the essence of spiritual beauty and I can’t really put it into words. I’ve also a couple of followers that have expressed desires of prayer for me and demonstrate, through their words and posts an awareness of a Higher Power (or God) and do not express that belief in any negative way. In fact, one is so conscious of how that makes others feel, she doesn’t shove that belief onto anyone else, but she is comfortable in her own beliefs – I love that quality of spirituality. I am comforted to see a lot of women that have found a way to be comfortable with themselves and love themselves. I hope that I can have this level of beauty someday, as well.

I have to be honest with myself, however, the concepts of beauty that I listed present an difficult challenge for me – especially the first one. I find myself, often times, getting frustrated when I think about being pretty or beautiful. I think about the ideal I have on what beauty is and what it would take to achieve that and it would be a massive undertaking and probably change life for, not only myself, but those around me. I’m not sure that sacrifice would help me achieve the other two standards of beauty I have.  Although I appreciate my feminine interior, the reality is that my exterior is a hard shell and way too difficult to change.

But I know, what the author really wants us to achieve – she wants us to achieve Inner Beauty. ❤

BYJ: Day 29 – Speak Positively

This section of my Beautiful You Journal is focused on gossip and the need to change that and speak positively about others in stead of speaking negatively.  Honestly, this is a continuation of Ending the Rivalry that I already addressed, but I like the theme.  The author in the book focused on the idea that a lot of women gain power through gossip (although, I read once that men gossip much more than women), but it’s kind of a false power, I think. The author continues to express that when you speak positively, you are more likely to build a stronger sense of self.

Obviously, this has been difficult for me. I don’t struggle speaking positively about others (although, there are a few people in the world that I find utterly reprehensible), but I struggle finding positivity.  This issue almost strikes the core of who I am in a lot of ways.  Over the past 10 or 15 years, I have been on a negative slide into depression and other negative feelings and emotions.  Granted, I have truly been struggling with it, as most of you know, but I’m trying to keep an open mind. For some reason, however, the word “positive” almost instantly triggers bitterness for me.

It’s something I need to work on, for sure…

Contest Proposal: Help me create a new image!

As you might have noticed, I just changed how my blog looks.  While doing it, I realized that I am not the most creative person in the world, since I am using a random background picture from WordPress.  But it made me wonder if anyone would be interested in helping me on my blog – I’ll create a little contest where people submit images and I select my favorite to use.  As a “prize”, I would invite the winner to re-design my blog and possibly guest blog, as well.

If anyone is interested, please submit a picture that you think would be perfect as the header image on my blog. The picture has to encapsulate me – as complex as I imagine myself to be, embody all of me.  I’ll let the contest tentatively run for the next 48 hours (possibly longer, as I see fit) and then pick the lucky winner.

As I mentioned, I thought this might be a little fun and I encourage submissions to be made to my email: tarnishedsoul72@gmail.com

A couple of stipulations:

  1. It should be your own artistic design – photograph or other imagine
  2. Borrowed images that are photoshopped by you are acceptable (But if there are any copyright issues, I’ll have to remove it)

I’m looking forward to this little fun endeavor.

QFMR: How do you compare yourself to other women (or guys)?

So, I posted, today, about women comparing themselves to other women.  Us women (is it okay that I throw myself into the mix?) do this a lot, I’m afraid. And after seeing a follower’s comment it made me wonder all the different ways we might compare ourselves to other women.

Some of things I compare are:

  • shape of lips
  • bone structure (I really don’t like mine and it’s tough for me)
  • shoes she’s wearing
  • hell, who am I kidding…I look at her entire outfit!
  • my booty (& boobs too)
  • her hair style

Granted, these are probably only a few of the major ones. but it made me think:

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Question For My Readers:

In what ways do you ladies compare yourself to other women?

(Guys can answer for themselves, but this was due to my earlier post)

BYJ: Day 28 – Stop Comparing

I like how this topic is linked to the two previous ones, here and here. The author encouraging the BYJ has linked these three days quite well, which tells me it is something she feels is really important.  So, I’ll listen and follow.  As she discusses this topic, she stresses the important of seeing yourself as a unique woman unlike any other woman and that each woman is unique in her own way – I think this is something we can all agree on, but we all tend to compare ourselves to other woman or what we think is the standard of a woman and emphasizes it when she says, “…the picture perfect life you see on the outside is not reality anyway.” And then she poses a few questions to ask yourself. Here are my responses:

“Who are you comparing yourself to and in what way?”

For me, I tend to compare myself to those women that I believe are feminine, beautiful, exemplify a lady-like persona, and are fiercely sexy. But I compare myself to these women, because, honestly, I was born as a male – and it’s a small example of what I feel I can’t really be.

“What effect is that comparison having on you?”

In short: It makes me hate myself. I feel like I can’t ever measure up to this standard.

“What purpose does the comparison serve?”

Suuure…ask this question AFTER I answered the last one! Honestly, I feel like it gives me an idea of what I should (crap! There’s that word again.  Someday, someone remind me to blog about my relationship with the word “should”) be like, if I were an actual woman.  But the reality is, that is doesn’t serve me well at all.  As I consider my total existence, this comparison does nothing but make me feel bad about myself.

The author then goes on to explain that you should just stop comparing. Sometimes, I struggle with concepts like this, because it’s like, “If I could stop, don’t you think I would?!?!”  Honestly, it’s not like I enjoy being self-degrading…sigh.  But she goes on to explain that going through the steps of figuring out the “Why” of it all is beneficial to see how it doesn’t actually help you at all.  I know this will take work on my part, so I’ll certainly try to do this, because I really do want to feel better about myself.