Thursday, June 12, 2014

Go-to-Gay: Words won't bring us down

Introduction by Melissa Amster

Last fall, when Jennifer Tress visited CLC, I talked about my crazy curly hair, which made me an easy target for bullying. Aside from that, I wore my heart on my sleeve and made it easy for people to say mean things to me. It sure didn't make the awkward years of junior high and high school very easy for me in return. However, over time I started to appreciate my looks. My nose that my mom wanted me to have fixed adds character to my face and I can't imagine changing it now. And yes, I still have bad hair days where I wish I could be as brave as one of my friends and just take scissors and do what I want with them. (I have a feeling I'd regret that later!) However, I have embraced my curls for what they're worth and I live in a community where no one questions if I choose to wear a hat or scarf to keep them under control!

It would have been nice to have Gary around during my pre-teen and teen years. I looked to straight guys to validate my appearance, but gay guys tell it like it is without any hidden agenda. (At least that's the case with my gay friend who would rip on my clothes because his honesty meant that when he did give approval, it would mean more. And yes, I'm still close with this friend.)

Inner Divas

Ugly | Define Ugly at
very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance. 2. disagreeable; unpleasant; objectionable: ugly tricks; ...

Urban Dictionary: ugly
A word used by arrogant a$$holes to make them seem like they are the most beautiful person ever and the person that they are calling "ugly" as a lower life form.

Negative people using negative words are nothing but unhappy control freaks! It is a way to control, hold power over you and fill the void in their own lives. I have worked my whole life to feel self love, acceptance and to be confident about the person I am. The mind, body and spirit of me, my entire being. For years I was shy and didn’t fit in because I didn’t allow myself. I didn’t allow myself because I had let someone have my own power. While seeking acceptance from others along the way I had let go of me. I was wanting and needing validation that I should have been giving myself. I was looking and wanting something from the wrong people. I had surrounded myself with people who wanted to hold me back to put me down so they could stroke their own ego. So many hours of my time were given to worrying about them, about what they think, was I good enough, will I ever be good enough, how can I make them happy. I now know the difference and surround myself with people that love, respect and honor my relationship with them. None of us have to be perfect, we don’t always have to be this shining bright light . When we are down they are there and when life is great they are there, too. No where along the road do they pass judgment. I love the old quote, “A friend is someone who knows you are not perfect, but treats you as if you were.”

I was having breakfast today with a friend who is beautiful on the inside and out, a very intelligent person full of acceptance and compassion. In a conversation she had stated that she was ugly. I was shocked, beyond shocked. I was so far taken back by what she had said. Here I am talking to her as her beautiful curly red hair blew in the wind and then gently lay by her light porcelain skin. Skin and hair some would kill for. I said, “You are beautiful on the inside and out. You don’t really think you are ugly?” She said, “I was told this when I was young, so it is what it is.” Somewhere along the way my friend had given away her own power, her own soul and beauty. The person who took it has not knowledge they even did. Today I hope and pray that I helped her get it back, fill the inner void of loving yourself mind, body and soul. To be able to let the beauty that I see and so many see in her shine.

So the bottom line is simple: Surround yourself with people that will nurture you, love you and respect you! None of us are perfect, none of us are flawless. We are all unique individuals. So let’s all let ourselves shine. Not for anyone else, not to impress, entice or seduce. Not for approval of any kind. Be unique, be bright, and be happy. I look at my clothes and exterior like I do my house. I want it to feel warm, fun and a little quirky, too. We all have our own sense of style, our own drag! Respect yourself, take care of yourself, be true to yourself and never give away your energy and love to a person who can’t give back! Those are the people that are UGLY, and what an UGLY way to live!

I would love to hear your stories of how you stay true to yourself and how you have reclaimed your inner diva when someone robbed you from being genuine and true to yourself.

Gary Edwards is the marketing and events manager for bestselling author Wade Rouse. Edwards arranges Rouse’s tour schedule, speaking engagements as well as coordinates and facilitates his writing workshops and retreats.  Additionally, Edwards has helped market and promote all five of Rouse’s books. Edwards also has a background in hospitality, and sales as well as design. 

With his vast professional back and a love to listen and help friends he is a perfect storm of love and nurture. Edwards is Martha Stewart meets Dear Abby with a dash of Mrs. Doubtfire.  For more, please friend him on Facebook and Twitter.


Janine said...

I still have trouble finding my inner diva. She came out when I had lost a lot of weight and felt good about myself. I was one of those kids picked on for almost everything when I was growing up. The main one the way I looked. My parents didn't buy the in style clothes the other kids had. We didn't have fancy haircuts (and unfortunately, didn't wash our hair enough). I guess personal grooming wasn't important to my parents who believed a Sunday night bath was all you needed. I was also the asthmatic kid who couldn't participate in gym activities, so I sat alone watching everyone else having fun. Needless to say, I didn't have many friends. The ones I did have, I probably held too tight and they eventually found others less clingy friends.

Gary Ross Edwards -Art-Home-Garden said...

Janine :)
I am sending you a big hug and a smile! Treat yourself to something special today. Take time for you! Honor yourself and stay brave!


How are you now?

Gary :)

Janine said...

Thanks Gary! I have learned to accept who I am these days. I have a couple close friends and some great online friends. I'm still a bit of a homebody, but I spend time with a cat rescue and it has helped me with socializing more. I find myself talking a lot to strangers because we have cat love in common. I outgrew the asthma and wear better clothes these days. And, of course I stay clean. Very clean. I don't even like to sweat. LOL! Hugs back to you too.

Leah said...

You have such a beautiful soul! Just beautiful!
I grew up feeling very plain and ugly-partly because of childhood trauma, and because I tried hard to look ugly so it would stop, thinking my looks somehow caused it.. Eventually, I practiced ugly so long, I began to believe it.
Now, I feel beautiful. I accomplished this by giving back to those who need me to support them in the way that I needed support as a kid.
When our hearts are happy, our beauty shows on the outside too!

Anonymous said...

When I was young, I was the kid with the short pants, crazy hair, and birth control glasses that people liked to make fun of. As I got older, the occasional compliment or good hair day didn't change my self-perception - it simply meant I'd found a few sporadically successful tricks for masking my ugliness. I did my best to be invisible, or to wear ugliness like armor.

A few days ago, a lovely human being picked up on this and asked me about it. This has happened before, and in the past I've always made polite conversation, felt like a failure for not being able to rise above it all, or attributed the person's pleasantries to how nice they were (nothing to do with me or my worthiness).

But this human being said something new and surprising. "Is this still happening?" he said.

And I thought about it. I tried to remember the last time someone ridiculed me as ugly. A light bulb went on. I was 14 years old then. And that was 28 years ago.

The only place that painful humiliation is still happening is in my head. For going on three unnecessary decades now.

In that moment, a space opened up that had never existed before. I considered that I have been making up that I am ugly, and then living like it's true. I realized I have no idea who or what I really am, and that I now have the opportunity to discover that - or, even better, create it.

Thank you, lovely human being. From the bottom of my heart <3

Unknown said...

I had always hated my body even though I was very thin as a young girl. Oh and that hair!!!! Talk about ugly school pictures! Gaining weight during puberty didn't help matters. I was always so very shy while growing up as well. The only real friends I had were in the pages of a book. Although there was a girl down the street that I would hang out with once in a while. One day I walked to her house and just before I knocked I heard them talking about me, her, her mom and sister. I heard her say, "Molly is as fat as a cow." I was shocked and turned around and I left without knocking, never telling anyone till now. In high school I did lose weight but I was still very shy. Then at 17 I had my first baby and was married. 5 children and 16 years of my life I found myself alone raising them. As my marriage fell apart the weight came back. And as age progressed, more has come and it has been so hard to rid myself of this "ugly" stuff I carry around every day. Mirrors? No way, I hate them. I have tried diet pills, diets, exercise .... then I give up as I don't see the progress I expect. I still feel people look at the fat me and don't want to be friends. Sometimes maybe I try to hard to be friends and push them away. I love with my whole heart and would do anything for anyone.
So where is my Diva??? I'm still waiting. Although lately I've started thinking of my age, I'm getting old, will I ever find her? I hope so, I'm not going to give up!