Halloween.... it begins the long slide into the holiday season. Next is Thanksgiving, then comes Christmas and New Years. A lot of opportunities for socializing. This is fun and also terrible for many of my clients and women I know. There will be a lot of food and a lot of dressing up and sometimes a lot of comparisons and fears about how one looks.
I recently had a painful experience with someone whom I love who was really upset about having to go to a party and not feeling attractive. The more I tried to “convince” and talk to this person, the uglier she felt. I felt like I was in a trap. I realized, there is absolutely nothing and no one who could convince this person that she is beautiful. NOBODY. Even a gorgeous man (by her estimation) flirting with her would not change a thing. She would get temporary relief but it would never sink in to the bottomless pit of low self worth she was feeling. (I didn't tap with her as it was not something she would do, unfortunately.) It made me really sad because to say that this was someone I cared about would be a huge understatement.... and then later I felt PISSED OFF. Because you know what I realized? This woman was just like me and so many women I know and work with.
I chose to work with body image, weight, self-worth and healing for women for a very good reason. It is my issue too of course, or has been to some degree or other over my lifetime. Though I feel I am a relatively confident and happy woman and love my body now, I am certainly not perfect, and things come up that trigger me, like this incident.
Healing is like peeling back layers of an onion. We heal many things and we are feeling good and then we get triggered by something and know there is more to clear. Well that is what happened here with me. I was grateful for the opportunity to go deeper into my own healing with this issue. I hope that we can all feel that way when something painful comes up. It's an opportunity for more healing and growth.
Here is a simple process I use for this issue with clients.
The First Step:
Become aware that you are triggered and don't brush it off. Pay attention to what is bothering you about having to get dressed up and socialize. Is it the clothes and how you fit in them? Is it seeing others and knowing they will say something about the way you look? Is there someone you judge yourself against? Do you wish you were taller, shorter, smaller, bigger (yes, that happens a lot too!), had different features, hair, etc. Be honest, and maybe write it out in a journal to tap on when you have time and space to address it fully.
The recent example from my experience: I was triggered by what my close friend was saying, how ugly and unattractive she felt and that she would never be the “ideal” woman next to all these model type girlfriends she had. She almost didn't even want to go to the party at all... My first reaction was to justify, explain away how “wrong” that feeling was. Didn't she know that nobody is the “ideal” woman and images in our society have changed so drastically over the years? I went into my body image rant about size and beauty and cultural ideals over the ages.
However, none of this intellectual explanation really touched the issue at all, of course. I also realized that I felt bad about how I feel I am not measuring up too. I couldn't pretend that I wasn't having a reaction in that moment. I felt bad about myself next to those women too.... sad but true. I am deeply aware of the cultural norms and standards and how ridiculous they are, still hurts, ouch. One more layer to peel back of healing. Good to know!
The Second Step:
Release the beliefs and pain of them. Do not skip this step please. I think sometimes we get intimidated by our beliefs and emotions thinking this one is “the big one” I'll never be able to change it...
No. Not possible.
One thing that I have learned in all the years of doing this work is that any belief that isn't total love and acceptance for ourselves- no really- is simply false.
So please give yourself a chance and use any and all techniques, especially tapping of course to begin to address your beliefs around attractiveness and beauty.
Tapping For Feeling Beautiful:
1. Start with how you really feel about the way you look. Say whatever you need to, get it all out. Write it down if need be and tap on each feeling it piece by piece. Examples:
Tap on the side of the hand and repeat 3 times whatever the predominant feelings are:
Even though I feel unattractive right now... I love and accept myself”
“Even though I feel awful when I compare myself to others.... I choose to love, accept and forgive myself now”
“Even though I still feel unattractive deep down and like I'm not pretty enough... I should look like..xyz.. I choose to fully and completely love, accept and forgive myself.”
Through the points on the body:
I'm not pretty enough.
I'll never look like those women (you can insert whoever it is that you judge yourself against).
I'm not xyz enough (tall enough, short enough, thin enough, you name it).
I'll never be the right size or shape.
Repeat all of the things that you find yourself feeling about the way you look. Be specific with it.
I recommend doing several rounds of tapping through the points until you feel some release or it brings up a very specific incident for you where you felt unattractive when you were much younger. That is what you want to tap on next.
While I was tapping I recalled a locker room incident that literally ruined sports for me I think when I was younger. I developed early and was the only person I knew with dark skin. I felt like I looked so different and of course, weirder than anyone else. Kids. We judge ourselves against our peers but we often retain the wounds of those beliefs into adulthood even though our adult minds know better. Our hearts and subconscious minds don't. That is why all the intellectual reasons we give ourselves why we should “know better” don't work. We have to pull out those thorns that still make us hurt deep down.
Tapping on the memory of feeling unattractive that came up:
On the side of the hand:
Even though I remember feeling like a freak in the locker room in 8th grade, being so much more developed than the other girls and looking so different from them anyway and being sensitive about that already... I deeply and completely love, accept and forgive myself for taking on this hatred and shame”
Through the points I simply tapped on all of the different parts to the memory:
I felt so freakish.
I developed early and felt so embarrassed.
I was too different.
I had dark skin and totally different features to begin with.
I hated being different.
I hated being so much bigger than them.
I was like an adult and had to hide that.
I hated it.
I was so ashamed.
Why did I have to stand out so much?
Why wasn't I like them?
Once I could feel myself getting a lot of emotional distance from it I tapped in some positive beliefs:
I love and accept myself as I am.
I'm just right, right now
I love myself, I'm a child of the divine.
I am beautiful just as I am.
I love my skin.
I love my voluptuous body.
I am special and unique.
I love being my beautiful and unique self.
I'm blessed and lucky to be me.
There will never be another me, ever in all of creation.
For good measure I tapped on all the things I love about myself. I recommend doing that as well. Go crazy. Are you a good cook? Do your friends love to talk to you and say you are kind and loving? Do you love your hands? Your eyes?
This one cleared pretty quickly for me and left me truly believing what my intellect was saying again about beauty.
I have done this exact same process with so many of my clients now that it is truly amazing. I wonder sometimes if any of us escaped our childhood and teen years feeling acceptable?
It's not real, this whole beauty thing. It truly is in our heads and hearts.
Let's let compassion begin with ourselves.
The Dalai Lama says: “The world will be saved by the Western Woman.”
I believe that we save the world truly when we save ourselves. Let the war with our bodies end now and let's get on with spreading the love and compassion that we are all meant to share.
Blessings my beautiful sisters,
San Francisco, California, US
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on December 17, 2011.