I have just picked up the book the The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. In the book, he explains that through the exchange of words, images and actions, we make subtle agreements with whatever we allow into our minds.
If we passively allow others’ opinions, beliefs and imagery into our minds and hearts without examining if they resonate as true within ourselves, we are by default in agreement with them. That really struck me as true. I reflected on a conversation I had with a close friend of mine and I realized how destructive these agreements–made passively–can be. My close friend is a beautiful hue of chocolate brown, she comes from a family who possesses skin that is damn near flawless, accentuated by rows of straight, white, teeth. She is not thin but her figure is generous where it needs to be. She has recently started on her natural hair journey so her course, reddish brown hair is still fairly short and at times her hair feels like a bushed labyrinth–she gets lost, frustrated, tired but she keeps trying different directions until she is successful. Nonetheless, she expressed her feelings of alienation from the loosely curly-haired, light-skinned, thin women who are the prototype of beauty. I reflected on my own ideals. I too am guilty of subtly agreeing with things that after some introspection I know wholeheartedly are destructive and just plain wrong. We along with so many others have passively agreed within our hearts and minds with the falsehoods and distortions of America’s standards of beauty.
As hard as it may seem, the only remedy is to deliberately re-examine our perceptions of beauty. Re-examine what makes us feel pretty, sexy, desirable, acceptable-lovable. Do we truly agree with those standards? Are they reflective of our true identities? If not, let’s begin with those old agreements that cause alienation, dissatisfaction, loneliness, low esteem, unworthiness and conflict and replace them with agreements of self love, acceptance, confidence, pride and appreciation.
|Easier said than done but we must begin this difficult work of re-creating agreements that reflect the wide, varied spectrum of beauty, that is us, that God intended, for the sake of our daughters and sons.The work begins in our words. “Keep your word impeccable”. No longer will I allow myself to repeat in my head or aloud “My curl is not loose enough” “My hair is not long enough”, “I am no longer appealing because of my stretch marks” (I don’t want to go into the ridiculous self- loathing that can go on in my head lol) instead it will be words of beauty that my heart knows is true. “My hair is perfect the texture that it is and I wouldn’t change it for any other”. “My hair is not long but my value is not any less than another with longer hair and I will take care of it”. “My body is beautiful, strong and giving and I will nurture it”. Let’s rewire our thinking of what beauty is so that it can be appreciated by all and most importantly all can be appreciated.|