See Me Beautiful, an excerpt

I’ve been revising an earlier book for re-release in July.  See Me Beautiful is filled with techniques to take your strength by growing yourself up.  Let me know what you think.

See Me Beautiful

In the early eighties when I first began trying to “grow myself up” with this method, I went to a friend’s house one night for supper. Diane was excited and elated because her daughter had just gotten her first period. She’d bought her girl a beautiful present and was planning a nice dinner celebration.

I was brought up in a strict Catholic home where we simply didn’t (couldn’t?) talk about such matters in public, and just being with Diane and her daughter made all kinds of uncomfortable things rise up in me. Later that night, I was driving home somewhat stunned by the emotions this had triggered within me. When I got home I sat down in a chair and asked myself, “How old am I?”

Images rose up from far back in my memory, of a young shy fifth grader (yes, the flute player) getting breasts, getting teased, no help from mom, of mean boys snapping bra straps, of a sadistic gym teacher who made menstruating girls go to study hall instead of swimming and that study hall where cruel boys knew exactly why you were there.

It was quite a collection of memories relating to accepting my early female development, my blossoming young self.  It was painful. I had to force myself to sit in that chair and review each memory as it came up. I had to stay my right age. In this instance, because there were so many of those young, shy girls, I decided to try a group approach. I made a movie of my adult womanly self walking down a forested, country road. The shadows in the trees were thick and the branches hung down over the road. I (my adult self) was on the road alone, but I sensed the shy girls were off in the woods not far away but were too scared to come out. I called to them, told them they were safe now and nobody would make fun of them again. I would care for them from now on.

It was so beautiful to see these blonde, awkward, beautiful young girls attached to all of my painful memories about becoming a woman emerging from the shadowy forest. One by one, I comforted them and asked them to walk with me now, that I would be in charge of their care. By the time I finished that walk down a wooded road, I must have had a dozen young girls with me—and there were big tears of relief rolling down my very adult cheeks.

Some deep wound was now covered, stitched together, and corrected. Again, I can’t exactly explain why this works, but I do know that it does work. Put it to the test. Bring those shy, blushing selves forward and take gentle care of them.


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