#TBT: 8 Takeaways after 8 Weeks Without Makeup
MAKEUP HAS NOT TOUCHED MY FACE FOR 60 DAYS. THAT'S 8 WEEKS. THAT'S 2 MONTHS.
But who's counting? 😜
No really. At this point, what is makeup? forreal though, I barely even recognize the girl from my original #FlawsAndAll post who said:
Can we say "Growth?"
and that was the whole point - to force myself to feel temporary discomfort in hopes that it would lead to a greater level of contentment and self-acceptance.
so here i am, so in love with my bare face. But it took this long. It's been so worth it though. My #FlawsAndAll challenge was just the beginning of this insanely transformative spiritual journey i'm on. going make-up free has encouraged me to pursue #Project333 as a means to care less about what i wear every day, it has inspired me to take the nail polish off and let my natural nails grow and flourish, and it has motivated me to let the curls loose and not apply any heat to my hair. i want my body and mind to be at rest this month, and i finally want to accept myself at my most natural state.
HERE ARE 8 OBSERVATIONS FROM THE PAST 8 WEEKS WITHOUT MAKEUP:
1- I NEEDED THIS CHALLENGE MORE THAN I THOUGHT
I knew I needed to do this in order to truly get to the bottom of my preoccupation with image, but i had no idea the magnitude of this obsession until I was deep into my challenge. i think sometimes, our thoughts and inclinations are so extreme, but we don't realize it because they are often reinforced and perpetuated by the people around us and the media. sometimes, we need to go to the entire other extreme in order to truly find a balance. that's why i've been doing all of these counter-cultural challenges, like #project333, laying off the nail polish, and keeping my hair naturally curly. I want to be all natural until i can get to the bottom of my unhealthy thought patterns and reverse them. only after i've reversed them will i resort back to anything unnatural (in moderation).
2- GOING WITHOUT MAKE-UP IS A CONSTANT "AS YOU ARE" AFFIRMATION
when i first read the poem above, i was brought to tears. at the time, i felt like i was never good enough for god. deep down inside, this meant i never felt good enough to achieve all i was achieving or be who i wanted to be. i was so hard on myself but i always called it ambition: "i'll be satisfied when i do this, or after i do this, or as soon as blah." don't get me wrong, ambition is an amazing quality, but it can also be dangerous if your journey towards whatever destination isn't coupled with self-acceptance, love and a greater purpose. i have so many lofty goals, but this #flawsandall challenge has helped me remember that i'm still beautiful, powerful and worthy as I am, even AND ESPECIALLY as i still work towARDS REACHING THESE DESTINATIONS. EVERY DAY IS A REMINDER OF THIS: i WAKE UP, shower, wash my face, brush my teeth, throw on some combo of my 33 garments of clothing (lol) and leave. as i am. every day, i am reminded that i'm good enough as i am. all that extra stuff i used to do is great. i'm sure i'll welcome those additions into my lifestyle somewhere down the line, but they are extra. i don't need them to be beautiful, powerful and whole. I AM ALL OF THOSE THINGS AND MORE, as i am.
3- I GET IN MY OWN WAY A LOT
i realize now that i was getting in my own way a lot. i was always in my own head telling myself that i wasn't good enough. what's more frustrating is that i was trying to be in everyone else's heads, predicting what they were thinking or feeling about me. who has time for any of that? clearly i was spending time that i don't have. this challenge has helped me focus my time and energy on more important things, like my future goals, my mental health, this platform, making sure the voice in my head and my relationships with people i love are strictly positive. it has helped me get out of my own way with unnecessary, self-deprecating thoughts. i realized that whether good or unideal things were happening to me, my self-talk was always reinforcing this idea that i wasn't good enough or worthy enough. going makeup free and realizing it wasn't as scary as i thought it would be made me CERTAIN THAT i need to continue getting out of my own way (and letting myself fly) in other areas of my life. yes, it's really that deep.
4- I FEEL CLOSER TO GOD
i really do FEEL CLOSER TO GOD. again, it really is that deep. i feel like i am answering to something and someone way greater than me with all of these challenges i've been taking on. like i'm being pulled in a direction i'm not ready for, and god is giving me the strength to stay the course and ultimately become victorious. when my father first passed away, i kind of started doing this whole "natural" thing in my own way. i dyed my hair back to its natural color and i took out 90% of the piercings i had. i just wanted to feel like the old me again - the powerful, intrinsically motivated, self-assured me that my dad always knew i could be. if i was really honest though, i was doing it for my dad, hoping that his soul rested easier knowing i was really back FOR GOOD. this is so different though. i feel like i'm doing it for me, because this is who i'm being called on to be. I AM ACTUALLY STARTING TO SEE MYSELF THROUGH GOD'S EYES, AND IT'S THE MOST SIMULTANEOUSLY HUMBLING AND EMPOWERING FEELING I'VE EVER FELT.
5- PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME SUPPORT ME SO MUCH
this challenge has helped me see just how loving and encouraging my support system is. the people i love are so proud of me and they keep encouraging me to reach new heights with all that i've been doing. i am so eternally grateful that i have people around me that try to understand even when they don't truly understand. i know if i ever thought of faltering on these challenges or going back on my word, the people in my corner would push me back in the ring and tell me to keep going. THAT'S WHO I NEED AROUND ME. the internal work i've been doing has helped me shape my reality in ways i could have never imagined. not only has this helped me strengthen my relationships, but it has helped me attract people who are equally committed to their purpose and truth. it's been so awesome. if you don't have one already, get you a positive support system.
6- NO MORE INSECURE THOUGHTS ABOUT MY FACE
i wish i found a way to calculate the amount of insecure thoughts i would have about my face whenever i was in a face-to-face conversation with someone. it would be something like 7.8 per minute or something. my point is, i wasn't even able to be present in my conversations with people because i would be wondering if they were staring at my blackhead or if my blush was on too strong or if i'd applied my foundation evenly. even the "good" thoughts were distracting: "are they looking at my lashes - i know they look extra long today;" "i bet you they like how red lipstick looks on me." these are still insecure thoughts. who cares?! lol. i'm actually laughing at myself. what about what we're talking about? what point i want to get accross? now that i'm two-months in, i am so able to focus on these conversations, and i almost never think about what my face does or doesn't look like.
7- PART OF MY PURPOSE/CALLING IS TO EMPOWER WOMEN
as i mentioned earlier, this challenge has brought me closer to god, and therefore to my overall purpose and calling. i am realizing that i always thought about my purpose in a one-way fashion: "what am i passionate enough about to devote my entire life to?" now i realize, there is way more to it. in addition to what i'm passionate about, i've realized i need to also be asking myself: "what gifts and talents has god blessed me with, and what am i uniquely positioned to give to this world?" the responses i've received from these challenges haVE helped me realize that i am uniquely positioned to help other women practice self-love and self-acceptance. i am so grateful for this lesson because it has helped me see that part of my life's purpose will undoubtedly be to support other women in their journeys towards becoming their best, most whole selves.
8- I AM BECOMING THE WOMAN I HAVE ALWAYS LOOKED UP TO
when i was 17, i wrote a journal entry to my 22 year old self, calling her my role model. i think i have always looked at my current self through the lens of "who i'm becoming," and this vivid image of the woman i know i can be has always inspired me. this is true more than ever today. i am becoming the woman i have always looked up to, and i know once i get "there," there will be a new "there" to aspire to. but i think what's more important than my obsession with constant progress is that, this time, i am reaching a level of internal contentment, peace and wholeness. i was so busy looking ahead at where i want to go, that i forgot to look within at how i wanted to be feeling throughout. this make-up challenge was truly a small but mighty step in focusing my efforts internally and recognizing that the keys to true success and happiness lie within.
AND DID I MENTION THAT BIG SIS ALICIA IS PROUD OF ME?
more importantly, i'm proud of me. i actually think i'm going to keep the "no makeup" thing going as my natural state of things, AND I'LL PUT MAKEUP ON AS A RARE OCCASIONAL THING. i love that i feel free ENOUGH TO DO THIS, INSTEAD OF FEELING COMPELLED TO LOOK A CERTAIN WAY. i love that i can shave an extra 20ish minutes off my routine, AND GO BACK TO SLEEP LOL. and MOSTLY, i love that i accept myself as i am.
do you accept yourself as you are?
if your answer is no, i could try to reassure you of your beauty, your strength, your power, your grace, your worth. but i won't do that. not because it's not true, but because i know that what you believe about yourself is most important. that definitely was/is the case for me.
instead, i'll tell you this, my love:
YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO CHANGE YOUR REALITY RIGHT NOW BY DOING THE INTERNAL WORK NECESSARY TO LOVE YOURSELF, AS YOU ARE.