There is a fallacy in our capitalist-driven society that if something is not ‘impressive’ it’s not really worth much – and if it’s not impressive, it should at least be very useful to make up for it.
So for example, if I ask you to think of a woman in her forties or fifties, unmarried and without children, in her kitchen in an old dressing gown what sort of automatic thoughts do you have about her?
Without trying to ‘correct’ your thoughts just see what happens in you. Stop reading for a moment now and observe your thoughts and preconceptions about her there in her kitchen. Do you automatically jump to any conclusions about her happiness? Do you have any unconscious value judgements on her worth and contribution to society? Is she important in your societally-trained assessment?
How do you feel about these thoughts and preconceptions you have?
I find it quite upsetting that a part of me does immediately leap to question her real worth and importance because I deeply KNOW that this is not true or relevant – yet there it is in me.
What if I told you this lady was Shirley Valentine? Would it change how you saw her?
What if I told you it was Oprah?
What if you pictured a man instead?
We are terribly hampered by these skewed views our capitalist society imbues in us. We are trained out of appreciating daily beauty and the direct result of this is our general malaise that all the self-help books try to cure. As a species at this time in history we are generally rather unhappy and discontented. Mostly because we don’t have the latest cell phone and our friends look like they are having a better time on Facebook. We compare ourselves to others who seem to be more ‘impressive’ somehow. There is a terrible pressure to be either impressive or useful – first prize is both.
It’s an addiction, this ‘impressive’ thing and I realise I am right there lapping it up too. A part of me really believes that if I don’t have a LOT of Facebook followers or blog readers or a published book – or whatever else a platform is supposed to look like – then I am not as important as those that do.
Luckily for me I don’t believe the part of me that believes in that.
But sometimes it gets very loud and I find myself trying to banish the fear of being unimportant by seeking ‘impressiveness’. Then I am in danger of doing things from fear rather than from my deep truth – and that never works out well.
We are trained by our society into thinking ‘impressive’ is better but it’s quite irrelevant really. I posted this clip on my Facebook page of celebrities talking about their let-down following fame because they expected it to make them feel better.
Life is an internal experience but that is often overlooked because we think we are performing it for the approval of others. When we are too busy living outside ourselves we can feel very lonely and lost – because no-one is home inside us.
Let’s come home? Let’s be gods and goddesses in our kitchen while shloomping around in our old dressing gowns. No-one else needs to see your glory but you.
Why can’t a goddess be exploring life as a middle-aged, unmarried, childless woman in an old dressing gown in the kitchen? Why is she any less magnificent?
If I want to impress anyone, let it be me. Let me overwhelm myself with glorious attention and care. Let me shower myself with adulation. Let me make myself important to me and see how life feels then.
I can tell you how I feel in the moments I see I am a goddess in my dressing gown. I am HAPPY. I am just being me. I am being ‘unimpressive’ by any measure of society, yet I am undiminished. I know who I am. I care how I feel and I worship my glory as mine and as a reflection of everyone else’s. I celebrate living in a world of unimpressive gods and goddesses in their kitchens in dressing gowns around the world, just going about their business, hearts glowing and loving and caring and creating together this world we live in.
Whatever society may try to preach, I prefer life when I see magnificence in the mundane.
What about you?
Beautiful! Thanks Eilat.
Thanks Katy 🙂
Great insightful article! I wish I knew these things when I was in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, etc. It’s great getting older and being the goddess in my dressing gown! I love schloomping and slurping my tea. I love the me that’s imperfect, as long as I know who I am, and what I am and whatever little I do to help in this world, makes me feel good.
Shelley that’s so great. I can almost taste that tea as I read your comment. I do wish we learned it earlier – life would be so much easier and interesting if we knew that from the start wouldn’t it. Hopefully we can help the next generation remember their glory sooner – by remembering ours.
I loved reading this, thanks 🙂
SO glad Nilly. Thanks for letting me know. It’s nice to hear.