Embracing the Self

Oh Inner Visionaries, Spring is upon us!

It’s hard to believe. It’s still snowing on the east coast. But here in Oregon, there are cherry blossoms and magnolias and daffodils bursting all around me.

I even started wearing my jean jacket again.

Last week, I decided to have a portrait session, by way of developing my business. For the first time in my life, I was the one being photographed. It’s no secret that I’m terrified in front of the camera. My partner pointed out to me recently that when the lens is pointed in my direction, I stop breathing and freeze into the same expression I’ve been making since middle school. He was right!

One portrait from my recent session. Photo by Mystic Side Media.

I knew it would be a difficult day, but I faced it with courage, and I ended up having a pretty good time (albeit sweating profusely, a byproduct of my nerves).

When I got the photos back, I had to witness the critical voice in my head. The one who tells me I look too old for this. The one who wishes I had worn a different outfit, or dyed my hair. The one who gives away her power to society, or to other people.

I told her that sure, she could have her photos air brushed and cleaned up to look younger or better or brighter. And I told her that instead of going to all that trouble, she is also completely free to be her authentic self; nobody can take that away from her.

My hair, my body, my eyes, the lines on my face—they all tell a story. They are a record of my life. And they are up against a society that tells me they will never be good enough.

But you know what? I am good enough. And I am enough. 

I ended up asking the photographer to edit one gray hair, this one that was taking over the entire rest of the image. But I might just use the original after all.

Because I am getting older. Before I know it, I will be a crone. And I choose to embrace my aging with love. With honor. With integrity. With compassion and joy.

May you do the same.


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