The title of this post is my snarky remark for whenever someone calls me fat or anything other than “angel”. LOL! But, seriously, people. This is no joke. Being called names or being teased really sucks. I have been compelled to use this snarky line (or similar variations of it) at different times in my life. I really dislike having to come out swinging at people, but it turns out that I’m genetically incapable of putting up with other people’s poor behaviors. I have been this way much of my life. So, swing at them I do, but only when I have been attacked first.
For example, once, when standing in line at a fast-food place where I was, incidentally, not getting a meal for myself (because I don’t eat fast-food), but simply grabbing a milk shake for my daughter, some lady whispered to her friend behind me: “She might try eating something other than this food to lose all that weight.” I turned around, looked the woman square in the eye and said “Oh, because I’m fat and in line here, you automatically know what my entire story, is? You know what I’m all about based on what you see with your eyes? How interesting! Just so you know, and will maybe think twice about ever saying something like this about another human being ever again, I don’t eat this kind of food, because I love my body. This food is beneath me. My body deserves better. But, the best part is that I also happen to have a beautiful soul, which is more than I can say for you.” She stood there with her mouth open and a violent flush spreading across her cheeks. He friend looked completely mortified, too. I had said my peace, so I turned around and went about my business.
Luckily, I’ve been blessed with intelligence and a strong sense of self. Plus, it also helps that I have enough chutzpah to verbally spar with any foe and I almost always prevail. I have no problem telling another person to “sod-off” when they have crossed a line with me, but many, many other people are not as lucky or as feisty, nor are they as secure and able to stand up for themselves. Besides, it took me years to get here.
Being called names or teased because of a condition, regardless of what that condition is, just sucks. Whether you are fat, thin, of color, bi-racial, or have some physical or behavioral impediment, being called names or being harassed verbally or physically because of who we are or how we act damages people’s psyches. We have no idea what other people’s realities are, but because we witness them, we see them with this condition, we think that we know all about them. It’s not at all true.
For all that lady knew, I could have had been on a medicine that made me gain weight or I could have gotten gastric by-pass surgery and was on my way down from weighing over 400 pounds. Just because we can see something doesn’t mean we understand it. We only understand the world by our own neuroses and childhood programming anyway. She saw what she saw based on who she is, not based on my actual reality. But, because I’m a tough broad and stupidity must be vanquished at all turns, I just had to correct her.
The thing is: what I really want is to be so secure, so sure of myself, so at peace with myself that I never have to say anything. Wouldn’t that be the truest measure of my self-esteem and my self-acceptance? Wouldn’t merely accepting other people and their expressions, no matter what they do or say, and remaining in my happy center despite other people’s behaviors, be the real measure of self realization?
I would love to be able to field a comment like that and never, ever move from the center of myself. I would love to simply understand it for what it is, her truth, not mine. I would love to handle it with love. I would love to be so secure and so at peace that I could accept another’s criticisms as “their truth” and not take it on or attach to it. So, while I have managed to get really far in the “loving myself” department, I am not there yet. I have a long way to go. For, whenever I push against another person, regardless of circumstances, it indicates more lessons are in store for me. It indicates that I need to go deeper, learn to love myself and by turn, the world, more.
What about you? What do you all think? Feel free to share your thoughts here. : )