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When your mother says “put some lipstick on”

My energy and focus this week has been on my mother. When I was in Hawaii for 2 months, I received a call from her that her lab results were worrisome. And I am so thankful I am in that place in life where I can simply decide to drive from LA to Vancouver, BC, spend some time with her, and give her some pampering and undivided attention.

Funny enough, this morning, when she was getting ready for her doctor’s appointment, I get the usual mothering: “your coffee is getting cold”, “shouldn’t you be getting ready?”, “aren’t you gonna put make up on?”

I mumbled I don’t need much time to get ready, and I can go “like this”

“Oh no. I want you to look presentable when I introduce you to my doctor. I can’t have you looking older than me.”

Uhm. Mom. Seriously?

Photo by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels

Like wow… the voice in my head that had me questioning my enoughness is back… except it is not in my head… I actually hear her saying the words and she’s actually right in front of me.

And if I haven’t been doing inner work, I could see and could very well justify how I had poorly or brilliantly reacted in the past depending on the mood I was in.

I used to either crack a joke… or be totally crass. My favorite comeback was – “Mom, if I did put lipstick on, could you imagine how many more suitors would line up at the door?”

But there were also times I just did not have it in me to let her comment pass. There was a time I flared up. I was so burnt out and so stressed that I was dying to hear one word of acknowledgment. None came.

I was such in a bad state that I did believe I was not good enough anymore and even questioned if I was ever good enough at all.

But today I smiled. And ever so thankful that I am so much wiser.

I’ve learned that what someone else says could be one of two things, or both:

It’s their projection… of their insecurity, for example . Or,

If there’s that hook, that compelling need to react, justify or defend, it’s an unresolved emotional baggage, a childhood wounding, or a past conditioning. It hurts to hear it said to you because on some level you believe it to be true.

And this is great! To be triggered is a gift. For finally, you can un-suppress the emotions you’ve swept under the rug and just be present with it. It’s an opportunity to let go of the shame and be rid of the lie – the lie that “I’m not good enough”.

This “I’m not good/smart/pretty/rich/tall/thin/sexy enough” is a silent epidemic! And it is the root of worries, fears, anxiety, stress, anger, resentment, judgment. 

It’s the reason you feel so heartbroken and betrayed whenever someone makes a seemingly insensitive, inflammatory comment, or your lover forgets to call, or your mother sides with her favorite son or daughter… 

This “I’m not good enough” comes in a variety of forms such as:

I don’t deserve
I’m not worthy
I have nothing to offer
I always mess things up
I’m no good
I’m a failure
I’m not as good as…

If this resonates, know that it’s a lie you believed as true as a child. It’s a false belief that needs to be challenged, eradicated and rewired. Believe it or not, there’s an ap for that just ask me how.

As for me, I felt no need to hide behind a joke or smart comment, nor come up with some defensive excuse like “putting make up on is a waste of time”, or, “beauty is only skin deep” for neither one was ever true. They were just convenient excuses to keep pissing off my mother and resist doing the very thing she was nagging me to do – put lipstick on! 

Why? Because deep inside, I wanted her to see my value. More than anything, I want to be loved for me, just as I am, flaws and all, no excuses, no apologies, take it or leave it. 

I can’t tell you how much freeing it is to finally not have to defend, avoid, pretend, or even impress my mother. I simply get to be me with no emotional charge or resistance. 

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the meaning of true freedom… freedom to be me… freedom to fully express and experience all of me and all of life… with or without lipstick. I have nothing to prove. I simply am. And what I am is enough. 

And I wish this freedom for you as well. Freedom that comes from deeply knowing YOU ARE ENOUGH. And that no one and nothing can ever diminish your value and worth. Ever. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you would like some support to break free from “I am not enough” so you can take back your power and create the life you deserve and desire, I would love to help. Email me at tess@tessvergara.com