A few months ago I was inspired to style a fashion editorial with primarily second hand and vintage items because not only does it create a very unique look, but it is also a step in the right direction to minimize the demand for new things to be made. If you have not watched the documentary The True Cost, I greatly encourage you to check it out and see where you could make some changes to lessen the detrimental impact that our unchecked consumerism has on our environment and our fellow human beings. You can watch the trailer HERE.
But outside of how much fun I had scouting through The Kind Exchange and Value Village (finding a spectacular fall trench for only $25 and a handmade leather bag for $10), the idea for this post slowly began to take on a deeper meaning when I came up with the title: Someone Else’s Treasure.
Sometimes we begin to forget our own worth and settle for less than what we want because we have stayed too long in an environment that does not ignite our deepest happiness. Whether that comes in the form of relationships, a work environment or even habits that no longer serve us, the longer we allow ourselves to stay captive in these bonds, the more we begin to believe that we are less than what we truly are and that this is as good as it gets.
We live in a very fear based society that thrives on our consumerism by making us feel we need a never ending amount of things and experiences to be our best selves, to be accepted, to be whole. Negativity, shame, guilt and worst case scenarios are the overplayed record that keeps people in line to act in a way that is considered to be a ‘successful’ human being. We are so averse to making mistakes that we would rather stay where we are, even if it’s terrible, than take a chance on something where we have no idea how it will end up.
When we stay in those internal and external environments where we ourselves begin to believe we are less than, the world will only continue to mirror that belief back to us. We have to begin to see the connection of how we create from the inside out. What we believe about ourselves and the world, what we take on from other people, what experiences we allow to affect us at a core level, all shape the reality that we now inhibit.
Just because a significant other or your boss or your parents do not see you for all you truly are, does not mean you have to dim your light and your experience in this life. People who are emotionally or physically abusive to others are suffering at a very deep level themselves which they then project because they are not yet willing to take responsibility for their inner being. Know that while you can have compassion for these people and the challenges they have faced, you have a primary responsibility to yourself to take care of your emotional, mental and physical health. Everything else is secondary.
Sometimes that means creating space or completely severing the bonds you have to specific people, environments or your own beliefs. Be very honest with yourself of why you choose to hold on to these circumstances. There is always something you can do to change your experience of life, whether it is going down a different path or just choosing to look at a matter of fact situation from a new perspective.
Everyone places different meaning to words, but I do not believe it is ever that helpful to see yourself as a victim in any circumstance of life. The term takes on the connotation of powerlessness and fear and those are not attributes that I would prefer to build my life around. It is natural and necessary to allow ourselves to fully feel and accept whatever emotions life brings up within us, but at the same time I don’t think our emotions should ever be something we build a sense of identity with.
Emotions are meant to pass through us as quickly as they come. The more we resist or cling to the experiences that brought us some form of pain, the harder it is for us to detach from that place. When we repeatedly call ourselves a victim and continue to focus on pain and resentment, we amplify that experience.
I am not saying that is always a simple pivot of mindset to free ourselves from events of the past or the discomfort of our current situation, but if we can truly recognize that there is life and beauty and happiness and peace beyond what we’ve ever experienced, we can then begin to take one step at a time towards a better feeling place.
There are people out there who will truly love and accept you as you are.
You do have something incredible to contribute to the world.
It is possible to feel ‘good’ and ‘happy’ the majority of the time.
You do not have to let the experiences and pain and suffering of others make you believe that the world is a terrifying place and that you are a selfish person in asking and looking for more, for better.
These beliefs may feel very foreign for some people because they have been living in a certain way for a very long time. Just like you didn’t reach where you are now overnight, it is unlikely (though possible) you will be able to just flip a switch and be perfectly fixated in its opposite. It will take time and new action to rewire how you respond to life and begin to attract the people and circumstances that are better suited to what you truly want.
Being more gentle and kind to yourself is the fastest way to move yourself into a better feeling life. If you are not being loving to yourself, then how can you expect anyone else to?
It is not just a nice sounding thing to say:
“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World”
It is a perspective that can completely transform your world, but in order to utilize it properly, you have to begin that change with how you relate to yourself. There is someone out there who will love you and treasure you more than you can probably believe is possible, but you will never meet them or be able to hold onto them if you do not see the beauty in yourself.
Just like the clothes that we hang in the back of our closets that we never wear but continue to hold on to, there is someone out there who would truly appreciate and love wearing them. When something no longer suits who we are, it is time to let it go. And just like those clothes, we cannot allow ourselves to continue to be overlooked and feel less than because someone did not appreciate us in the way we had hoped.
In spite of what we may sometimes hear in the world, there is nothing we need to do or be to deserve this life. Our existence already proves our worthiness.
Be kind to yourself, appreciate the past for the lessons it has taught you, but know that the present moment is truly your place of power to make significant change. It is not lost in the past or the future, it is all happening right now within you and you get to choose your next move. Appreciate what you already have in your life and it will begin to grow. Focus on what you want and take steps everyday to move closer to it.
It is never too early or too late to be all you are. Just because those around you right now may not see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. You owe it to yourself and the sheer miracle that you are even having this experience, that you treasure this life for all it is.
Amazing photography by Fiona Hua: https://www.instagram.com/fiona_hua_photography/
All my love,
Alina Mcleod xo