08 August 2009

deep breath...

first of all, i have not lost my mind~

akilah at execumama issued a challenge, a challenge to speak about the things you love about yourself... maybe you should meet her and read about her challenge before going on ahead here... my initial response for her was, 'good for you! you are all of those things and should be proud and pleased that they are all facets of your Self'... but when faced with doing it for me, i faltered... as she says, words like arrogance, narcissism and gloating begin to swirl about your head... we are hard on ourselves - doesn't mean it's not ok to work on things, or find areas you would like to expand upon or improve - i am talking about the not-even-being-your-own-friend kind of hard... we need to remind ourselves of the good in us and what we bring to the world's table...

sometimes i cannot get over how the universe works... i have 2 pieces that have been accepted for publication... but they want a picture - of me... and that has held me up... when i read akilah's post the other night, i decided enough was enough... how could i hold myself up at this opportunity just because i wasn't a beauty queen?

so the first part of this was a revealing of the physical self - at the end of the day, no make-up and not a hair day... just me...

i found some quotes that reinforce the wisdom of my execumama friend...

'self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.'
-william shakespeare

'don't forget to love yourself.'
- soren kierkegaard

i love (heart pounding) my green eyes... okay that one was easy because i just came assembled that way...

i love that i am named after my grandmother... my given name is mary jane... i became maire, because she called me that (she didn't like me being called mj jr, my grandparents believed in the uniqueness of each child)... but the spelling became an issue... my 7-yr-old Self was not content to have it spelled 'mare' because that was a female horse, and i did not want to be associated with the rhyme 'the old grey mare she ain't what she used to be...' i am grateful to the little girl who foresaw that and came up with a solution... and for all of the understandable times that people think i am marie, i am completely ok with that...

i love that i am able to maintain my composure under the most difficult of circumstances - i pass maya angelou's test of how people handle a rainy day, lost luggage, & tangled christmas tree lights... for example - a couple of years ago, at 10 pm while my daughter was finishing an extensive project of making a 17th century diary using candles, calligraphy ink in a bottle and a quill, our kitten jumped up onto the table, sliding across all of the laid out papers and supplies, sending blue/black ink flying everywhere... as my daughter was in hysterics, i was telling her that the woman back then could have spilled her ink one night, not to worry, it would look more human, less perfect... wouldn't you know, there was not one drop of unwanted ink on her tea-stained pages, but her face and arms were covered... she proudly wore her ink stains to school the next day...

i love that people find it easy to confide in me... i don't know why, but it happens... i don't always even really know them... maybe they just need someone who can listen patiently... so i guess i love the fact that i am able to listen...

i love that i am a detail-oriented person who can see the big picture or a big-picture person who can attend to details... this was a little revelation for me the other day... you know how you kind of try to figure out what kind of a person you are, in different ways? as i child i would make dioramas and houses, not for dolls but just because... i would use anything i could find around the house to make tiny little pieces of furniture, phones, decor... it would absorb me for hours, days... the greater scheme began to develop later on... big picture, detail-oriented, either, or... i am both... i am also a libra so maybe that explains it... but it helps me with my appreciation of art and with life in general...

i love that i am a trusting person... yes, i may get hurt sometimes but the odds are worth it... i have met a lot of really kind and interesting people because of it...

the singer des'ree (you know the 'you gotta be' des'ree) has a song called 'i ain't movin' ' & it includes the lines
'loving self can be so hard, honesty can be demanding.
learn to love yourself, it's a great, great feeling.'

akilah started something for me... something i think about but realize i need to devote myself to... how do i raise my children to love, respect and honor their own Selves if i cannot? to embrace their You-niquess? i spend my time talking about what to do for others - and will continue to do so... but you can't get water from a dry well... so it's time for a change...


i challenge you!


  1. immensely intriguing... something to think about that's for sure. the teachings that keep playing in one's mind when one starts to think about a topic such as this one, are like... don't be arrogant (aha!) be modest, have humility ... so yes! "how do i raise my children to love, respect and honor their own Selves if i cannot? to embrace their You-niquess?" ... when we're afraid to even take a peek into that domain? hmmm... i'm still thinking. this is weird. it's prodding me both ways... i still have to think :) thank you for making me think today!

    p/s it is ALWAYS wonderful to know the face behind the artist. it works for me everytime. when i write to you or look at your creations, my mind ALWAYS needs to visualize the person. so now i know. everytime i see your creations i see you :) and you are beautiful :)

  2. thank you very much luthien, if no one else reads or responds i am fulfilled by your response.... this was really hard for me for all of the reasons you stated... i was raised to be humble, not talk about myself or my accomplishments... between akilah's post and my children getting older and wanting them to have healthy self-esteem and not become doormats, i was prodded to try this... i am slowly trying to conquer my fears, one by one... and this was one - putting myself 'out there'... i appreciate your reading it... i actually didn't expect anyone to, thought it would just be a good exercise anyway!

  3. O my goodness...you are beautiful!!!!

  4. You are beautiful just like the artistic creations that you make! And your blogs are thought provoking and interesting. I would love to read your publications as well. Please don't let a photograph hold you back from your dreams especially when you have such natural beauty inside and out.

  5. thank you both very much... this was an emotional post for me to do... and one worries that people will misunderstand the topic of self-love vs. self-infatuation, you know? thanks for reading and for your very kind comments...

  6. Maire - I really enjoyed reading this post and getting to know some things about you. You are very brave - not sure I could do the same.
    Kristin :)

  7. I'm back...again. I read this post earlier, then I stopped over at Akilah's and then life happened for several hours and well, here I am. Y'know sometimes, on rare occasion (I'm working on that part) I have these moments of self-love-filled clarity and I *never* share them, wondering how they'd be received. Replaying the discussions I hear between unsuspecting voices as they make self-deprecating remarks, I silence my voice and dissolve into the world around me. This post and Akilah's really opened my eyes, and hopefully my mouth. It is not only okay to have those moments of self recognition and reward, but it is encouraged and inspiring, not only to ourselves, but the unsuspecting ears (and eyes) around us. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Maire, thank you so much for this post. You made me think really long and hard about your challenge and I am taking it up. Today is the beginning of my vacation week (so far, going into the office today, yikes) but it will give me some time to compose a piece worthy of yours, though it will be hard, I must admit....there are very few photos of me so I will have to dig hard for that too but I have all week, I guess...thanks again, very thought provoking! ox

  9. First, thank you for posting your picture. I don't know what I thought you would look like, but not light hair. I wonder why.

    I enjoy your blog and comments from you. You are always thought provoking. I have only recently begun to think about myself and all that compiles "me". Why I am me and how I got to this.

    This was a good post for me right now and I am going to ponder a reply which I will post on my blog soon.

    Whoever YOU are, I am glad I have met you.

  10. thank you so very much for reading this... it should begin a dialogue about this nonsense of beating ourselves up ceaselessly... now go, and make a list - if not to share, then at least for yourselves, but i really would love to see them!

  11. Mary Jane...that was the most awe-inspiring piece of writing that I have read in awhile. You really are beautiful and you shouldn't hide that. We are always holding ourselves back, are our own worst enemy. But the beauty that you create and the beautiful words that emanate from your soul speak to the beauty that is within you. I will check out the link and I will give this some serious consideration as well. Thank you for your inspiration today! Enjoy the day! Erin

  12. thank you so very much erin... i always appreciate so much your supportive words and encouragement... this theme seems to be resonating... and that makes me happy... i hope you will do the exercise too!

  13. Maryjane, you nailed this challenge. I felt you beaming through my screen, woman!! What a wonderful list! I know the potential dangers in being a trusting person, as I'm also one, but I love that I REFUSE to be different just b/c at times, others' issues rear their heads and smack me dead in the face. The feeling subsides, and they are still left with the cancer of mistrust, while I float on my cloud of Happy-go-lucky Butterfly Mama all doggone day!! I also love your eyes, they are the hug-commanding kind (at least in that picture). You just went up a few notches on my Love List, so don't be alarmed if you get occasional love notes from a li'l Jamaican Execumama named Akilah :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. akilah, i just really don't know what to say except thank you for putting it out there... what a gift... it's true about trusting and i am glad you understand! you know by now, i hope, how i feel about you! missing execugirl m - hope see a blog from her soon!

  15. Mairedodd I love the story about your name! I think that is really incredible. I like your list and am grateful you shared it with us!
    Peace. Love. Light.

  16. thank you adiaha for coming to my blog... hope to catch up with you again...

  17. I really enjoyed your post and getting to know you better. I appreciate how even-tempered you are, in spite of challenges that come your way. I'm afraid I'm probably more like your daughter! This is an absolutely great picture of you! Thanks for being so open and sharing. I think this is what makes people feel free to confide in you ... because you trust others with yourself.

  18. You are beautiful inside and out! It's so nice to meet/see you Maire!


your thoughts and time are respected - thank you... responses back to you will arrive privately.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...