Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Pear Story

I've been wanting to tell my Pear story. I've been encouraged to write my Pear story and I couldn't figure out why it was so hard to write until I actually started to write it. Telling it verbally to my close friends seems so much easier. Though I'm pretty sure that lots of people can identify with some of it, I still feel shy about spotlighting some of my insecurities. Like the cat who trusts her environment enough to roll on her back and show her belly, but doesn't mean for anyone to actually scratch it.

There's been this thought rolling around in my head for most of my life and it has many variations on the same theme. The theme is something like this:
"If I were prettier/cuter/more beautiful, things would be better."

Kids say cruel things to each other, and sometimes the words stick. Sometimes they roll off and cause no lasting harm. For me though, the words "you're ugly" stuck to me like tar. That lie worked it's way into my little girl heart and festered there.

As I've grown up more this thought comes to mind less and less. I have seen a bit more of the world and know that this is not necessarily true. I know people who are quite pretty who's lives aren't made any easier by that. And I also have grown into being able to see myself from a slightly more objective perspective and see beauty there ---- at least more often. But there are times when this whisper still comes curling around my brain and wacks me out a bit.

One of those times was about a year ago. It was a beautiful fall day. Amazing Man and I were on our way to our Sunday Night Gathering. My good friend Pat I had spent the whole day hanging out, doing fun things, and as I looked back over the day the thought came to me: "Oh, no! I took up her whole day!" Then I thought "Hm, I bet she's not sitting there thinking "Oh I took up her whole day." And I thought "Why do I do this to myself? What if I just assumed that people LIKED spending time with me? What if I just figured that I am fun to be with and that my friends enjoy my presence as much as I enjoy theirs?" Then came the whisper: "That would be easier to do if I were prettier." I knew that didn't even make any sense. And I knew where it came from. It brought with it a dull heaviness as I was about to enter a social situation.

Right about then we pulled up to our friends' house and as I walked up the steps to the porch I saw that there was a lone yellow pear sitting in the grass in the front yard. I'm not sure why it was there but in the tiny millisecond it took my brain to record that image, I thought "What if I were just to assume people thought I was really beautiful? What if I just acted as if I were the most beautiful person I knew and also assumed that people enjoyed my presence because of who I am?" And it made me grin and I tried it for the next couple of hours. It was great fun.

Now you're probably wondering what the heck self image has to do with pears. I'll explain: People come in all shapes and sizes. And one of the things that is pretty common for people with "bad self image" issues is that they envy the features of someone else that they do not possess themselves. I've always admired women who were the opposite of me in all kinds of ways. Specifically, Pear Shaped Women. Smaller on top, larger on the bottom. I would hear them saying things like "Oh, I have such a big butt." And I'd say "Oh but you HAVE one, and that's good. At least there's some shape there...Me, I've got no shape at all!" And on and on it went. We all want what we don't have, blah blah blah. Somewhere along the way I got the idea that women shaped like me were ugly and women shaped like hourglasses or pears were more attractive and that was that. So when I saw the pear sitting in the lawn it reminded me that people come in all shapes and sizes. And it reminded me of beauty.

When I tried assuming that other people would find me attractive or likeable it was really freeing. What it did for me was that it made me less self conscious. It freed me up to relax and be present with the people around me. I caught on in that time that feeling ugly or undesired as a person/friend is pretty painful, but it's also inherently self centered and carries with it all sorts of wierdness. This isn't a miracle story, it doesn't mean I'm all better now. I still struggle with this whole thing - though even less - but I can see that this experience made a difference in my life.

So that's why I have a thing about pears now. They are a very simple reminder of a gift I was given one fine fall day that helped bring me further along in my healing journey.


  • Beautiful Ginny. I know you didn't write this blog so that we would all rush over and gush over you, but....
    Given the choice of who to spend time with, you are at the top of my list. You could have 12 eyeballs in the middle of your forehead and boobs on the back of your knees and I would feel the same. Plus - you ARE beautiful! You have a perfect nose, an amazing smile (made even better by the sounds that come out!), fingers I would kill for, eyes that sparkle. A soul that sings.

    By Blogger ., at 10/07/2004 12:30 PM  

  • You are indeed beautiful.

    Amazing Man

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/07/2004 12:51 PM  

  • You're right. I didn't. But thank you all the same! With boobs on the backs of my knees, eh? Wow.

    By Blogger Captainwow, at 10/07/2004 12:52 PM  

  • And sometimes things are simply a matter of perspective.
    Still pear shaped but upside down. Smaller on the bottom and larger on top.

    Which reminds me of how I happened upon your blog. Over at "Emerging Sideways" your comment sig shows up as WOW. that's how my MOM always signed cards to us kids. She was a MOM only upside down.

    I like your blog no matter what shape it is.

    Take Care

    By Blogger Michael, at 10/07/2004 1:21 PM  

  • I'm with all of the above. Even if your blog had boobs on the back of its knees, I would indeed still find it beautiful. ;-)
    May I add great hair, sparkly eyes and contagious laugh...

    By Blogger Just Pat, at 10/07/2004 6:32 PM  

  • Oh. And thank you, thank you for putting down this amazing story. I love it. I know it took a lot of effort and thought. Well done.

    By Blogger Just Pat, at 10/07/2004 6:34 PM  

  • Thanks for the pear story, I'm glad you told it , and I'm glad we planted those pear trees in the front yard! P.S. I have always tthought you are beautiful. B.

    By Blogger studiobeerhorst, at 10/07/2004 7:47 PM  

  • dang girl . . . that was a great story . . . so beautiful and so true . . . pears will forever remind me now of the beauty in all of us . . . :) K

    By Blogger Katherine, at 10/08/2004 9:45 AM  

  • I like you too!

    By Blogger Headless-in-GR, at 10/08/2004 7:47 PM  

  • I remember this story! Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us! Personally Captain Wow, I think that you are a very beautiful person both inside and out!!! I consider it a great privilege to know you! You have enlightend me on many an occation, on many topics! Always giving me food for thought and the courage to keep going!! Thnak you!

    Love, CherylMeryl

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/10/2004 10:56 AM  

  • I agree with the masses, you are beautiful and a great joy to spend time with. I wasn't the cool hot chick in high school/college and in my "old age" I have come to the conclusion that we are all only as beautiful as we let ourselves be. It's just not often that we let ourselves think so highly! As your experiment proved, we can all be beautiful if we let ourselves.

    By Blogger JustMe, at 10/14/2004 11:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home