Like most South Africans this past week, I read about Eugene Terreblanche’s colourful life. Many of the journalists could not resist bringing up his comical affair with journalist Jani Allan, which exposed his unfortunate, green, holey underwear to the public. A friend of mine exclaimed; “Trust a man to have an adulterous sexual liaison in old, holey underwear. Most women would never!”
Most women would never. It’s not that we do not own worn out underwear. We do. However, unlike men we would never let people see us in it, let alone a lover we were having an affair with! The list of people who are likely to see us in granny panties or holey broeks is extremely short:
2. Maybe, our very young kids.
3. Maybe, husbands or boyfriends we’ve long began to take for granted.
Would we wear our holey moley’s to the gym? No. Would we wear them to the GP? No. Perhaps pack them on a girls only getaway? No. Basically we won’t let anyone whose opinion of us matters see us in our baggy, ventilated or discoloured underpants.
The fact that we have high standards for the packaging we wrap ourselves in for others but not for ourselves, is sad, shows a level of inauthenticity and is worrying. You may think I am making a mountain out of a molehill or more fittingly, the Grand Canyon out of a tiny hole but authenticity is the cornerstone of every healthy relationship; especially your relationship with yourself.
We use packaging to determine the value of things. If it comes in a pretty, fancy box we expect it to be far more valuable than if it comes in a plastic bag. We employ the same tactic to convey the significance of an object or experience. We’ll get made up and dressed up to go to a fancy awards ceremony, but not to the garage and we’ll use fine china to serve dinner to the future in-laws but not to the neighbourhood watch. Packaging cues, conveys and evokes the appropriate level of appreciation. The Oxford dictionary defines appreciation as recognition of the value or significance of something. Do you really appreciate yourself?
A goddess does not ask of another that which she is not already giving to herself. She does not expect attention from another if she does not attend to herself. She does not seek love from another if she does not love herself. She does not covet another’s appreciation when she does not appreciate herself. This is because she knows that it is futile, since it violates universal law – As within, so without. Your outer experiences and relationships are merely a reflection of your inner beliefs and relationship with self. You do not change a mirror when you don’t like the reflection, you change the object reflected in the mirror. To be appreciated by the world, you must appreciate yourself. You must recognise your value and significance.
Start by taking care of how you present yourself to yourself. Gather all your old, tired, discoloured and distressed undies, bid them adieu and set them alight. From now on gift-wrap yourself. Wear only underwear you would love to be seen in, especially when nobody is going to see you in it.