Daily Post: Interior

We tell ourselves that in our book looks don’t matter, that to us it is what is on the inside of people that counts most. We tell ourselves so often that we believe that this is how we live our lives – being totally un-biased, non-judgemental, always looking below the surface and seeing through the stereotypes to appreciate the soul beyond the skin – but is it really true?

Even within ourselves, within our own bodies, how often do we judge our self-worth to be dependent all too often on our external appearance? If I look good, I tell myself, I’ll feel good. But what does it say about me, deep down, when the thought of being seen in public without visibly clean skin, clean hair, clean clothes fills me with such concern?

My internalised notions of public presentation judge any failure in myself to reach a certain exterior standard to be an indication of an interior lack. I don’t like that I think that way about myself, and possibly by extension how I sub-consciously think about others, but I find that old habits die hard. I still seriously struggle with the idea of popping out to the local shop for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread in scruffy old clothes and unwashed hair.

How polished I look on the outside matters to me as much as anything because a lifetime of experiencing recurring depressive episodes has left me with the marker of consistent and continued self-care having become a particular tipping point on my personal barometer between coping, and not coping, with life. As long as I can succeed in hiding my internal angst behind a facade of external acceptability, I feel I must be doing ok.

But underneath it all, I do understand that ideally I need to feel confident on the inside no matter how I may look on the outside at any given time, and sadly for me, it seems that particular yardstick is most definitely still very much a work in progress…

Daily Prompt: Interior

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6 thoughts on “Daily Post: Interior

  1. Elaine's Bloggers Paradise January 2, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    it will come with time, meanwhile do not beat yourself up for caring about your appearance because it shows you have respect for yourself

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elouise January 2, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Ruth,
    I relate especially to your paragraph about markers for depression. For me, my willingness to be ‘presentable’ (not the same as ‘professional’) is a marker for self-care. And an indicator of my mood. On the whole, I’m harder on myself than on others when it comes to presentation of self. So my question is, similar to yours, what am I trying to prove (to myself, if to no one else)? I do need to take care of myself. Yet when have I reached ‘good enough’?

    Great post for self-reflection. Thanks.
    Elouise

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stevetanham January 5, 2017 / 9:50 am

    If reaching out will help, Ruth, please do so. A good ear can be a good friend. Self image is tied up with the Superego, which can be merciless, no matter how ‘presentable’ we really are.

    Liked by 1 person

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