Stripes, Spider Veins and Love

I have to laugh at myself. I have stripes up and down my legs—these big swaths of white, alternating with this lovely shade of bronze. And it’s totally self-inflicted: Last night as I stepped out of the shower, I noticed how pale my legs are—which is actually good news. Having spent my formative years in Tucson, Arizona, back in the day before we knew better than to worship the sun—or perhaps, more accurately, worship a suntanned body—I used to bake my skin during the peak burning hours, and only after first basting myself with baby oil. Remember those days? Fortunately, I came to my senses early, and being the good medical reporter I was in my television days, decided to give up the basting and baking. Now, as a result, I have white legs. Upon closer inspection, I also noticed all these little blue and purple spider veins traversing my legs. So I decided to try this sunless tanning spray to spruce things up a bit. Note to self: Not a good idea to do this so close to bedtime, in near darkness and without the assistance of someone to spray your backside. This is the source of my stripes.

Which brings me to the topic of love. In years past, I might have given that backside of mine a good, swift kick for even caring that it was so blinding white. Or for not doing a good job with the simple task of spraying on a bronzer. Or for not doing more to shift the social consciousness from outer to inner beauty. But with age comes softening. With experience comes wisdom. With love comes understanding and compassion for humanity. In other words, I am a middle-aged, wise lover of myself and others. I practice everyday grace. And so, the striped and veined legs make me laugh at myself.

A coaching client and I talked about this very thing this morning. What if we related to everything as love or a call for love? How would that transform our relationship with ourselves? Our relationship with friends and family? With people we don’t like? With policies, governments and countries we don’t like? It would be transcendent.

“In any situation where love does not rule, affirm that only love is real. Say it, repeat it, chant it like a mantra. Allow it to cast out all thoughts of blame and judgment and fear. Think of the mean-spiritedness of someone, then affirm that only love is real. Watch a horrible story on the TV news, then affirm that only love is real. Feel your own fears about this or that, then affirm that only love is real. This does not put you in a state of denial, but rather in a state of transcendence. You are not pretending that something is not really happening, but only that it is not Really happening. And just as the Wicked Witch of the West disappeared when Dorothy threw water on her, no manifestation of fear will long remain once humanity has risen to the understanding that only love is real.”

~Marianne Williamson

I don’t mind my spider veins. I consider them a roadmap of where I’ve been—a life well traveled. And because I’m human and still vain enough not to want to glow in the dark, one more application of bronzing spray to go!

What about you? What could you transcend by interpreting everything as love or a call for love? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts, humanity and possibility!

3 comments to Stripes, Spider Veins and Love

  • tina barton

    amazing…i could have writtn this! it is so freeing to appreciate oneself for exactly how and who we are. with age does comes wisdom, and it’s wonderful. now if i could only convince my young daughter to stop being so critical of herself and love herself for the wonderful woman she is!

  • I have a small spot sometimes on my ankle of spider veins. It only shows up when my Yoga practice has been insufficient. I use it as a “marker” to remind me to keep up with my practice 🙂

  • Laura Williams

    I, too, am plagued with “leg roadmaps”. I work very hard to change my thoughts about them in those times of vanity! I have gotten pretty good at switching out my critical thoughts to those of gratefulness that my maker has blessed me with blood and oxygen pulsing through those veins to keep me going. It has been working for me. I don’t give it much thought after that! I owe my thanks to you, Denise, for his practice. Although, I do have a bottle of self tanner I intend to try….can’t take all the vanity out of the girl!

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