“Unpacking – recognizing the action you take (or words you speak) are repeating an unhealthy or limiting practice from your past or the past of those who influenced you, essential for the healing of marginalized populations.”
– Sandi Boucher
Short and simple, we mimic. Unconsciously (until we unpack), we mimic those that raised us, those that we identify with. For me, that is most definitely my Mom and for those who have followed my work for some time, you have heard of my mother’s attempts to become “wallpaper”.
To explain, at home my Mom was this happy, outgoing, gregarious, fun-loving individual. But as soon as she left the sanctuary that our home and yard represented, she went into survival mode. Aware that her skin colour offended others, she would attempt invisibility, avoiding conflict and even contact whenever possible. No arguments, no opinions shared, just agree, and hide. Anything to avoid judgement.
And I hate it when I imitate Mom’s oppression.
Yesterday, the revelation of yet another item to be unpacked, yet another habit that must be abandoned that can only be described as “the clothes I wear”.
At home, the clothes of an empowered woman. I wear what I like. My clothes tend to be tighter than what I wear in public, sexier in some cases. But if I must head out, to the store or anywhere really, a change of clothes is required. Loose fitting clothes are the norm. Always stylish but never revealing or anything too attention getting. Rarely anything that could be considered making a statement.
I was changing to go for coffee when I realized the trait, that I was mimicking my Mom. In my case, I was not wanting to be judged for having gained weight or for dressing inappropriately for my age. I was attempting to hide parts of me that I LOVED at home, attempting to be invisible to the judgement of strangers …
For the record, I changed into the pants that accent my tighter butt (thank you workouts) and my fav off-the-shoulder top with some killer earrings that matched my visible lace bra straps.
Thanks to my newfound awareness and almost literal unpacking, I was now dressed like I would if I was working from home, in clothes that highlight all that I love about me … and then I left for my meeting.
Unpacking IS possible but for those unsure where to start, awareness is the first step. Then add in a little guts and a whispered or exclaimed, “Eff this!” and you have the recipe for success.
Try it. It’s SO worth it! (Hopefully some of you will read this early enough to change before you start your day.)
I love you!