This “Pretty Ugly” Poem Invites Us To Examine Our Self-Talk & Perspective
It could certainly be argued that a large amount of the social content in our modern experience tends to invoke a sense that we are merely the unrealized versions of the self that we are told that we should be.
In our constant state of striving for the false state of ‘perfection’, by virtue of being a member of our present culture that upholds mythologized bodies and social statuses, it is collectively upheld that our authentic elements of being are never enough for the fantasy of unified collective acceptance.
Seeking Acceptance Through Being
An acceptance that we might only receive through a programmatic way of being, looking, and feeling. The things that we ‘should’ be — all the time. The Quest for the authentic Self, the fullness of being, the imperfect and often-not-so-shiny holistic model of Being is cast away from aspiration; it’s too muddy and unglamorous.
Yet we all inherently exist within this wholeness, yet conscious or unconsciously reject it, and give way to the negative self-talk and perception of Self. Parts of a ‘fragmented’ off psyche (self) speaking down to the whole (Self)?
Read: We Have Fractured Ourselves Through Our Thinking | Rumi’s Timeless Wisdom
It turns out that Einstein never really uttered this quote often-attributed to him, but it is nonetheless relevant and the anonymous not-Einstein who penned it certainly had a talent for speaking in high relevance:
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Not Einstein
Perspective of Self In The Context of Unrealistic Expectations
This often-utilized quote can be extrapolated to the inner perception that we engage in, through a great disservice to our true being. When we analyze our abilities or ‘self-worth’, we are often measuring them up against not only different parameters and life experiences, but the neo-Olympian ‘gods’ of modernity’s Hollywood presentation — a falseness of expectation that is generated through archetypal intrigue and presentation.
The notion of the photoshopped magazine cover creating unrealistic expectation for real women’s bodies has expanded far toay; virtually every one has access to video and photo augmentations, and as social beings we tend to only highlight the most collectively-cherished media for dissemination.
As highlighted by ThriveWorks, “[a] study involved analyzing just over 1,800 females, between the ages of 10 and 46, in six different independent studies. It ultimately found that those who used social networking sites mainly for posting or viewing pictures (e.g., women who use Instagram and Snapchat as opposed to more text-based sites like Facebook) were at a higher risk of becoming dissatisfied with their bodies.”
The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.– Steven Furtick
The ‘Pretty Ugly’ Poem By Abdullah Shoaib
This wonderfully-constructed poem I believe can be useful in choosing to analyze the way in which we tend to pivot towards negative self talk, yet the re-frame exists at the same time for the inverse to be true.
Read the poem as you normally would, and then read it from the bottom up.
We are constantly torn between the paths this poem present us. In a dualistic manner, we may travel either one at any time; in a non-dualistic sense, they are the same path to be re-visualized.
I’m very ugly
So don’t try to convince me that
I am a very beautiful person
Because at the end of the day
I hate myself in every single way
And I’m not going to lie to myself by saying
There is beauty inside of me that matters
So rest assured I will remind myself
That I am a worthless, terrible person
And nothing you say will make me believe
I still deserve love
Because no matter what
I am not good enough to be loved
And I am in no position to believe that
Beauty does exist within me
Because whenever I look in the mirror
I always think Am I as ugly as people say?
(Now read this from the bottom up)