Shoes. Just mentioning the word shoes to some women and you can see the corner of their eyes twinkle. As if somehow shoes are the saviors of our endless self-esteem/self-love issues. Consciously, we know that they are not. Subconsciously, we hope they attract prince charming as we stroll down the street with a false sense of confidence adjusting to a new pair which in reality you’re thinking “My feet are hurting, am I walking funny?”
Sex and the City
I can definitely put myself in that bracket along with millions of other women whom have been there, or are still there holding on to the wholesome idea that heels are the answer to their prayers. We all know who those women are: the ones that like to collect shoes, 50+ pairs; the ones that have no sneakers in their closets or that have to have the latest design off the runway. Maybe I’m talking to you. You see, back in the late 90’s and the early 2000’s there was this phenomenon that made all this shoe obsession for confidence and beauty acceptable. That was Sex and the City. And boy, did I love Sex and the City. I think we can all relate it. Four single women in New York City, trying to find love yet having a lot more fun having sex with Mr. Right Now than looking for Mr. Right. Our main character Carrie Bradshaw had a shoe obsession and for many years we looked up to this character because she was everything that women embodied: strength, beauty, vulnerability, and a fashionista. And that is how it started; millions of women obsessing over shoes, because they are easy to try on, to buy, and wear.
Being part of today’s society where social media is everywhere, more than ever there is this “silent pressure” to look perfect, and be perfect, attractive, sexy and wanted. Growing up as a teenager watching Sex and the City and knowing that I wanted to be beautiful, attractive and all these things that they portray on television, my shoe obsession blossomed overnight. At one point I had 80 pairs of shoes, and 90% of them were heels. Coming home from work with splinters on my feet, almost crying, and going out on Girls’ Night and coming home with my feet throbbing was just another night. The pain just became normal.
Portraying Someone I am Not
As I became more interested in the psychology of who we are as humans beings I came to the realization that there was a lot of work to do on myself if I wanted to help others. I became more aware that I was trying to be someone that I am not. I was trying to portray and keep up with trends just so I can feel like I belong in the world. Then I took a step back and realized ‘I am the one that does not feel like I belong in this world’. My life took many twists and turns for the better and for the worse, but I began to see my pain very much in other women. I began to see that they are suffering just as much as I was. Even with the makeup and heels on, I saw through them. I saw how uncomfortable and helpless they felt. Thinking that wearing skimpy clothing and uncomfortable shoes was the only way to be beautiful.
Journey to Self-Love
My journey to self-love began at the age of 23. Many say it started early. I would say that there is no such thing as early or late. Everyone is in their own journey. I believe that because I knew I wanted to be of service to others, I had to clean up my act with myself and my heart because it was evident that I was hurting from the inside. The journey to self-love doesn’t start with the recognition of a shoe obsession or heavy make-up. It starts with the recognition that you are not happy, and that you want to know what happiness is. You want to understand it, find it, and become it. Accepting that I was drinking too much alcohol as it was my drug of choice, was only the first step into a happier life. Understanding and accepting that I needed help were only the first steps. Adding a different routine and exploring my city during the daytime gave a new sense of self-worth and respect for others. Because I was starting to meet people outside of bars and nightclubs and really getting to know them on a personal level without any intoxication on either of our parts. Exploring different paths such as yoga, meditation, full moon drum circles, museums, theatre, and just relaxing at the park gave me a new thirst for life.
I Don’t Need Heels to be Beautiful
Pretty soon my feet took a different shape. My feet started looking healthier, happier. No more splinters, corn, dry peeling skin. The bottom of my feet became soft again. I stared at my closet and realized “boy do I have shoes!” which I did not really wear anymore because they all destroyed my feet! It took me some time to let go of the idea of wearing heels. You may ask yourself why would I want to do that? But that truth is simple: because they hurt! Working on my own happiness and letting go of the idea of what I am supposed to look like brought me into a higher level of consciousness where I don’t need to wear heels to look but especially feel beautiful. Because I am beautiful the way I am. I started creating boundaries for myself into what is acceptable for me and what is not. Painful heels just did not become part of the picture. It definitely took me some time to come to this understanding and that is mainly because I did not want to get rid of my collection. But you see, when you start to become self-aware and start to see yourself in others for better or for worse, it is only natural to do what is correct for you. So I gave up heels all together and started explore boots, moccasins, sandals, sneakers and more boots. I toned down the make-up and skimpy clothing, because I want to attract the right people into my life. And the only time I would have heels, I would spend the right amount of money to find myself heels that truly fit my feet. My feet don’t deserve to look bruised. They deserve to look as beautiful as I feel from the inside and out.
The Perfect Idea of Beauty is Nothing
And so, I leave Carrie Bradshaw and all the gals from Sex and the City with their shoe obsession. Knowing that not wearing heels all the time and having a few pairs that truly fit my feet is good enough for me. Truly understanding that we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, and thus trying to reach this perfect idea of beauty, is nothing but a hole in our hearts from bigger problems. The power of social media is at an all time high, but the internet and shoes shouldn’t be the excuse for developing such obsessions with beauty. We should look deep inside our hearts and see what we are really missing; because in the end, we do this because we all want to be loved and appreciated, and cared for. But in the end all love, starts with self-love. Namaste.
About the Author: Iris Cardozo is a Life & Spiritual Coach that incorporates past life regression hypnotherapy, as well as inner child hypnotherapy to help individuals overcome traumas, insecurities and/or abuse and find their life’s purpose.