So Unsexy. That's the song written by Alanis Morissette that led to my convergence with her as a kindred activist in empowering women and enhancing self-esteem -- and much to my delight -- receiving her endorsement for my book, My Diary Unlocked. How did the song connect with my own story?
When I listened to it, I realized the winding path of rejection to awareness to projection to self-acceptance through which Morissette travels as the lyrics unfold echoed not only my own secrets, but also the stories of the scores of women who shared their diary entries from their teen years. It also underscored the essence of a key message I conveyed in my writing: to stop abandoning and start nurturing our authentic selves.
On Oprah's Super Soul Sunday last week, Alanis proclaimed herself an "activist on behalf of expression." What I didn't know until watching that show was the impulse behind her empathy and willingness to help people like me spread my message.
Despite her fame and fortune, she suffered through many of the very same issues that attempted to crush the souls of my contributing diarists -- eating disorders, depression, anxiety and addictions to work and love. Today, she is the embodiment of self-exploration as she practices many of the tools recommended to the readers of My Diary Unlocked.
The power of her story is reflected in the truth that external circumstances, no matter how glamorous they appear, do not imply a sense of internal self-worth.
For Alanis, it wasn't until she embraced the courage to do the inner work of practicing more self-compassion -- to "start staying with herself," to paraphrase a line in So Unsexy. I'm grateful for people like her who have already established a venue to support others compelled to spread the message of expanding consciousness and self-awareness.
She is a model for all of us to understand the power of sharing our stories. Isn't it ironic that when we feel vulnerable enough to let others in on the secret that they are not alone, we come home to the true power of our connection with one another?