I wanted to take a second to talk about the book that seems to be all the rage right now! If you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis and her “Girl, Wash Your Face” book then it would appear you’ve been hiding under a rock! I can’t go on social media without seeing so many posts about this book.
I recently finished the book and wanted to give my takeaways from it.
The book in its entirety is nothing short of amazing, of course. But there were some topics she brought up that really moved me. Things I couldn’t stop thinking about once I finished the book. One of them is something she learned about herself and the other two are related to relationships.
The first thing that really spoke to me was something Rachel learned while in the midst of extreme stress. In the book, Rachel talks about something she was doing in her adult life that was a trait she learned and picked up from her childhood that she didn’t even realize she was doing.
“A physical response to an emotional problem” -Rachel Hollis
I must have read those word a million times over and over. It was like a light bulb turned on and visions of all my emotional breakdowns flashed in my heads. Each breakdown now having a purpose, a reason, and now all these years later, finally the lesson. In my mid-thirties, as I read those words, I got an answer I had been searching for for years; we’re talking the majority of my life people!
I was so captivated by Rachel’s book from the first few pages that I literally couldn’t put it down. I too shared in her go, go, go workaholic mentality. It’s insanely hard for me to slow down, in fact, I have to constantly remind myself. It’s not that I’m so crazy busy either, I mean I’m busy, but it’s more or less figuring out why I constantly take on so much, why do I feel like I need to make my plate so full that I’m running around like a chicken with head cut off. Often eventually breaking down because I’m overwhelmed.
So back to what I learned. I have had a childhood trauma in which many years of therapy (which I’ve since blocked out most) never revealed to me the answer that I found here in a simple sentence. I was having a physical response to an emotional problem my whole life! All the physical pain I had suffered was all due to my emotional pain.
My physical responses were to stay so busy focusing on others that I wasn’t focusing on me. My other physical responses were to party hard focusing on drinking and experimenting with drugs and men. Moving around from place to place or thing to thing to always keep everything new and exciting to keep my interest.
That phase lasted a few years and thank god I survived it all because in some instances I shouldn’t have. They say your twenties are for experimenting and finding yourself and I definitely had the experimenting part down. The finding myself didn’t come until my late twenties early thirties for me though. I look back at my past and it’s no longer a question mark, it now serves a purpose for me, it now serves as a part of what made me who I am today. My past has never defined who I am and even for the parts that were rough, I’m extremely grateful for them. I would not be who I am today without those experiences.
Ok so onto the next.
LOVE is RESPECT
Rachel talks about a moment when Dave her now husband, breaks up with her and she goes on to describe how she was doing everything to please him and be what he wanted. What she wasn’t doing was being herself. She talked about how he treated her the year before and she says, “It might surprise you to know that I don’t blame him for anything that happened that year. Though he was a grown man, he had his own baggage. He was young and immature in his own way. People will treat you with as much or as little RESPECT as you allow them to, and our dysfunctional relationship started the first time he treated me badly and I accepted it.”
Now when I read that I yelled out loud HALLELUJAH!!!! Why might you ask? Because this was so spot on it deserved to be yelled!
Once you completely understand those words your life will change. So many women are always so quick to blame the man when he doesn’t want her or when he doesn’t treat her right, but few are willing to ask the question “what have I allowed him to treat me like?” It’s too painful to go back and look at all the times they allowed him to treat her like crap or disrespect her. I was taught from an early age that LOVE is RESPECT. They go hand in and hand and they don’t go without each other. If someone does not respect you they do not love you. My life experiences caused me to learn this very young. I still made mistakes I still allowed people to mistreat me and disrespect me, men and women. I had to learn the hard way with almost everything in my life. This was no different. So yes, I may have an amazing husband, but I went through many relationships that served as stepping stools for me to get there. Had I not learned from each one I would never have moved forward. I would be still stuck in the same relationship with a different man asking why.
So, when friends in my life repeat the same behavior and then want to know why they keep dating the wrong guy or why they keep getting treated like crap from people in their life. Mistakes are only mistakes when they are made once and learned from. When a mistake is repeated it then becomes a habit and that should force you to then take a look at yourself. This part of her story to me is so important and leads me to the next takeaway, that I can’t wait to share.
In my opinion, this truth is the most important take away from the book. The last chapter she talks about needing a hero. We all go through life looking to others for happiness, and love. But all of those things start from within. We cannot be happy with others when we aren’t happy with ourselves. We can’t accept others without accepting ourselves. And we most definitely cannot love others without loving ourselves. This is so critical; because you are all you have. In the end, your relationship with yourself is the most important. The tangible things you have in life will go away. The money will fade and people will come in and out of your life.
What doesn’t change is that you are still you. You are left, looking at yourself in the mirror each day. You are left in charge of your own happiness and acceptance. It’s all you! Love yourself for all the flaws and weaknesses you think you have; while others see them as strengths.
Be in charge of creating your own happiness.
Make promises to yourself and keep them no matter what!
Make small goals and start by celebrating little victories.
The most important relationship is with yourself!
I, like Rachel, have struggled with keeping promises to myself more than anything in the past. And I learned why I’ve been doing that all these years by reading this book! That right there is priceless to me. And it all comes from another person being brave and sharing their story.
The relationship you have with yourself dictates all the rest of the relationship you have around you. So demand respect, demand love, demand to be treated like a queen!
I’ll leave you with this…
“Get up, right NOW.
RISE UP from where you’ve been, scrub away the tears and the pain of yesterday and start again…Girl, wash your face!”
-Rachel HollisPublished in