Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The friends I have now in my life find it hard to believe that I once hated myself, but it's true. Today, I am very comfortable inside my own skin and have become the person I wanted to be. But last night, an old issue rose up and hit me in the face--hating some part of my body and wanting to look like someone else. I am a member of an ensemble singing group (six women and two men). The other five women are all quite slim and attractive. I am 5' 3 1/2 and weigh about 141 (which is an okay weight, but not "slim" by any means. It's better than the 183 pounds I had reached two years ago, so I'm not complaining.

When I got to the rehearsal, one of the members pulled out these teensie little tops she had purchased in Las Vegas for all of us. They are snug-fitting t-shirts that we will wear as costumes on stage. The good news is it fit. The bad news is, I said, "I hate my big boobs." However, I caught myself immediately (which is huge progress) and immediately amended my remarks to, "No, I don't," which enabled me to catch the next wave of self-hatred about the sagging flesh on my upper arms.

I needed to remind myself that it's not about having a perfect body, that is simply not attainable. It's not about being attractive--I no longer feel a need to attract the opposite sex because I am unbelievably content in my marriage. It's that I still compare myself to other women and come up short (in my opinion of course). While attempting to overcome the negative comparisons, I found the following quotes on self-esteem:

"Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly."
~ St. Francis De Sales

"Be yourself. There is something that you can do better than any other. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that."~ Unknown Author

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."~ Judy Garland

“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.”

This last quote, in particular, speaks to my heart. I have no more time to waste on negative thoughts about myself, especially my appearance.



alexisgrant said...

Thanks for this post, Karen. I think we all need to hear this every once in a while! It's one of those things we KNOW in our heads, but still have to remind ourselves about.

You know what I like about your blog? That you post early in the morning. When I make my early-morning blog rounds, sometimes you're the only one who has posted.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Alexis. But I'm cheating a bit. I schedule it to post early in the am!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

This is such an honest post, Karen. Thanks for the reminder that we need to shrug our insecurities off as a waste of our valuable time! I'm really enjoying your blog.


Marvin D. Wilson said...

Love this candid and transparent post. The "perfect" body is a fabrication, a media driven image that has been sold to the masses and swallowed hook line and sinker. It is particularly the bane of womanhood and the cause of all sorts of misguided neuroses and eating disorders. Good for you for accepting the who you are in the body and shape that God gave you. True we can abuse our bodies, overeat, indulge too much in inebriates, etc., and get "out of shape" - but the "perfect" shape for each person is the healthy shape you were given - not the mirror image of Beyonce or Twiggy.

Patricia Stoltey said...

An excellent post that appeals to the inner critique in us all. I've found it's a lot easier to accept others as they are, than it has been to accept my own flaws. The older I get, though, the easier it is...as long as I ignore the wrinkles and sags and a few Senior Moments. LOL


N A Sharpe said...

This is an area I struggle with as well. This is an excellent post that I think a lot of people can identify with.

NA Sharpe