*Originally posted on 7.14.16
I swore I'd never diet, I'd never be fat, never dislike my body, never struggle with what I saw my mom struggle with.
And maybe it's because I swore I'd never do any of that that I somehow made it my own problem. Luckily, I found a way out.
This blog is for you if you, too, want to find a way to lift the heaviness of not feeling at home in your body.
A reassuring note: for my work, it’s necessary to go to the deep, sticky, painful places, but I always come back up to the light and warmth.
If you're already triggered: take a deep breath. In... and out...
It's ok to feel uncomfortable. Bravery and willingness are essential, and it's ok if you're not ready to go there. You don't ever have to be ready. You are ok just as you are. Come back if and when you are ready.
A day in the life of my past self:
The day may start out fine. Feeling pretty good. Drinking tea, getting ready for the day. Eager to see the people I love; eager to create and learn. Put on my makeup, put on my outfit, and go out into the world...
The day goes by, and the seductive pain of comparison creeps in. I find myself listening to these insidious thoughts that seem surface-level at first glance:
Why aren't you skinnier? Your arms will never look like that. I bet she can date whoever she wants to, look at how flawless she is. You can't wear those kinds of shirts, you'll look like a sausage.
Blah blah blah. It's annoying. It's horrifying. We've all heard this narrative either in our own minds, or reflected back to us in blog posts like this or other media outlets. I'm sick of it.
I'm not here to analyze the horror story we create of self-loathing and bad body image. I'm here to tear it apart:
*(Safe has lots of wonderful words that branch from it: powerful, protected, strong, reassured, calm, peaceful, loved, inspired - see my upcoming blog post for how safety is the basis for everything.)
Pardon my irreverence. I know this can be an incredibly sensitive issue. I honor the sensitivity of it, in that I honor you and your human experience. Human beings are precious, with all our layers, our soft underbellies, our intricate minds, and willingness to keep trying. My irreverence is for the shit, not for you and your experience.
"You are unique; your shit isn’t." - Deirdre Maguire (a wise, beloved mentor of mine).
The negative body images we’ve internalized are just illusions, however real they may feel. When I look at you, I see you, and I see your story. They are not the same thing.
So, how do I really feel about me body now? It's ever evolving. Where there used to be a chasm of self-pity, loathing, hatred, and criticism there is now a strong foundation of respect and trust. Namely, the preciousness of this body is what I notice the most, and what I return to again and again. I feel gratitude for my body, and I feel it blossoming in the light and warmth of my own loving gaze.
I welcome you if you are ready to let go of the story you have about your body, your diet, your exercise, and how valuable you are. It doesn’t have to be a struggle. You can feel authentically great. One of the greatest sadnesses, is a life un-lived. Don’t let your body image be what keeps you from living your life.