Saturday, August 31, 2013
I Am Beautiful...and That Is Good For Me To Know
This is me. I am strong, beautiful and fierce. I love how my arms look. I am completely holding up my own body weight and can do so for quite some time. The strength in my lovely shoulders, chest and back coupled with my powerful core enables me to do this. I love looking at this picture.
Perhaps my glowing terms for myself make you uncomfortable. After all, we women shouldn't really think so highly of ourselves, should we??? I mean come on self criticism and flagellation are almost to an Olympic level in our society. It seems to be expected we will totally run our appearance down and so many of us comply. I complied. Not only did I comply, I had full blown body dysmorphia. When I was more slender than the above picture, I saw a fat, bloated, ugly woman looking back at me in the mirror. I have pictures that I more resemble a skeleton than a healthy young woman. At that time I had a very small measure of relief when size 0 did not fit me because they were too big. But 5 little bitty pounds would send me into a frantic, self loathing spiral.
I am beautiful. I can say that now. I can believe that now. I embody that now.
Several years ago in the middle of a chaotic storm of metaphysical and emotional angst I threw up my hands and screamed, "ENOUGH! I do not want to live like this any more!!" I wanted to change and be happy. I want to truly know joy. Most of all I wanted to find peace and allow it to flourish and grown in my heart. Much of that journey consisted of, and still consists, of good nutrition, vigorous exercise, yoga, and meditation. I love to talk about those aspects. But there was a deeper, darker part.
I truly felt in my heart of hearts that I was an ugly, horrible person. I truly thought I was unworthy. I thought I deserved all the hardship, heartache, and yuck that filled my life. I was paying penance for a person I perceived myself to be.
I was wrong. I was so, so wrong.
I stepped back and really looked hard at who I was. Slowly I peeled away all those horrible, wrong messages laid upon my heart by a myriad of sources. I sorted through experiences and began to look back at the person I had been with grace, compassion, and love. I grieved for all the self imposed heartache I had put myself through. I cried for the destruction my self hatred had upon my precious, delicate soul. Thankfully souls are made of sterner stuff and mine was battered but still strong and hopeful.
Over the next years I learned to see myself with compassion and love. I began to treat myself with grace and warmth. I began to fall in love with the good person I was. Yep, I finally saw that I was a good, loving, and compassionate person. I was worthy of all the amazing things in my life. All of that abundance was well spent on me. I saw the beauty and wondrous nature of my soul. It was incredible. It IS incredible.
I treat myself very differently now. Yes, I still very much have flaws. I am impatient, prone to self focus, and the one I like least, I sometimes gossip. I really don't care for that one. But it is okay. I embrace the person I am right here and right now. That perspective urges me to work on those issues and grow as a person. I work on those with joy now, eager to be better and to do better.
The ability to embrace myself just as I am has given me the ability to accept others just as they are. Well, most of the time. I still struggle but it is so much easier for me now. I am more apt to see the beauty and amazing qualities of others. I see what is lovely far more readily than I see what is not as lovely. I focus on the joy and thrill of life, all life.
Then one day after avoiding the mirror for so long I looked into one. It took my breath away. For the first time I really saw that I was beautiful. Just gorgeous really. It stopped me in my tracks because it was so alien to my former way of thinking. The most beautiful thing is I can see the beauty of my spirit coming through.
I hope you see your beauty. I see your beauty. It is there. I see your goodness and how very worthy you are of joy, love, happiness, and peace.
Yes, peace lives with me now. It is always growing and expanding allowing me to deal with things in a new and more fruitful way. The coolest thing is, it can reside within you too.
May harmony and peace find you my friends.