Thursday, April 16, 2009
Take Time to Grieve- Then Get On With It!
I wanted to take some time today to address the issue of accepting ourselves just as we are. Not some version of ourselves from highschool, or an idea of ourselves as we "could be" in the future. Instead, to find a way to love the image we see daily in the mirror - I mean truly LOVE it, not just tolerate it.
I talk alot about "celebrating our curves" . Do you "celebrate" your curves? Are you one of the lucky few who has learned to find bliss within a bodacious body? Not quite there yet, but would like to be? Read on my Cur-V- Sisters!
I was talking to someone a while ago, on a topic completely unrelated to my body. Ok, I'll be honest, I was talking to my counselor- yes, I have one of those- don't you? Well, I've been stressing because my husband is losing his job soon due to lay-offs. Somehow one thing led to another and I started talking about what I "used to" look like in highschool. How my figure looked, my hair, my skin. Suddenly I felt very sad. I felt my lip quiver. I fought it off. I tried to be brave. "This is silly", I thought to myself. "I am beyond this", "I am a curvalicious woman". And then my counselor said such a simple sentence "It sounds like you have a feeeling of loss there".That was it. One sentence. Then my floodgates opened and I sobbed. All the while feeling absolutely ridiculous. When the tears stopped flowing and I left my session, I felt a huge sense of relief. A "letting go" if you will.
In the days that followed, I had an inner peace and acceptance of myself that I had never experienced before. I felt compassion for myself. More than that, I felt a renewed sense of spirit. I thought of all the things I had been putting off or denying myself because I thought a "fat girl" would look silly doing- like riding a bike (they'll see my big butt), or eating dessert in public (people may judge). Then, with a new sense of purpose, I put on my spring clothes, took my 5 year old Ethan to the park and played football. It was exhilarating.
What I've learned, and what I want to share with you is this. We simply cannot begin to accept all that we are, right now, today, in THIS body, until we allow ourselves a moment to grieve for what we are not. Don't push it off as being silly, superficial, or vain. Try not to criticize yourself for feeling a sense of loss. We live in a society that places such a high value on physical appearance, that anyone with a less than model-perfect body is bound to feel, well, less than perfect! (And we all know that even those women feel the same pressures, and right now are wishing they had your donut!)
Once you have taken your moment to be sad, to grieve- simply, let it go. Don't stay in that place of grief. Just release it. When you do, you may find that you truly love yourself- ALL of yourself. That you can look in the mirror and say "Hey, gorgeous, wanna go ride a bike?". And then, DO IT! Get out there. Ride a bike. Wear a swimsuit. Go on a carnival ride. ENJOY your life! Stop waiting to become someone else, or to return to something you once were. Embrace yourself, hug yourself, love yourself.
Note: This incredibly beautiful hand-carved bead can be found at http://www.serena29.etsy.com/. She has 13 hand carved images of women's bodies to select from. As soon as I saw this one, I knew it was me! I just love it! Visit her shop and see if you find "yourself" there too!