In the surrender, in the letting go, may we find the grace to allow ourselves to truly see who we really are. No trying, no pretending, no striving, simply letting go and being.
This morning, I was sitting on my couch relishing in the taste of the melted cheese on toast I was eating. There was such comfort and deep gratitude in feeding myself, allowing the warmth of the toast to hit my belly and nourish me in ways I’ve long denied myself. I was actually partnering with my body, listening to her, and not denying her what she was asking for. I’ve believed so many lies about my body over the years. So many lies that I want to weep with grief for the younger me, the younger me that thought controlling my body was the only way to be happy. And yet it left me sad, depressed, anxious, and actually feeling out of control.
I have recently uncovered the fact that when I feel insecure or like my sense of personhood is at risk, I adopt an inhospitable energy. It’s not intentional, it’s a protective instinct that arises from the trauma in my past. Like all things we uncover, they usually have multiple faces in our lives. I realized that I created an inhospitable environment in my body as well. Foods that I deemed unsafe my body then reacted to in kind. I literally gave myself allergies by subconsciously telling my body certain foods were unsafe. Hence my battle with an autoimmune disease. Intense hey? Well, the saving grace is that the body wants to partner with us. So that means I can create a hospitable environment again for the foods that I deemed to be unsafe. I want to welcome food, I want to lovingly treat my body well. That means listening to it (or her, however you talk to your body…if you do). I know, I know, maybe some of you will say “well, if I listened to my body I’d be eating chocolate all day long…”, but that’s not what I’m talking about: deeply listening involves truly knowing your worth as a human and trusting that you have inherent value and are loved deeply by the Divine.
Women are taught to try and dominate our bodies, rather than partner with them. Based on whatever trend is going on at the current moment, we restrict, suppress, starve, and even punish ourselves. And for what? To look like a smaller version of a man or perhaps a pre-teen girl; flat stomach, muscular, narrow hipped…or maybe even a different trend; large buttocks, small waist, big breasts, toned arms etc…either way, honed into an image. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with either of the physiques previously mentioned, there are many people who naturally fall into either category, my point is rather the striving towards something and in the meantime hurting ourselves to attain it.
It’s taken me 25 years to get to the point where I no longer want to dominate my body, but rather nourish it. It’s taken years of fighting the aforementioned autoimmune disease, battling disordered eating, and also adrenal fatigue, to name a few, to finally surrender and say “I give up, I don’t want to fight you anymore…what do you need from me?”
Much of this has come from my revelation around trying; to stop trying and just be. Well, apply that to the above, stop trying, stop trying to be thin, to be in control, to try and fit some imaginary standard of what a woman should look like (one based on patriarchy and suppression). I just want to be, I want to be a well nourished woman however that looks, even if it means feeling uncomfortable while I adjust to what that looks and feels like.
The other week a pair of jeans arrived that I’d ordered online…they were just slightly too tight, not overly, but I knew I would not be comfortable in them after a big meal. I sat and thought for a while: did I want to return them or did I want to keep them and hope that I could lose a couple pounds so that they would fit perfectly…and in that thought process I found the answer. I don’t want to lose weight. I don’t want to be skinny anymore, I want to embrace whatever body I’m meant to have. So I returned the jeans and bought a bigger size. This may seem small, but it’s huge, for someone that has put skinny as the pinnacle of health and looks, I knew something deep had shifted in me. I don’t want to be skinny anymore. My life has revolved around this for years, it’s been an ugly battlefield of control. I want to be well fed and nourished. I want colour in my cheeks and energy in my body. I want to revel in my womanly curves with gratitude, and I am, grateful.