Bodies are as innocent as trees or flowers or breath.
When I was in eighth grade, a couple of boys started teasing me that I had skinny legs.
In that moment, I heard that thought – I have skinny legs – for the first time.
Once I got to 9th grade, my sister’s boyfriend nicknamed me “Twiggy” — after the thin fashion model Twiggy.
I began to compare my legs to my sister’s and of course her legs looked perfect compared to mine.
But it was when the boys gave me the record “Skinny Legs and All” by Joe Tex that I became a believer.
Joe Tex sings – “Who wants a woman with skinny legs?”
Then he answers singing, “Nobody wants a woman with skinny legs.”
I began to feel ashamed about my legs and started hiding them.
Sadly, I didn’t wear skirts or dresses except on rare occasions for the next 50 years.
We start hiding our bodies when we feel vulnerable and ashamed.
Shame thrives on secrecy.
Shame is lethal.
Shame moves us further away from our North Star and our true self.
Right now stop and think about your school experience or any past experience where someone criticized your body.
I bet you instantly thought of something!
This is your ego talking.
Your ego gains power when you believe that you are the voice in your head.
The ego constantly judges you in relation to others.
When you focus on your imperfections, you don’t shine.
Your beauty is made up of all parts of you – including the imperfections inside and outside.
Our body ages. It’s our task is to embrace our bodies because it’s innocent.
Each of us is beautiful in our own way. Find the beauty in your imperfection.
How do you embrace your imperfections?
You stop trying to be perfect and start embracing the beauty exactly as you are right now.
You start practicing being courageous. Take small steps to do things that are out of your comfort zone.
Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.
After I heard Byron Katie say in one of her workshops that the body is innocent, I immediately got it.
The mind attacks the innocent body.
I never criticized my body again.
When I was in a near-fatal car wreck three years ago, I had six abdominal surgeries resulting in a long scar from my breastbone to my pubic bone.
I also had a muscle torn off my left hip from seat-belt trauma.
I now have a flank hernia because that abdominal wall muscle atrophied causing such weakness that I have a pouch above my left hip.
My acupuncturist named it Gladys.
I love Gladys.
There’s no way to fix a flank hernia with certainty.
Using mesh in an abdominal reconstructive surgery has high risks and basically there is nothing that can be done.
Gladys just gets supported by an abdominal post-partum wrap to relieve the discomfort.
You know what?
I love my body.
My body saved my life.
Because I believed in my body’s ability to heal, I had a faster recovery.
What stories are yourself telling about your body?
You live out the stories you tell yourself.
What imperfections are you hiding?
Your stories become beliefs and your beliefs drive your behavior giving you the results you have in your life today.
If you wondered if that was me in the black dress, the answer is yes. When this photo shoot was done four years ago, I was “told” that I had to rent a dress from renttherunway. I was not happy. I don’t wear many dresses – especially gowns as you know from reading the story above. However, I’m open to being courageous.
This was the best thing I could have done. This is a photo I’ve treasured since the day I first saw it four years ago.
What I know for sure is that our bodies are innocent. Instead of criticizing your body in the mirror, give it some love.
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