As a child, I was made to believe that because my body was different, that meant it was “less than.”
And it was different because my body wasn’t thin or lean, like my fellow peers in childhood, it was “thick,” so that meant that it wasn’t attractive, especially as attractive as those of my peers who were thin and lean. As a kid, I was called “chubby” and “fat” often, and in tones that let me know that “chubby” and “fat” were what was undesirable, and didn’t wholly belong.
This made me grow up feeling ashamed of my body. Feeling like my body, as it existed in its natural shape, was wrong, and would make people not find me lovable.
So I was always criticizing it, judging it, rejecting parts of it, and trying to change/fix/hide the parts of it that I thought were “less than.” For years, I was caught in the rat race of trying to improve my body so that it would finally be attractive, finally belong. I was constantly trying to lose weight, trying to “tighten my body up,” trying to change it any way I could so that it wouldn’t be less than anymore, but finally “lovable.”
But no matter how much weight I lost, how lean or muscular my body got, I never did quite feel “enough.” There was always another level of attractiveness I needed to get to, another lower weight on the scale, another leaner physique to achieve.
Feeling good enough was always off in the distant future, and never right now in the present.
And because of all of this rejection, I had made my body not belong to me.
Judgment and criticism are forms of rejection. And rejection pushes things away from us. It separate things from us. It says: “This here thing does not belong to me.” And because I had lived so long in feelings of rejection over my body, I ended up making it sick. Because rejection is the root cause of illness.
Nothing that is separated/withheld from love can be healthy or well. Because Love is the very vibration that causes and sustains wellness.
The path to healing my body required me to offer the medicines of appreciation and acceptance towards my body, instead of the weapons of shame and rejection. Because the practice of accepting and appreciating are the aspects of self-love which welcome the thing being appreciated and accepted into us.
They make it a part of the whole of us.
They make it belong.
And wholeness and belonging are wellness.
They are Love itself.
So appreciation and acceptance are literally medicines that help to heal us from shame and rejection, and all the toxic things that shame and rejection manifest in our lives, and bodies.
These days, healing myself is about accepting and appreciating my body, just as it is. To see the value and beauty in it, even if I no longer have a six-pack, even if I no longer weigh a low number on the scale, even if I’m nowhere near my “ideal weight.” To make my body belong to me, once and for all, by ceasing all attempts to fix it, hide it, and push parts of it away from me.
To sit in it, welcome it, allow it, OWN it, just as it is, and feel attractive. Feel sexy. Feel desirable. Feel deserving of praise and belonging. Feel worthy.
And for me, this takes looking at myself naked in the mirror EVERY DAY and telling myself, “I love you, just as you are. You are sexy, and beautiful, and deserving of praise and adoration, just as you are. There is nothing that needs to change about you to be lovable. You are lovable, as fuck.” It takes taking sexy and sensual selfies often, and sharing them publicly (something I would have NEVER done during my shame-filled past), so that I remind myself that I deserve to be desired, just as I am. It takes writing down seven things I love and adore about my body every morning in my journal when I wake up, and again when before I lay down to sleep, so that I keep my focus on the truth of what’s good and right and valuable about my body, instead of the lies of what’s bad and wrong and not enough with it.
This is the loving of myself I’m doing more and more of these days. This is the welcoming home of my beloved body back to my own belonging I am offering.
This is my medicine.
And it’s healing me.
❤️ , Jerome