I had the pleasure of being a part of a women’s group called “Sacred Sisterhood” for 8 weeks. It was so special. I got to meet some beautiful women with whom I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise, and I am so grateful. I got slow down and hear their stories and really learn some things from them. One of the topics we discussed was our relationship with our bodies and food. Our “homework” assignment that week was to stand in front of a mirror naked and journal about it.
I know this sounds crazy! To even participate in this activity at all, and then to post the poem online for the whole internet to read?
(And I also excuse anyone from reading this, like my dad or brothers, who might be bummed out by my frankness. I won’t be offended if you’d rather pass on this blog post! Lol)
I’ve thought a lot about it and decided that in the spirit of “keepin it real”, this poem must be shared. I have been on a weight loss journey for years now. Lost 75 pounds, gained fitness and endurance. My relationship with my body is finally changing. I was ready to accept the challenge! But, the craziest thing I’ve learned on this whole journey is that so many women I’ve admired for their beauty or assumed had it easy because of their looks or bodies are suffering just as much (if not more!) than I was, under the curse of self loathing. As I continue to learn to love myself and this body I’ve got, the more my heart breaks for women all around me who don’t SEE how wonderful and beautiful they really are. It truly is the universal female affliction.
I could definitely look in the mirror naked and see a whole list of things that are gross. My body is never going to be “bikini ready” but it’s mine and it has served me well, especially under years of abuse. I choose instead, to see myself in a different way. The way I hope my daughter chooses to see herself someday and all of you, my brilliant friends and sisters. Look beyond what’s in the mirror.
This poem is dedicated to my yurt girls!! ??
My body is heavy shades of pinks and whites.
Freckled with brief moments under the sun.
It hangs heavy with all of my apologies and best intentions.
This suit has always suited me, though I’ve never taken the time to have it tailored, taken in, worked on.
Only now, as the softness has begun to melt and shrink have my muscles and backbone hardened enough for me to see the point.
My feet, through electric pain, have carried the weight of all of my worlds. Blistered and swollen, they still serve me.
My legs are pillars of blood, fat and bones that keep me standing tall.
Though, they have been wrapped under heavy blankets of depression and laziness.
But, have also been wrapped around love, between sheets.
Sweaty, sexy and strong.
They have trudged through every one of my unknowns.
My hips are barely trying to emerge. Still hiding.
But when I’m not paying attention, they surprise me with a glimpse of a womanhood I thought girls like me weren’t allowed to enjoy.
My stomach, soft and ribboned with stretch marks, still large in mass.
You see, it’s taken a long time to store up all of the fears and burdens I’ve pretended not to have.
But oh…I’m learning to let them go,
and now appreciating how it has ached with hearty laughter.
Felt the butterflies of new love and excitement.
And, carried the joy of two healthy, beautiful babies. It gave them shelter, safety and warmth.
My breasts fed them and have also fed me…the confidence I would need to survive my own nakedness.
When all else failed, there they were to remind me of my power as a woman.
My arms have held my husband close, my children, and loved ones while also holding me together in dark closets crying out to God.
all of my strength to wear all of my hats.
My hands have played songs,
They have been raised as high I as could reach outside the window of a rushing car, just to feel the wind.
I used to see nothing but flaws, failures and disgust.
Now, I only see gratitude.