Body Series

In my body is a safe space to be, A series: From Erin, with love.

It’s 12:55 am and Erin is sitting across from me humming our favorite song as she writes in her journal. Every so often she’ll look up and smile at me. She’s unaware that I’m writing this blog post–and maybe even unaware that at this moment I’m thankful for her very existence. Erin is my life line. She is one of my biggest blessings, and the most significant person in my life. She’s the reason I’ve survived for so long–the peanut to my butter, and the Beyonce to my Nicki. If I’m not doing it for Maya or for Ethan. If I’m not doing it for myself. I’m doing it for her. I’ve watched Erin grow over the years and it’s been the most beautiful journey–like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. She’s grown her wings, gained her confidence, and soared. I couldn’t be more proud. Erin, thank you for your love. For your constant ability to see the good in me. You with your charm, your cackle-like laugh, your beauty, your emotion, and friendship. I love you. Forever and always. Thank you for sharing.

in this body

I’ve started this series because through my own self acceptance search/journey I’ve realized that we, as humans, all have problems with our skin suit no matter what it looks like. The point of this series is to confront our flaws AND to highlight our excellence. I hope one day we’ll all be able to wake up and that voice in our mind which lists all our faults on repeat will be much quieter if not silent. The mirror will be less scary. We’ll smile as we pass our gorgeous selves. We’ll have a bounce in our steps. One day we’ll love our bodies exactly as they are right now. We might have bad days . We might have bad weeks. Yet once we unlock that key, that key of self love we’ll know we can get back to a sanctuary within our bodies. Our bodies and our selves are waiting for that love, waiting for that permission to just be. As I said to Erin (and as I say to all my future spotlights), be gentle with yourself, you are meeting parts of yourself that you have been at war with.

1. What makes you feel beautiful?

I feel beautiful when I’m surrounded by those I love and those that love me. When I can be myself around those that have seen all my dark sides and still love and accept me for who I am is beautiful in and of itself.

2. What makes you feel powerful?

For so long I allowed those close to me, and even complete strangers, control my thoughts, emotions, behavior, and my self-worth. I finally realized that giving up that power to them meant always being let down. I feel powerful when I’m doing things and making decisions for myself regardless of others’ opinions. Not out of selfishness, but out of fairness to myself.

3. What would you tell your past self about beauty and bodies?

 Don’t worry about your body. It might not be as small as others’, but honestly, the world needs more of you.

4. How does your skin color make you feel?

As a white woman, I haven’t struggled with the color of my skin, but I was only born with this privilege simply because my ancestors lived farther away from the sun.

5. How have you struggled with your body?

For as long as I can remember, I never really liked myself. I was bullied from a very young age and my parents pushed an idealized version of what I should look like on me; leaving me with a lot of shame over who I am and what I look like. When I was 16 I developed bulimia, which for the next four years completely controlled me. It controlled what, when, and where I ate. It made me believe that I was worthless and undeserving of love. I would stare at myself in the mirror and wonder why do people hate my body so much? Why do they want me to change it so badly? The stuffing and puking didn’t make me skinny or beautiful, it made me want to die. But, in recovery, I’ve learned the easiest thing to be in the world is myself and the most difficult thing to be is what other people want me to be.

6. Complete this sentence… “In my body is a safe place to be because….”

In my body is a safe place to be because it is my home. When I take care of it, it takes care of me.

From Erin, with love.

Thank you.

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