Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What would you do if you didn't know that you could fail?

Today's picture came to me inside last week's birthday card from my aunt, who had come across it while cleaning out my grandmother's purse. That's grandma in the picture, alongside (from right) my cousin Lynne, my cousin Michael, and me, circa 1976. I look at the picture sitting on my desk and I'm overwhelmed by the potential she had, the clean slate sitting in front of her just waiting to be written on, the sense of wonder with each new experience.

Look how strong her legs were, too. You'd never know that everyone told her she was "the fat one" because her cousin was so much thinner, would you? And yet, even today, I can hear their voices in my head and I nod along with them because yes, I am the fat one.

But you know what? That poor little girl wasn't fat...she had some extra inches around her waist, but if people had told her that it was OK not to have a flat stomach like everyone around her, she probably would never have become obsessed with hatred and a desire to destroy her protruding stomach. Who does that to a little girl?

So today and every day from now on, I will look into her hopeful little face and send love and gratitude down to my stomach for surviving the years of abuse, both physical and emotional. It's not a coincidence, I think, that my belly is where the crappy food that I eat goes...I have abused that poor organ so many times a day that it's a wonder it still functions. As a matter of fact, I've noticed that more and more of my "normal" meals are making my stomach upset and in turn making me nauseated. Stop the abuse, stop the hatred, send love and peace and joy and acceptance instead and feeling crappy will stop, too.

For all of you reading right now, stop where you are, think about the part of your body that you wish were smaller, tighter, a different shape, whatever, and mentally send love to it. Send it love and know that "it" is part of you and ostracizing it will not make it go away. Integrating your whole body, loving every part...celebrating every part even, that's the road that you need to take toward a healthy life.

3 comments:

gingersnapper said...

I feel so bad for baby Denise! It seems like my entire childhood was made up of being fat, it was the constant label, the constant identity. The Fat One. Not the smart one, the pretty one, or the talented one, although I was all three (pardon my immodesty). You know I hate to resort to psychology ;-) but there is so much to the idea of healing the inner child. Those old hurts are still there, that child is still in there.

Yep, let me know when you get that figured out and tell me how to do it!

xoxo

KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

I can't think of anything more powerful than having a photo of our younger selves to both inspire and nurture ourselves. When we develop that compassion for ourselves amazing things happen!

Anonymous said...

Love this affirmation! I have done this myself ... have completely mentally transformed my (perceived) too muscular calves into powerful running tools! It works.

What a lovely little girl you were ... and I looked at your current photo, and I can definitely see that girl. She's still there, Denise ...

Leslie