The thought occurred to me this morning as I lay in bed not feeling great after not sleeping most of the night. After all these years I’m still abusing my body and it has done nothing but love me and try to assist me to enjoy life.
When I was little, I was always taller and bigger than everyone else. I was teased relentlessly by all the girls and the boys. Yes, most of the girls were much smaller (shorter and slimmer) than I was. The boys were, for the most part, shorter than I was or the same size. I remember them teasing me, calling me names. When I was young, they used the word teased. They did not use the word bully. But here is the thing, I was bullied and these things stuck with me for about 4 decades. They stayed in the back of my brain without me really realizing it until I started looking at me and who I am.
It has come to my attention as I embarked on a journey, starting 9 months ago, to remember who I am as, since I was a small child, I have not really looked in a mirror. If I did look in a mirror it was with extremely negative self-talk. Such things as …. OMG you are so fat and ugly …. how could anyone love you …. how could you allow yourself to be like this … and the list goes on and on and on. The self judgement was almost astronomical. In this journey I have learned how deep this really goes and an example of this is, I met a wonderful woman who was discussing her mother and when she mentioned her mother’s name, I lost my breath. Her name was the one that I had been called all those years ago. I hadn’t heard that name in about 40 years and yet when it was mentioned the physical reaction was immediate, without any thought. It shows that it is a deep wound but here is the thing, it doesn’t control me anymore.
Recently, as I’m remembering who I am, I have had the thoughts as I have caught glimpses in the mirror and even looked at myself in the mirror, I am pretty. I have always, when someone has told me I’m pretty or I look nice, explained it away or made a negative back handed comment that negates their complement. Now, I say thank you and take it in. I have wasted so much of my life hating the way I look because I believed the judgements of others. Because I felt less than and wanted to fit in. All I wanted was to be liked …. to be loved….
Here’s the message that I hope even one girl/teen/woman gets from what I am saying. The message is that we are all different sizes and shapes and there will always be someone out there who wants to be critical of us and judge us for it. The thing is, even though it is hard and it takes practice, we cannot judge ourselves the same way. We are all wonderful, unique individuals who are truly here to shine and be who we are. We are NOT meant to dull our light and give ourselves away to others’ judgement. If I can assist you in knowing that now and not waiting 40 years like I have … well that makes my HEART very HAPPY. We are all beautiful we just need to let it shine.