I know this probaby isn’t anybody’s business (not like most things I write on here are anybody’s business…), but I kind of wonder if somebody needs to hear about what I’ve been learning lately. It would seem that I am making my way through a process of accepting who I am. I’ve done a couple of posts over the past month about my body and my perception of my body, and I think I have some new clarity about all of that.
The other week, I took a few minutes and had a look at myself in the mirror. I’d wanted do this for a while — stop and look at myself and try to understand why I look at myself the way that I do. I guess I expected to stand there and just go “yuck, yuck, yuck”. But, surprisingly, I didn’t. What I did feel, however, was disgusted not with the way I look, but the way that I look — the way I view myself.
It felt horrible to think that for so many years I’ve been completely unhappy with my appearance. And, beyond that, I’ve allowed the perceptions of others to sway my perception of myself. By looking for other people’s approval or by being horrified if I thought somebody didn’t like how I looked (which is ironic, since I so rarely liked how I looked). I honestly felt cheap. Like I’d made myself some commodity to be valued by whoever happened to give me a glance. And I began to wonder what it would be like if my body were simply “my body” — not my or anybody else’s skewed and limited view of my body.
That was the question I was left with. I didn’t have an answer. But I saw a problem and had a good question. It was like a little mini break-through for me.
Then last night as I was putting on my pyjama pants I noticed the smooshy part of my upper thigh, and instead of being frustrated, I felt happy. It was like I heard the “story” of that smooshy bit. Here is her story: “I came along in 2008 when Dixie didn’t know what to do with herself. She was so confused and unhappy and struggling, that one of her only joys was eating poutine at 9 o’clock at night. And that’s when I showed up. But that year was also the year that Dixie learned about God loving her and the right way to love herself and love others. And it was a very good year. She didn’t have much time for exercise (and she ate for all the wrong reasons), but she sat in bed and ate poutine and slowly learned about God’s love.”
Isn’t that nice? I like that I can have a year to eat my way to smooshy thighs and learn some things about life. And I like that I can smile at the smooshy thighs. And when spring comes and I start exercising the smooshiness out of those thighs, I will still be glad that they were with me for a time. That I can love myself whether I’m smooshy or smoosh-free.
That’s been a long time coming for me. You have no idea.