I’ve been remiss. I know it’s not Monday, and I know it’s been two weeks since I have written anything. I could present the reasons why I haven’t written anything, but instead I’m going to talk about something that is very touchy for me. I’ve spoken about it before in previous articles. This article is once again about body confidence. It seems that no matter whether you are thin, athletic, heavy, short, tall, etc., you’re not good enough. No, this isn’t another diatribe about the subjugation of women. It’s about learning to love yourself not only in spite of your “flaws”, but because of them.
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs when it came to my body, and when I say a lot, I’m talking about 30+ years of self-hatred: my skin is too dry, my skin is too fair, my cheeks are too red, I’m too short, my hair is too frizzy, I can’t lose weight, my hands are too small… The list goes on and on.
This year was kind of a wake-up call. Over the last three years, I’ve lost count of the number of friends that my husband and I have collectively lost, many around our same age. While some of them were devastating, and each was painful, it still didn’t hit close to home that I may not have another 40 years on this planet. This year, though, not even halfway through the year, I’ve had two surgeries, two CAT scans, and pain bad enough to take your breath away on several occasions. Even then, it didn’t quite hit home the amount of self loathing I had until I looked in the mirror one day and found something good to say about myself. It took being in a serious amount of pain to recognize that my body, when it’s performing properly, is a miraculous thing.
When I’m not in excruciating pain, I can stand, I can walk. I can do things with my hands that others cannot. I can type and draw and feel. If I looked on the outside what I was feeling on the inside in the past several months, you would see a shriveled, old woman, hunched over a cane with a million lines on her face. I realized just how good I look for the amount of stuff I’ve put myself through. Now, I’m not complaining about pain or my health, both can be fixed. What I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t have to get to that point in our lives to realize exactly what we have. We should be looking at ourselves in the mirrors and enjoying our “flaws”. And since I’m preaching, I think I should be the first to start: I love my hair, it’s curly on top and straight on bottom, it’s still attached to my head, even after everything I’ve put it through. I love my fair skin, some people would kill for skin like this. It keeps me warm in the winter, cool in the summer, it has touch receptors that help me do my job every day. I love my scars. They are a road map of my experiences, both good and bad, that I’ve not only survived, but am also able to say that the body has a miraculous way of attempting to fix itself. I love my body, the thing that I’ve loathed for so long. It enables me to run (if I wanted to), jump, play, stand, sit…interact with the rest of the world in a way I wouldn’t be able to if I didn’t have a body.
Comment below about the “flaws” you love!