Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Depths of Body Image Illusion

This past Sunday, I ran my first focused workshop on the lower chakras.  We were examining our relationship to the hip and belly region, an area of great difficulty for most women.

Body image issues often are focused in this area, and of course, the physical body image issues are merely the surface of what is really going on.  We hold fear, powerlessness, ennui, self-loathing, and a plethora of other negative emotions and coping mechanisms in these lower energy centers.

Our workshop focused on moving the energy through and up into the heart center.

The main lesson I keep coming to personally through all this teaching is the old adage, "you teach what you need."

Ah, yes.

Just developing this workshop forced me through some of my own major fear and power issues.  All for the better.

But it was today, while I was going through the few pictures that Marcy took, that I got another huge lesson.

I found myself unable to process the sight of myself.

In my head, the person I carry around with me?  She is much larger than the reality.  Much.  No matter how many times I stare at these photos, I can't seem to reconcile them with the image inside my brain.

Like, I know that my jeans say a certain number on their tag, but there are days when I hold them up and wonder what WHALE of a woman wears them.

This is not a "pity me" post.  This is just the reality of suffering.

This is the result of those many, many years of being blatantly told I could never be thin enough.  Never could I be beautiful enough.  Never could I expect to be accepted for who I was, loved for just being me.

I am loved now for just being me.  I am respected for my abilities.  I am praised by strangers for my gifts.

And I can barely take it all in.

I can still barely believe I deserve this.

I look at those pictures of that small, fit body, and think, no, that cannot be...I am not that.  I am fat and unattractive and unnoticeable and unworthy...

When I dance, when I teach, I know exactly who I am -- powerful and beautiful and perfect as the manifestation of the divine that I was sent to be.

Someday, I know, someday, if I keep walking and dancing this path, someday, I will be able to see the Real Me all the time and leave the illusion behind.


daphnepurpus said...

Thank you! This is a powerful post and as someone who was always told the same things and more, I too find it very difficult to see that most of what I was told never was true and certainly none of it is true now. But, as you say, I can see that sometimes in my head, but I haven't really processed it in my heart. One day, I hope, I will.

Tess said...

Do you know I also wonder whether there's something in us that subconsciously equates small to powerless, and that's partly why we find it difficult to be slim and fit without emotional complications. I know that when I was younger, I definitely had issues around a smaller size making me seem more sexually available.

And you are so absolutely right to quote that adage, it couldn't be more true!