(Author note: I am at the beginning of a seven week Chakra journey, which will likely help me draw out, focus on and create in tandem with the thoughts, feelings, emotions and expressions that are locked in my head. To find, recognize and receive what can be learned from these cranial prisoners, I feel the need to write.
On this journey, we are meditating on each Chakra, but also have suggested tasks each week that pertain to each chakra. The first is to “Fall in love with your body… Truly”. This piece is my current thoughts in regard to that task.)
I’ve carried around a lot of other people’s opinions of my body. I have been called many things, ranging from beautiful to ugly, and every slight and splendor regarding my body has been recorded in the way I hold my limbs, the way I look at other people and the way I view myself. My mind knows that what other people think about my body is none of my business; it doesn’t matter that some people find me visually unappealing because I am not formed in the way that they would make me if they had a chance to create me. Likewise, it also shouldn’t matter if people find me beautiful, but I feel that those people understand that physicality isn’t the be all and end all of self, so their opinions are of greater use to me.
Whatever slightly misshapen components of my body cause others to deem me less than gorgeous match equally with my attractive traits to complete my physical form. I look like myself, much like I behave like myself, but the negativity that I have received from those outside of myself has impacted me deeply. It takes me a lot of courage to be comfortable with my naked body, as though I should be apologetic about each “flaw”. I have had points during extremely intense physical confrontations where the sway of my body has embarrassed me, actually forced me away from the fun I was having, as though each cell should be in a perfect place at every moment, like a highly choreography dance sequence, but my version has key dancers out of step. I used to completely emotionally shut down when this embarrassment hit, but I am working to tell that part of my brain that it has no right to interrupt the pleasure I am taking in my body. The difference between what my logical mind knows is true and what my self-conscious hasn’t recognized yet is astounding.
There are times when I catch a glance of myself in a mirror, or even better, a reflection in a window (as windows reflect back the most important aspects of physical form without the harsh judgement of mirrors), and feel my inner beauty personified in my features. I recognize how wonderful I feel, and it makes me giddy to be living in this body, as it can do wonderous things, and delights in learning to do more.
When my mood is dark, and I haven’t been actively grateful for my body, however, I glance at a reflection and all I can see is what I hope others haven’t noticed – the roughness of my skin, the surplus weight I have been carrying for many years or the scars upon my body. When I fall out of love with myself, I project that onto my body. I forget the amazing things that my body has done and focus on what it cannot do, without even stopping to realize that it might one day be capable of a new task if I took the time to challenge myself.
My body, as always, is on a journey. I am very grateful for the body I have, and love certain aspects of it. I am making a choice to stop thinking of my body as something that can be subdivided; I refuse to praise my eyes while condemning my thighs. From here on out, my body is one whole thing, and I choose to treat it with love, respect and honour. I aim to use my body in ways that please me, and to not compare the way my body moves to anyone else.
I’m not perfect. I will slip up and think negatively of aspects of my body now and again. The point isn’t to flick a switch and suddenly be completely at peace with my physical self. What I aim to accomplish is an awareness of every time I am needlessly self deprecating about my body, and to be able to stop myself, think on why I feel the need to be negative to my body and then completely release that unwelcome thought. I want to accomplish this through touch, movement and constantly reflecting on my choices to ensure that I am not acting in any way ashamed of my body. It is mine; it serves me, and I serve it.