Yes, sadly, those were my own words.
Uttered as I caught a glimpse of myself in my husband’s photos of our magnificent hike in the Maui rainforest. We’d come upon a waterfall spilling into pristine waters below and couldn’t resist going in. But rather than seeing the magic of what was all around us or the completely relaxed posture I stood in (like no one was looking, like I really was completely relaxed), my eye caught the slouch—shoulders hunched, belly sticking out. Ugh, is that me?
Total freaking smack down. Body shame.
By me. BY ME!
Toward me. Toward my Nature-loving, happy, waterfall grooving, pristine water swimming me, rocking my bathing suit in my strong body me.
And it stuck to me like tenacious swamp water.
I had to make a decision. Right then. To take control. To shake this loose. This shame of mine. Shame that I adopted from my culture. That carved deep grooves in me. That shuts me down and extinguishes my light. That makes me want to hide.
So I made that decision… I chose to be Free.
See, shame is a story. It’s just a story. It’s not me. It’s not about me. It doesn’t describe anything true about me. It wasn’t designed by me.
I was poisoned.
Shame is poison. Body shame. Gender shame. Age shame. Ability shame. All of it.
So, I reject it. I reject shame. And I stand proud. In Nature. In any damned place I want to be. And I claim my body as it is. Wearing any damned thing I want. Imperfect. Aging. Slouching. Sagging. But Glorious. Beautiful. Strong. Me.
And that, my friend, is how you reckon with shame:
Shame is a story.
Write yourself a new one. Right now.
Claim it, own it, rock it.
Practice, practice, practice.
Reject shame! Join me?
Have a Beautiful day!
p.s. A great big dose of self-love is a powerful antidote to the shame we all carry. I’m excited to share my new e-book with you: LOVE—the Nine Domains of Healing: Part Two. Click on the link—it’s my gift you!
p.p.s. From my Archives:
Slow Healing. 2019.
p.p.p.s My e-books to support your journey of healing:
p.p.p.p.s. Our on-line healing community, Grit and Grace, where we share the hard work and triumphs of reverent self-care.