Yesterday I went to a library branch that just opened close to my neighborhood. I went with the purpose of checking out free children’s museum passes that were available, and ended up leaving with 6 books. In a former life, I was an English major and wannabe writer and I have a slight book/reading addiction that comes and goes.
I randomly chose a bunch of books as I was also trying to keep my 1 year old from wreaking havoc and throwing all the books off the shelves. I found “Brave Enough” by Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild) and took it home because I liked the color and size of the book (does anyone else read books based on this?)
Brave Enough is a collection of quotes by Strayed. I am a lover of poetry and quotes, and this book feels like it’s coming to me at the right time. I love being able to flip to a page and read something that can give me some inspiration or warmth in the moment.
Since being on the journey of intuitive eating and working with eating disorders, I’ve become even more aware as to how often our feelings of self-worth are tied to our bodies (especially for women). Strayed explores this in one of the passages:
There are so many tiny revolutions in a life, a million ways we have to circle around ourselves to grow and change and be okay. And perhaps the body is our final frontier. Most women and some men spend their lives trying to alter it, hide it, prettify it, make it what it isn’t, or conceal it for what it is. But what if we didn’t do that? What’s on the other side of the tiny gigantic revolution in which you move from loathing to loving your own skin? What fruits would that particular liberation bear?
Liberation. Accepting your body leads to liberation. I have spent a lot of my life hating my body. Even now at times it can be a struggle to love and accept what my body is meant to look like now. What could I have been doing instead of wanting to change it? What opportunities did I miss out on because of never being satisfied with how I looked?
Like Strayed writes, when we start to love and accept ourselves as we are we can also honor our bodies. It’s taken me a long time (mostly with the help of therapy and medication) to stop being my own worse critic. To stop second guessing myself as a mother, friend, dietitian and human. To get out of toxic relationships and form a relationship with myself. Once I stopped with the self- loathing, I’ve been able to move forward and grow as a person. This has translated into body acceptance as well.
What would it look like to love your own skin? What does body liberation mean to you?