So today I’m going to get personal. I’m going to try to be brave. I’m going to speak my truth. I’m going to free myself.
Every once in a while, I suffer from depression, anxiety takes over my mind, body, and soul, and my insecurities keep me from being who I long to be.
Day by day, I’m making an effort to push through, to see the beauty in the struggle, to discover what it looks, feels and tastes like to be me.
For a lot of my life, I did things, said things and became things to please other people. Their approval was priority, over my sanity, self-worth and desires.
It’s made me indecisive, at the mercy of others’ beliefs, feelings and opinions. It’s left me not knowing who I am, or how to become who I want to be.
I often felt like I had to do what other people wanted me to do, or be who they wanted me to be, to be any good to them, to be valuable, to have their support, love, and care.
Growing up, this led to me hurting my dearest friends, me being wishy washy when it came to what I stood for, and loyal to few. My allegiance was to anyone who made me feel good about myself, wanted or important.
When I think about where this might have come from, everything makes sense, everything is clear.
As a child, I was sexually abused by a family member. As a teen, I was sexually violated multiple times by several different people. I often felt like there was a mark on my forehead, telling others that it was okay for them to do things to me that I didn’t say they could do. I felt like my body was mine, but it wasn’t my own. I couldn’t even use my voice to rescue myself or express my angst. My body, silent, betrayed me.
How could I know who I was when the temple I lived, breathed and existed in was used for others’ pleasure, against my will, and at any time they wanted?
How could I be me, when I couldn’t save me? How could I love me, when I couldn’t share what happened to me? How could I find what I wanted to do and be when what I wanted didn’t seem to matter?
For years, I struggled to love my body, and hid behind t-shirts and clothes. I gained weight, which allowed me to hide even more. At one point in time, I tried to gain control by eating the least amount of food possible, always leaving something on my plate.
My relationship with my body has been full of ups and downs. It was hard for me to see my body as divine, holy and beautiful, when all I felt was shame, guilt and weak for what I “allowed” to happen. It was easy for me to criticize everything about it. It was hard for me to love it, and me.
It was hard to believe that I was worthy of love, protection, pleasure on my own terms or healing from it all. God has shown me that I am worthy of this and so much more.
So slowly, I’m learning to love my body, this vessel I live, breathe and walk in every day. When I’m on vacation next week, I’m going to love it in a new way.
For the first time in years, I’m going to wear a two-piece swimsuit on the beach. I’m going to reclaim my body, my self-worth, my self-love, ME.
I’m going to let the waves dance across my skin, the sun kiss my soul, and the sand soothe my mind. I’m going to celebrate the creation that is me, from the inside out.
On this trip, I’m going to recover everything that was taken from me – the ability to protect myself; the ability to speak up for myself; the ability to say, do, believe and become all I was intended to be, before people steered me their way; what it means to love my body unconditionally, simply for its wonder; how to evolve from pain and reclaim my power, strength and peace.
On this trip, I’m going to discover who I am by tuning in to my body – my way into this world, my way back to its source, my being. I’m going to use every moment to become all and who I am meant to be, in this body.
My body is a gift from God, and every day I awake, I will take care of it, cherish it, and appreciate it. My love, if you have experienced something similar, I invite you to do the same.
Have you been violated in some way? How did it change you? How are you healing, recovering, reclaiming your true self?
Be loved. Love you. Be love.
*Photo Credit: CreateHER Stock