This body. This thing that we are so hard on. So fucking critical. This is a vessel for our soul and until we start to treat it and honor what it is, things are going to be very hard and very painful.
I am like most women.
I have had body dysmorphia from a really young age.
I have looked at myself in the mirror and cried because I was so unhappy with what I saw.
I have stood in the Target dressing room, naked, under the terrible fluorescent lighting, crying and promising myself to change my diet, to give up carbs, swear away sugar, and work out for hours to change how I looked.
When I look back at my life to try and pinpoint where this started, like most of us, it started at home.
I grew up in a home where my mom was always on a diet. Where she never felt good enough about her body. She had 9 kids, a host of hormonal issues, and it was tough for her.
My mom never once in my life said anything degrading to me about my body.
She always told me I was beautiful (even when I was an awkward AF teenage) and she always spoke greatness and life into me.
But I saw her.
I watched her.
And I heard how she talked about herself.
Little girls learn the most about ourselves through the way our mothers talk about themselves and look at themselves in the mirror.
Mommy, thank you for always speaking greatness into me.
Thank you for always believing I was smart enough and pretty enough.
I wish you knew how beautiful and special I have always thought you are.
The moments I look back to which were pivotal in affecting how I felt about my body came from my peers.
I’ll share one with you because I know some of you will find yourself in this story.
I was in second grade. Let me just preface this story with saying, I came into this beautiful world with an ass.
I was literally a toddler with a booty.
It’s those good Sicilian genes I have working in my favor.
And this small waist / round ass combo was not cute until Kim Kardashian and JLo came along. I actually remember when JLo came onto the scene and into my consciousness.
I remember feeling so thankful and feeling like (for once) my body was legitimate.
So I’m in second grade and I’m at this girls Janene’s house.
We are all in the basement, playing Barbies and probably talking shit about a girl from school when all of a sudden the girls were whispering, pointing at me, and laughing.
I had no idea what was happening.
I remember feeling so uncomfortable and confused.
So I asked, “What’s so funny?”
One of the girls said, “Why is your butt soooooo big?”
I remember exactly what I was wearing in that moment. I had on an oversized yellow sweatshirt and matching sweatpants and like a pair of Keds or something. It was the early 90’s.
I can only describe that in that moment, I felt really uncomfortable inside of my body.
Something was pointed out about me that I had never reflected on. Let alone picked apart.
I was awakened to the fact that there must be something wrong with me.
And I felt so ashamed.
But didn’t know what to do because I was trapped in this body.
Now, when I look back at that moment, I feel so sad for those girls.
Because someone was talking about their bodies, or other people’s bodies in front of them, giving them an awareness they should not have had and robbed them of their innocence.
That is what we are doing when we talk about our bodies or other people’s bodies in front of little girls.
We are robbing them of the innocence they came into this world with.
And little girls wear the wounds of our words for the rest of their lives.
Fast forward to a pivotal moment in high school.
I was sitting on the beige carpet in the middle of girlish, bright pink bedroom.
My bedroom was decorated with with pinks and bows and filled with art deco furniture that I was picked out, myself, at an antique shop.
In the center of the little girls fantasy bedroom, I sat cross-legged on the floor, looking down at my lower body. Specifically, I focused on the fat and pockets of tissue that stick out on the sides of our ass when we sit cross-legged.
I looked down at my ass and my legs and felt such an utter disdain for this body. I remember promising myself that if I didn’t get rid of all of “this”, when I have the money as an adult, I would get plastic surgery and remove it all.
I felt so much hate and disdain for my body that I was planning and plotting the surgery at 16 years old.
The wounds we carry from the words and actions of others run deeps and we carry them with us.
Do I always feel like a million bucks about my body?
But do I respect the HELL out of it? You bet your ass I do.
I want to share with you an alternate perspective on body confidence and self-love. You don’t have to adopt it. But this is what has helped me break my self-loathing cycle and feel so much love, respect and adoration for this body.
As I have embarked on a spiritual journey in my life, I have been much more conscious of that fact that this body is a vehicle for my soul.
A sacred vessel.
A sacred vessel that is taking my soul on a journey to fulfill my soul’s calling in this life.
I believe that before we are born, our soul knows the lessons that it wants to learn in this lifetime.
And it makes soul contracts with a host of other souls.
It makes a contract with our parents, to be born into a certain family so that we can learn the lessons our soul wants to learn in this life.
It makes a contract with our romantic partners for lessons we want to learn from them here. (Read more about marriage and soul contracts here!)
And I believe that in choosing that family, we also choose this particular vehicle or sacred body for the experience we are seeking.
I chose this body, this ass, and everything in between because there is a lesson in this body.
There have been so many lessons for me on why I inhabited this body.
I could write on that alone.
(Should I write on that?)
As I have become aware of my purpose on this earth, why I am here and my mission and the fact that I chose this body, my love and appreciation for it has shifted.
The way I engage with my body has shifted.
Early in my life, eating healthy and working out was not performed out of respect for my body. It was because I hated by body.
It was performed because I desperately wanted to shape shift and control how I looked.
Because I thought if I could do that, I would be lovable. (boy was I so wrong)
The energy behind my intention at that time was an intention born out of self-loathing.
When the energy behind anything we do is low-vibrational, it is counter-productive.
Meaning we either aren’t going to achieve the goal we are seeking or we are going to achieve it and be so fucking miserable that we wonder why we embarked on the journey to begin with.
Today, the intention behind my nutrition and exercise is honoring my vessel.
The food that I eat and the workouts I do are out of love.
I know that my soul is here to do massive work. And for me to have the energy to accomplish my soul’s calling, I must cherish, nourish and move my vessel.
I speak greatness into it, even if I feel like my ass looks fat in my jeans.
Exercising is a way to honor this sacred vessel.
Nutritious food is a way to give me the proper energy to carry out my mission.
This perspective and focusing on what my soul’s calling is, why I am here, and honoring my body for the powerful vessel it is, has changed my perspective.
Do I still have moments of body dysmorphia and distain for parts of me? Yes.
Am I able to change my energy, focus on what my soul came here to do, and quickly shift back into loving my body? Fuck yes.
If this perspective speaks to you, below are a couple questions to ask yourself to anchor you to your Divine purpose here on earth and begin to love your body the way it deserves to be loved.
I love you. I see you. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh. How big your bones are. How tight your abs are. How fat your ass is. How skinny, round, tall, short and everything in between you are.
You are here for a reason.
You are here in this time and in this space for a reason.
And that vessel is here to help you get there.