From a childhood of body shame and self-judgement, one woman peels back the layers of her past to find the strength to live a life of her own design
Since a was a little girl I have been fed the vision of partnership. Unfortunately, it was a distorted vision. It was a vision that did not teach me what authentic love looks like or feels like.
I don’t remember seeing my parents hug, kiss or even hold hands. Affection and touch were not much part of my upbringing.
I wasn’t taught how to show love or how to love myself. I wasn’t taught what healthy love looks like or feels like. I wasn’t taught how to value myself. For those who cared for me were stuck in their own cycles of self-sabotage, unhappiness and self-judgment — often, in a constant state of denial from their own harsh judgments against themselves.
We, as women, are fed a distorted view of perfection as girls, and punish ourselves, with constrictions and obsessions about our appearance.
I was told once, when one of my family members, was a teenager, she went on a diet that consisted of one egg and one carrot a day to sustain her. I think for 2 weeks or a month. How do so many of us get into this place of such judgment against ourselves?
These fears and self-defeating beliefs I was brought up with soaked into me. I became anorexic throughout most of my high-school years. I became obsessed with performance & appearance. I won races and hid behind the success. It fueled me to do better and do more.
All of this led to deep self-hate, self-judgment, shame, blame, and fear of inadequacy in nearly all forms of my own body.
This distortion of perfection leaked into the pores of my being without me even knowing it. This has led to years of me obsessing about eating, not eating, aware of the calories, sugar, fat…of nearly everything.
Wellness and working out are both sides of the same coin. On the one hand I was so obsessive about my wellness and training it harmed me, but on the other hand, running was the only thing that saved me from myself. In time, I grew to understand my weakness; I knew I needed to nourish myself to be stronger, to be my best and my best performance.
The rain with the sun. Running gave me a positive outlet — to release my anger, my fears, my confusions of life. It allowed me time to think, breath, and be — simply feeling & connecting to my own Self. Often training was early. Many mornings were just my breath and me. Watching it in and out my body, as it floated in the cold morning air.
I fell in love with outside more because of running — I fell in love with the lines of Earth, the shadows, the smells, the air itself. I am from Montana, where there is nothing but land. So you either love it or you hate it.
I needed it. It was my medicine, my purpose. I learned to trust what I’m capable of because of it. So ultimately, running saved my life in many ways. It taught me that with focus, power, persistence and will — almost anything can be done.
My mother said something to me the other day, she said she was sorry for my upbringing, after she just read an article. I said, “We all have our stuff. We all have different experiences growing up. It’s done. Now, as an adult, it is my job to understand it and clear it out.”
I am still unraveling this package of entwined judgment on myself. I believe it may take my whole life to unravel it completely. For it’s not just my mom that carries this distorted vision of perfection, it’s our entire society everywhere, in magazines, in social media, in movies. This is how we learn to value women’s bodies. Our bodies. We have carried this distorted vision of a design for so long, it is so far out of alignment. The power of who we are has been striped. Suppressing us from our depth of power as priestesses and divine designers. It has suppressed our sensuality. It has been force-fed to all of us women, almost from the time we can walk and talk.
Be admirable, be sexy, have no cellulite, have no wrinkles, have no pleasure, have no satisfaction for yourself. You are here to be of service, to take care of others, to mother, to organize, to mutate into mundane to support your man.
This is what we are taught.
My folks, as many folks do, grew apart from each other. The spark died, but they carried on in their marriage agreement, out of commitment, fear, and obligation to us as a family, until my junior year in high school, when all the shit hit the fan!
They held on for reasons we all hold on. To have somebody, to look refined from the outside, to be normal, or at least look happy. Yet, crumbling within the walls of stature and grandeur, was a melting pile of nothing. Less than nothing. A dead, lifeless existence with no joy, excitement or pursuit of truth, growth, or happiness.
Love, who cared about love? This was about survival, survival in the lies we tell ourselves, to make it through what we cannot bare to witness within ourselves.
But I witnessed firsthand the consequences of such actions and ways of living.
I vowed to myself then, I would never live a life that was not of my own design; as messy or as put together as it may be, it was and it is my own.
My own creation, my own divine design. I swore I would never live a mundane life, nor one I wasn’t proud of creating. We are the divine designers of our own lives and alignment.
I have been practicing yoga, movement, quiet walks, runs, painting, drawing, writing, meditating, reading since I was a young child. This is and was how I have maneuvered through these mountains of muted malnutrition.
I read the Tao when I was 12. I was born curious of Spirituality and duality. Books have been my builder, my way to detach from the distorted vision of perfection. Books and years of release, unwind and unravel are now leading me to my truth. My imperfect perfection.
I am taking the power back. Designing in alignment with me. My pulse, my beat, my being. I create my joy, my pleasure, my happiness. No one else does. I am the divine designer of my own energy, my own life, and how I am going to live it!
How do you design your life in alignment? Discover your own path.
DIVINE DESIGN IN ALIGNMENT DARE:
This week I dare you to expose yourself to something uncomfortable. Bare your bones to your own truth. Bare your body, your soul, your Spirit to something you fear, you hide from, you hold in.
You may also enjoy reading Releasing Shame to Reclaim Your Self-Worth, by Emily Maddil