I claimed it. I said, “I am the authority here.”
I held my marshmallowy, post c-section belly in my hand and said, “Thank you. I love you. You are sacred.” I am the authority here. I get to determine if my belly is sacred. I get to send it love. I get to say it is sacred just as it is, without any nipping, without flatness, without a six pack. I get to determine that I love my belly. I get to determine that I show love and gratitude to my belly. Gratitude for my babies. For all the good work digesting my food. For its guidance when I say, “I feel it in my gut.”
(A side note-- I used to think it all was pretty organized, back there behind the skin. I saw the science transparency layovers in a book-- “here’s the digestive system...here’s the reproductive system, here’s the muscles...here’s the nerves….here’s how the blood flows…” Then one day, the doctor doing my diagnostic surgery handed me photos of my innards, explaining all the webbing of the scar tissue. It just looked like a big jumbled stew in there. Not neatly organized. Just a squishy soup of organs.)
After I put my hand on my belly, I put my hands on each other part of my body and said the same. My foot. My shoulder. My ears. My whole body. “Thank you. I love you. You are sacred.”
Do I determine the sacredness and beauty of my body or do I bow the knee and pass my scepter of authority to another?
This authority to determine our own worth, our own sacredness, has been stripped from us. By magazines, by the beauty and diet and fashion industries. And they did it on purpose so that we would feel so terrible that we would spend any amount of money to reclaim what is naturally our right. Our right to say, “I am beautiful. I am sacred.” Instead we compare ourselves to the airbrushing and say, “I am ugly. I am not enough. Here is my money. Please do what you promised.” And they take our money and laugh. And the cycle starts again.
But what if we reclaimed it? What if we looked around, told them all to go to hell, and just said, “I am beautiful. I am sacred.” How would we feel? How would we treat ourselves? What would happen if that were our self-talk all day long, instead of “I am fat. I don’t have a thigh gap. I am ugly. No one tells me I’m beautiful. I am worthless.” Thigh gap. Good grief.
Feel the difference in those words. Beautiful, sacred. Ugly, worthless.
Feel the elevation of the sacred. Feel the devastation, the twisted deception, the starvation, the cruelty of the lies. Feel the light vs. darkness.
And if you haven’t noticed that those dark words are part of your self-talk, just listen. What are those voices saying as you get dressed, as you do your makeup, as you read that magazine? And then, when your awareness dawns, make a new choice.
It was an unconscious choice to give away our authority. But it is a conscious choice to take it back. Choose to see the magnificence. Choose to see the wonder. The wonder of the pores of your skin. The miracle of sensory perception-- we can hug and feel loved! Wiggle your toes. See the sunset. And realize there is so much more than the neon lie arrows pointing at you saying you’re not enough. You are enough because you are sacred. See that you are sacred. You are the authority. Choose that you are sacred. Hold yourself sacred.
This isn’t just for you. This is for all our little girls.
In third grade I listened to a rectangular shaped girl say to the willowy shaped girls, “I weigh 75 pounds!” She owned it, she claimed it. But, instead of saying, “Way to stand up to the man, yo!” my little 8-year old self darkened, thinking… I weigh 85 pounds. That must mean I am fat. That must mean I am less-than. Hide. And the next year when I came back to school as a fourth grader, I bragged about how I had skipped breakfast.
I look back at photos of myself at that age in a swimsuit. And I was just normal. But I thought I was less-than. And so it began.
Instead of waiting around for my particular body type to reach some magazine cover as the body type of the decade, today I choose that I am beautiful. I choose that I am valuable. I choose that I am sacred. I choose that my body is sacred. No one else is the authority here. I am the authority.