During the last full moon ritual on my list of things to release, I listed negative thoughts and feelings about my body. I said that these would fade each day like the light of the moon until, like the new moon, their influence would be invisible in my life. I've been thinking about that alot today. Monday, I think, was the new moon. Are these negative thoughts and feelings gone? I think they are considerably faded anyway.
I keep my iPod on shuffle most of the time. Lately, I've been exasperated at the amount of christian music I have. If I delete all of it, am I deleting part of myself? Will I want to hear these songs again? Can I take what lessons I can from them, even if I don't believe in the nuts and bolts? Mostly, I've been skipping them.
Today, a song called Free by Ginny Owens. The lyrics go something like, "You're free to dance, forget about your two left feet. And you're free to sing, even joyful noise is music to me. And you're free to love because I have given you my love and its made you free." And I wondered, am I free? I've been bound and shackled by the insecurities of my body. I can't dance because I don't think my hips work right, the way they look swaying back and forth isn't right, isn't like those skinny girls. And awkwardness seems to be painted across my limbs like freckles. All I ever want is people to not look at me, to not notice the fatness, and physical activity seems to draw more attention than I want. Have I let myself be free?
I don't become any more or less fat when I dance. Those people around me are comfortable with my body because it is me and they are comfortable with me. They aren't surprised when my stomach shakes, when my arms are soft, when I have a double chin. These are things they see each time they look at me, they feel each time they hug me. They don't recoil from me. So why do I recoil from me?
So I dance and I hope the horrible insecurity doesn't show on my face. I climb into the van and try to become as small as possible and pray that no one notices the emotions etched in my fingers and shoulder blades. I keep thinking that eventually, if I go through the motions of things, they will become natural to me. After all, I pretended to be okay for a long time and eventually, I was. But I don't think the pretending is what made me heal.
So whats next?
I keep going to the gym and eating things like grilled chicken and yogurt and fruit. I keep passing up things like ice cream and fried things and pop. Slowly, the weight is coming off. But if I can't change the way I see myself, no mirror is ever going to make me happy. There will always be some other flaw to obsess over. Is my nose too bulbous? Are my eyes crooked? Are my pores too large? It would never, ever be enough.
So I resolve to take notice of things I like about me every time I look in the mirror, every time I start to dance, every time I curl in on myself. Even if I have to go through the list of negatives first, I will force myself to find the good things first. This won't be arrogance, this will be learning to love myself, my physical self, in a way that I have never allowed myself to do.
So, for right now: I like the shape my face is taking now that the edges are starting to show.