Back to Blog
“The moment of change is the only poem.”- Adrienne Rich
Three or four years ago now, I found myself on the uncomfortable beginning of an awakening. I nearly said epiphany, but that implies explosive instant understanding, and this journey……time and work. I say uncomfortable, because growth is NEVER comfortable, but also because I was literally physically in discomfort. I was with my massage therapist, on the table, and while I should have been blissed out and relaxed, I was feeling anxiety and visceral trepidation.What if she saw? What if she judged?
I used to have a very poor relationship with my body. It’s getting better, thanks. I’ve always been “active”, or at least able to conceive of myself as such, but approaching 50, I was sedentary, overweight, and exhibiting some really bad psychological and emotional traits with my physicality. I was embarrassed by my self. I didn’t like my self. And as I lay there, looking to RELEASE stress and anxiety, I was getting panicky as she began to raise my arm over my head for some simple range of motion exercises. I just knew she was going to notice, and be disgusted. As I was disgusted.
I had skin tags under my arms.
It seems silly now. But how could I be one of those people? I had been athletic, people had told me I was attractive, how could I be aging so poorly, so unfit, so GROSSLY, as to have skin tags in my pits? Finally, it just bubbled up. My arm went over my head, stretched towards the wall, and I just blurted “bodies are so gross.”
Yep. Bodies are so gross. As I lay on a table having a PROFESSIONAL BODY WORKER manipulate me. As I sought to DISTRACT attention from what I found gross. Looking for agreement and sympathy, for all love, from someone who CHOSE A CAREER with other people’s bodies. Smooth move, ExLax.
I’ll give her credit, she said “……what?” Or something equally non-committal, after a slight pause. I immediately realized what I had done, and shut my mouth, and tried to just enjoy my massage. But there’s nothing to set a train in motion in your head like getting a glimpse of a radically different perspective. A response that indicates paradigm misalignment so clearly as to shout “we are not even looking at the same thing”. Baseline expectations so different as to see the sky as different colors. And for a highly sensitive person, a thinker like myself, that’ll get your noggin wagging.
And it’s kept wagging. And wagging. I knew immediately that what I had said on the table, in addition to being highly insulting to my practitioner, was an untruth. A non-truth. And I had been telling it to myself, and using it to hate myself, and to judge who was righteous and worthy of my time, for years. Decades even. And I knew then I couldn’t heal ANY of the parts of my life that had gone horribly wrong until I changed my perspective.
It doesn’t matter that this lie came from outside, that it had been told to me and applied to me when young and reinforced by all the best minds of Madison Avenue. I internalized, I swallowed it with relish, and I became the lie, propagating it in the world like a virus, part of the transmission, an active participant in un-truth. All the time, we accept packages of lies from other people. All day, every day. Especially about our physical forms. This is so common, and so “known”, it’s become a tired old adage, and yet we still keep taking these little poison bombs of self hate and attaching them to ourselves, blowing them up whenever we feel a little lift of pride or happiness, to pull ourselves back down again. As if we don’t have a right to love ourselves. As if we don’t have a right to reside in our own power. As if the way through life is non-being. This isn’t the right voice talking to us….it’s the wrong one.
We are spirit made flesh. The numinous made corporeal. A miracle paradox of star stuff and earth animate with energy and purpose. An awe inspiring complex and complete biome poured full of divine light and set upright to celebrate life. Every scar, wrinkle, hair, bump, mole, and yes skin tag, is a miracle, a blessing, a wonder and should be celebrated as such. Hating ourselves, we hate life itself, and that my friends is a path none of us should walk. Loving life, we love ourselves, and realize that we have a right to feel peace, and comfort, and love. We have a right to enjoy touch, and laughter, and the feel of sunlight and wind. What you look like matters not at all, except in that it makes you unique. You too may do anything you wish, feel anything you wish, with your own body. It’s time to start handing those little bombs of loathing back where they came from and never take one again.