The truth is that I am not sure I have EVER been comfortable in my own skin. I have struggled with body image my whole life - I am sure you can guess the cycle - too much baby fat to being too skinny to being too fat, too tall, too plain, too pretty, too sexy, too boyish, too girly....getting my point?
The body stuff didn't stop with my actual skin. Oh no. It was also just a hop, skip, and a jump to criticism to how I dressed and when you grow up without a lot....not having the "right" clothes is as much about not having clothes to not ever learning how to dress yourself - stylishly/appropriately (just keep filling in the blanks).
So....lets just say that I am mortified to own this, but the truth is I have always struggled with body image and dressing said body. Like All. The. Time...up to, and including, this morning.
I have hid this (or tried to) by being overly confident (a lot of bravado there), hiding in clothes, and my personal favorite - wearing the same clothes over and over (after getting positive feedback). Body-wise, there have been a few times since high school that I was in really great shape (physically) and I would undoubtedly sabotage it after a bit of time due to the attention I gained that I couldn't handle (emotionally) OR my body would simply fail me (health issues). *Eye Roll*
So....imagine my utter disbelief and surprise in learning that both of these things are connected....all of it is connected....and just like all of the other shit I have toted around emotionally (and physically), there is a way to work through it and find some healing...maybe complete healing. Of course, I have to deal with said "shit" (which makes me sigh and then laugh because.....c'mon) by doing the work.
Do. The. Work.
Anybody guess how all of this came bubbling up?
Well, it seems I don't breathe well. I have a lot of "acknowledged" anxiety - some previously there and some being revealed via counseling. So...my counselor has been recommending the gym to burn off the anxiety, and I have resisted - for weeks - with excuses. Then, the breathing came up and the suggestion was yoga. These little "subtle" recommendations in counseling (and in a book I am reading ) were not lost upon me....and believe me I have been thinking about it. Like why I was acknowledging both would be helpful....I have enjoyed working out in the past...enjoyed yoga....but there was a block. So....yesterday my counselor informs me that we will not see each other for three weeks due to her vacation and mine.
Without saying a word to her or anyone....I left counseling. Drove straight home. Put my workout clothes on. Drove to the office to send a couple of emails and make a couple of calls. I then went and walked a couple of miles (blew up that damn fitbit) and walked home and did some yoga.
|There might have been an "Eat Pray Love yoga mat scene" when I rolled out my yoga mat last night. :)|
I then proceeded to sleep like a baby for about nine hours (hello 7 a.m.; goodbye 5:45 a.m.).
Let me say this. I was more clear-headed that three hours of walking and yoga than I have been in I don't know how long. I also cannot remember the last time I slept that long (when not under sheer exhaustion) peacefully.
I did a lot of thinking too...with all of that new head space to dream and plot and plan.....oh and not for nothing, but to talk with God.
My God and I walk through the fields together....
One night and three hours don't cure me. I am not naïve. I know that.
I think that is why tonight after walking another couple of miles and then in the middle of yoga....I found myself needing to write. I need to document this next step in the journey of healing. The truth is that I am learning who I am. What I like. What I don't like. What I need. What my body needs. I am also learning how to negotiate my brokenness and find healing.
If you think it is weird to be 45 finding yourself, You. Are. Right.
My latest goal in this journey in counseling is to pinpoint why I am uncomfortable in my own skin and get some healing there....even as I start working my body again - which is the real gift of yoga as it is re-introducing me to my own body - the one that is carrying me around all day.
I want to cry (good tears) typing all of this out. I don't know if I have ever said these words out loud. I haven't even said them in counseling. You can't hide within your own skin (that you are already uncomfortable in) if everyone knows your struggles with it. What would be the point? Maybe I am giving up some of the power it has always had over me with these words. I pray so.
|I sent this post-walk/post-yoga selfie to my Sis last night. I needed a cheerleader.|
"This is the work of my life really - getting well, being whole, and living a life with no regrets. I hate everything about it, but this....that inch-by-inch, God is showing me his glory and his deep love for my heart and the healing we are fighting for together."
...I can't say it any better than that.
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)