Welcome to Truessence’s all November long series: BODY TALK. We think this topic is so valuable and important to discuss that we’re taking an entire month to just stop, share stories and notice what’s stirring in each of us around honoring our bodies. Exciting right?
I’m going to start us off with a question (typical, if you know me. I love questions!)
This question is complicated, just like we as women are complicated. This question is one I seem to get often after speaking at a conference or weekend retreat.
And just to make myself clear here, I reserve the right to return to this topic… frequently. Here is what I find brewing right now: How do I nourish my body image?
Some days this is a great question – followed by a strong affirming statement of hope. Yet, sometimes I struggle to find any fiber of strength to hold me up. So that’s why I have to ask myself this question, frequently.
Today I am surrounded by various shapes, sizes and complexities of women all wearing spandex – a great fall running day at the lake. With each jiggle and foot pounding I see body parts that are swaying with beauty, but maybe that is because I feel the vulnerability of my body joined with theirs.
The story I am telling myself is that we are beautiful women, caring well for our bodies and together we are an encouragement to one another. Do I believe this? Most of the time, but I have to be honest there are times when I struggle with the bulges in my waistline, the sagging of once perky body parts and the mysterious way my brain suddenly fails to remember where I parked the car.
What sources do I access to nourish my body image?
There are no two women who share the same body type. And that’s a fact. So how we view our own body is going to impact how we share this body with another. If the “story” we are telling ourselves that a certain shape, size, coloring, image is perfect, then I am looking for something outside of what I am to define my body.
At the risk of sounding simplistic… I have to ask myself… do I really want to be defined by the impossible or do I want to risk seeing my real beauty?
This past winter I had the opportunity to spend a week by the ocean. Every night the sun sank into the ocean’s horizon, same time, same place and always before a gathered crowd. Very evening held a unique beauty – similar, but not the same – a commonality was shared, but IF I had stood and defined what I thought the beauty should look it, I would have completely missed the beauty that was right in front of me – in that moment.
Ladies, ladies, ladies (and yes men too, but more on that another time)… your body image is unique. Soft parts are necessary, perky parts will fall and yes, we will need to be reminded to keep rediscovering beauty in our bodies as we age (especially in sexual relationships).
First befriend your body and own the beautiful moment of this day, who you are right NOW, then you can pause and see how beauty is not something we define, instead we enter.
Not once in those seven days by the ocean did I see the same display of beauty. Not once was the sky completely the same and identical to the night before. So ladies, maybe we need to keep “running” together and telling ourselves the same story – we all belong, we all carry beauty and it is good.
Care to meet me at the twilight moment and discover the beauty together? I will be the one in spanx pinching my middle and leaving a bulge.
PS And speaking our need to keep running together… get ready for Monday when my friend Laura adds her voice to BODY TALK this November by sharing how one intentional, simple choice is impacting her entire family.