Blushing is no stranger to me. It has been my companion since as far back as I can remember. Sometimes I think I am the queen of blushing. In school I was always the awkward kid who blushed far too easily. I even blushed about blushing. It became a vicious cycle, and being shy and introverted only added to the pain.
Shame became a part of my life early on. I remember the very first time I felt shame. Perhaps, around the age of 3, give or take a year, I found myself lying on a table looking up at the big man standing over me. The big man, our family doctor, opened my legs and examined my “private” area. As he pulled apart every tiny fold, I was consumed with guilt, shame and humiliation. Of course, my mom was in the room, but for some reason her presence caused me even greater embarrassment. In that moment my life-long battle with body-shaming began…and sometimes the battle rages on.
I’ve wasted years of my life thinking myself too ugly, too fat, and never-ever good enough. It has taken most of my life to get to the point to where I love my body. Through a lot of mental health work, I’ve finally arrived at this stage in my life where I accept, celebrate, and enjoy pampering my body.
I’ve accepted I’ll never have a barbie-doll appearance. Who the hell does anyway? Look around…not many. There may be a lucky few, but, more often than not, the desired appearance is reached only through abuse and starvation. I make a point to daily accept my body where it is at this moment in my life’s journey.
I’ve learned to celebrate my body, after all, it is amazingly and wonderfully made. Our bodies are nothing less than walking miracles upon the earth. They are complex, and each intricate part does its own special task to move, breath, and exist as a whole. Even God celebrates our bodies, and who are we to argue with God? The Genesis’s record sums His appraisal of us, “…God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself…Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way.” Learn to celebrate your body, because your creator does in spades!
I pamper my body everyday. I’ve stopped dieting, and instead I eat more of the foods that keep my body healthy. I learned to taste and enjoy new foods…new recipes. I exercise more, and add new activities to my regime to keep it interesting. I’ve found the more active I am, the more my body craves activity, and so I pamper it with fun things to do. While in the shower I make a point to pause and to really feel the warm water, and the frothy lather from a bar of Dove soap. I’ve tried and discovered new lotions and perfumes for my body. I’ve found that if I love my body, it will love me back.
I encourage you…make a decision to accept, celebrate, and pamper your body. At times the old shame will rear it’s ugly head, and when it does love your body all the more.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)