Once upon a time…
Ginny stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirror. She had just finished her shower and was about to proceed to her locker at the YMCA, where she would dress, collect her belongings and begin her day in the outside world. She had recently made a decision to work on her self-image which, at this stage in her life, was no small feat.
The other task, which also seemed herculean, was to tackle yet another attempt to render her rather voluptuous body down to a reduced state of being. Into her 7th decade of life, Ginny had finally reached a place that had eluded her from a very young age.
The past seventy-odd years had netted her two husbands, several lovers, and a deep mistrust of most human beings, including herself. The safeguards she had developed to protect herself over the years eventually became instruments of destruction.
Alcohol was fun at first because it was a wonderful numbing substance that lubricated intimate rituals. However, it turned out to be a double-edged sword, leaving Ginny feeling worse than before. Food was always a comfort, but it too became another torture device. Years of yoyo dieting had left her body ravished and usually starved.
Ginny’s self-confidence took the biggest hit. Early in life she accepted the belief that she wasn’t really worth very much. Years of repeating this erroneous thought form took their toll on Ginny’s mental and physical health. Family patterns played out over and over in her relationships.
Yet, life has a kind and gentle side. Time has a way of spreading a soothing balm of perspective across the canvas of experience and even almost unbearable emotional carnage has the opportunity to soften and heal.
Ginny gradually reached the conclusion that she really was worth looking after. Besides, if she did not take better care of herself, she may not be around for too much longer to even consider it. It was from this vantage point that Ginny took out a membership at the YMCA.
Having dropped forty-five kilos in the previous two years, Ginny felt the desire to increasingly move her body and to even find pleasure in doing so. Within the buoyancy of the water, she was weightless. What would have been near impossible on land suddenly became almost effortless.
Ginny began to crave her workouts and found herself loving the routine of making her way to the pool when it opened in the morning. The routine became a habit and she began to feel increasing positive effects on her mind and body, which reflected out to her relationships. The only difficult part of the routine was her dilemma in the shower rooms…to go naked or not to go naked.
The problem was compounded by the fact that there was only one private shower room, and the wait for it was sometimes quite long. Yet, the shower stall was small and cramped, barely leaving enough space for her to turn around. Her angst over this dilemma caused some grief for Ginny.
She tried waiting until no one was in the open shower rooms. However, this solution was a hit-and-miss even on quiet days. She tried leaving her bathing suit on but, for various reasons, this also proved highly problematic. Eventually, she surrendered and simply decided to take her bathing suit off to shower openly in the buff.
She pretended that her body looked like it did on her first wedding day when she was in her early twenties. That kind of worked at first, until she looked down at what she was lathering.
She became relentless in her determination to soldier on, and gradually, magically, a shift began to happen. Slowly but surely, Ginny became less embarrassed at the masses of flesh that loomed large when she steeled herself to glance down. She became aware that the other naked women did not seem horrified or even disgusted when they walked into the room to find her there in full naked glory. Some even smiled at her as they performed their own ablutions.
Ginny began experimenting, testing herself in search of whatever comfort level she could find. She found it distracting to think of herself as an extraterrestrial, visiting Earth to observe humans so she could learn how to fit in unnoticed. She stealthily observed the other women as they showered. When they bent over and lathered, so did she.
She touched places on her body that rarely had felt the touch of her hand. She caressed, soaped and tenderly rinsed rolls and mounds that draped around her frame. And then a miracle began to happen, Ginny began falling in love with her body!
She walked naked with the other women as they visited, chatting about this and that. Drying their bodies, powdering their bodies, oiling their bodies, dressing their bodies. She began to feel the loving power of self-acceptance surge through her being as she became less and less ashamed of her body’s dimensions.
She never forgot that day, when she caught sight of an image in a mirror. She looked at what she thought was the reflection of a stranger entering the locker room. Ginny smiled and thought to herself ‘Oh, what a beautiful woman’. She was shocked when she took a second look, realising that the woman looking back, smiling at her, was in fact her.
Ginny knew that true healing had occurred for her the day she picked up a survey at the counter on her way home. The YMCA was planning renovations and wanted feedback from members. One of the questions regarded renovating the bathrooms. It asked if people would like to see more private shower rooms installed.
Ginny paused for a moment, grinned, and carefully wrote in bold letters – “Fat Chance”.
“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
Moral of the Story:
Life is really very simple: what we give out, we get back. What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. By incarnating on this planet, you are a student of Earth School, which means you are responsible for everything in your life – the good, the bad and the horrendously ugly. Learning to be OK with all the pieces of you can be hard, but with some practice, you can learn the art of self-acceptance. Every thought you think is creating your future. Because the thoughts you think and the words you speak literally create your experiences, the point of power is always in the present moment. Everyone suffers from self-hatred and guilt. The bottom line lesson for everyone at Earth School is the embedded thought “I’m not good enough.” Here’s the thing: It’s only a thought and a thought can be changed. We must be willing to begin to learn to love ourselves. Only then can we truly experience deeply fulfilling connections and free-flowing abundance.
Self-acceptance in the now is the key to positive life changes. When you really, truly love you, and accept yourself as you are, everything in your life works. It’s as if little miracles happen everywhere. Your health improves, you attract more money, your relationships become much more fulfilling, and you begin to express yourself in creatively fulfilling ways. And the best bit is all this seems to happen without even trying. Loving and approving of yourself by cultivating a space of safety, trust, deserving and accepting, creates organisation in your mind. In this way, you naturally develop more loving and supportive relationships, attract new job opportunities, a new and better place to live, and even enable your body weight to normalise. People who love themselves and their bodies do not abuse themselves or anyone else. Loving and accepting the self begins with never ever criticising yourself for anything because criticism locks you into the very pattern you are trying to change. Forgiving, understanding, and being gentle with yourself helps you to move out of this pattern. Remember, you have been criticising yourself for years and that hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens!
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
Affirmation: I love & accept myself exactly as I am right now
I see my patterns and I choose to make changes. I am teachable, I can learn, and I am willing to change. I choose to have fun doing this. I choose to react as though I have found a treasure when I discover something else to release. I see and feel myself changing moment by moment. Thoughts no longer have any power over me. I am the power in my world and I choose to be free. The past has no power over me because I am willing to learn and change. I see the past as necessary to bring me to where I am today. I am willing to begin where I am right now to clean the rooms of my mental house. I know it does not matter where I start, so I now begin with the smallest and the easiest rooms. In this way, I will see results quickly. Forgiving makes me feel free and light. It is with joy that I learn to love myself more and more. The more resentment I release, the more love I have to express. I know that truth is the unchangeable part of me. I no longer choose to believe in old limitations and lack. I now choose to begin to see myself as the Universe sees me — perfect, whole, and complete. The truth of my Being is that I was created perfect, whole, and complete. I am willing to set myself free. I love who I am and all that I do. I am the living, loving, joyous expression of life. I choose to be healthy and free.
“Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”
― George R.R. Martin