I was at a workshop recently, I seem to remember we’d been dancing. That free, abandoned bouncing around that happens sometimes, without thought or self-consciousness.
And afterwards someone said ‘your breasts look amazing’, and I replied ‘Yes, I know, thank you.’
The compliment was just that, an appreciation of my boobs, without agenda or expectation, just a compliment. Clean. And I received it fully. Not just that, I owned it, I knew it, I felt it in every cell. With no doubt, no amendments, no censure.
So how did it come to be that a now fifty-five year old woman, with the full and certain knowledge of wobbly bits and not quite perfectly youthful skin, can feel so completely ok in her body?
There’s something truly remarkable about knowing my body, inhabiting it fully and being present to its entirety. There’s something deeply healing about knowing I could lose a few pounds, that I could do with a bit more exercise, good for my health and all that, but it doesn’t really dent my self-confidence in any destructive way. That I can look in a mirror and see myself, and love myself, all of me. That I have the off-days, of course I do, but mostly I am good with myself, with how I am in this divine creation, this human body that I get to inhabit, this gift.
When I was younger I had the lovely skin, the beautifully youthful proportions, and the savage self-deprecation. It wasn’t that I thought I looked bad, more that I felt shy, invisible and irrelevant. I’d look in a mirror and see beauty, but I genuinely felt that no-one else would notice me. For some of us it’s even more insidious, at any time in our lives. We see ugliness and imperfection, where absolutely none exists. We don’t know our own loveliness. We don’t feel safe to appreciate ourselves, to allow that others might do so too. Actually, we just don’t feel safe.
It’s an astonishing thing, to feel truly safe. To know, fully, in our bodies, our right to be here. To feel solid on this earth. Imagine, that your every step shakes the ground, that you are so full and complete in yourself that the world shifts, the sun shines brighter, that you look into the faces of everyone around you and see beauty, as a mirror of yourself. That’s the certainty of self-confidence, of feeling truly safe. It’s not a steady state mind, it’s an ebb and flow. But once it’s in you, once you’re felt it, there’s no going back. You are forever changed. And it feels good.
‘That’s not me. It’s not possible. It can’t be done. I’m broken.
Is that what you’re thinking? That used to be me.
It’s not magic, it’s available to all. Do the work, step up, accept the challenge.