I was recently reading about the body in a book called Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent while on a long subway ride and this quote struck a resonance with my core so strongly:
“One of the most challenging aspects of wounds associated with the most intimate place in the female body is the silence, secrecy, shame, or isolation that tends to trap energy. The process of witnessing the truth of these wounds, of acknowledging the pain, of being seen and heard by another person, allows it to begin to move.”
Reading that immediately transported me back to a gym in middle school where I had been picked to play in multiple rounds of a sports game.
I don’t even remember specific details about the game or what was happening, but I do remember feeling proud that my other classmates kept choosing me to play on their team and I was giving it my all—I was having fun!
At some point my playing time was up and I went to sit on the sidelines. Then a girl in my class leaned over to tell me that the reason I was being picked so much was because the boys wanted to watch my chest bounce.
I wasn’t wearing a sports bra for gym class and apparently my unsupported bust was the newest source of entertainment.
I can still feel the flush of embarrassment, horror and disappointment that welled up inside me in that moment…and I still feel that lingering pain in my heart as I write this. It’s surprising how long-thought forgotten memories can bubble up through the body unexpectedly.
This is a wound I have held for so long and have not ever told a single soul.
“When a wound is witnessed, it’s energy begins to change.” ~ Tami Lynn Kent
I believe that sharing this story with you is changing my relationship with this wound.
Being blessed with a large bosom, I have had some posture issues over the years. As I’ve been building my back muscles up through weight training (as well as my boobs getting smaller with my weight loss), it is easier for me to stand up straight.
As I have been doing emotional healing work, it is easier for me to stand in a more open way.
I realized that my hunched shoulders were not only due to the weakness of my back and the weight of my breasts, but also because I was hiding my body and shielding my heart.
“The wounds related to your womanhood define you only if they prevent you from owning and accessing the vibrant energy of your core. You cannot change what happened to you, but you can change the way it impacts the root of your body.” ~ Tami Lynn Kent
The morning meditation I did on the morning before I read this book passage and had this memory flood into my consciousness was on forgiveness. It was powerful to visualize the release of negative energy that bonded me to people of my past who I needed to forgive, but I was struck most by the potency of forgiving myself.
I would like to place forgiveness here in this space of witness to my womanhood:
- I forgive the pubescent adolescents who didn’t have the understanding and know-how to respect a woman’s body or express their own sexuality.
- I forgive the fellow girls who didn’t know how to stand up for a fellow sister and whose words, perhaps meaning to console, confide, or cut down, hurt deep.
- I forgive a world where the feminine has been devalued and parts of a woman’s body have been objectified.
- I forgive myself for carrying the shame and the painful memory for so long and for allowing it to effect the love of my body and giving me certain insecurities for a long time.
- I forgive. And I send love and light as I release it, because it no longer serves me.
I reclaim my bust!
I vow to honor this voluptuous and sacred part of my body. Perhaps someday I will be able to generously nourish my children or offer a soft place to console a resting head. My breasts connect me to my divine feminine energy, my sensuality, and my instinctive earthy nurturing nature.
Thank you, dear community, for being my witness.
Author: Helen Buron
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Flickr/Richard Riley