Sometimes I avoid looking at myself naked.
I take off my clothes just before I get into the shower, and as soon as I’m done, I wrap a towel around myself. Then I put lotion on like it’s a chore, and immediately put clothes back on.
My issues with nudity are intimately linked to shame.
One day, as I was cutting up vegetables, I cut my finger.
Blood rushed out of the cut, and I soon became engrossed in watching myself bleed.
I was watching a miracle happen before my eyes.
I realized that my body’s first response to outside harm was to heal.
It made me think about all of the self-inflicted harm and stress I’ve put on my body. The harm and stress that my shame has given birth to.
Not exercising at all.
Our bodies heal from the inside out unconditionally, but healing from the outside in has become conditional.
I only want to take the time to put lotion on the curves that feel good.
I only want to take the time to stretch when I feel my body looks like that of a long-time yogi.
I only want to massage the areas of my body that I’m not ashamed of.
My platelets can take care of open wounds, but unfortunately I can’t clot the negative thinking in my mind. It just becomes a never-ending spiral of pain and shame.
So now, I try to think of my body as a massive pile of cells—cells that work, individually and together, to fight to keep me healthy and alive.
I imagine my skin cells vibrantly shouting and screaming, “Woohoo! You go! Thank you! Yes!!!” as I put on my lotion.
I imagine my muscle tissues breaking up acid, rigidity, and constriction as I stretch my legs.
I imagine my heart washing away the dirt of shame as negative thoughts rise with each and every beat.
When you look at your body, do you feel the billions of micro-processes fighting to keep you alive? Or do you only see one of your 78 organs?
We’re part hydrophilic, yet we won’t allow ourselves to flow.
But when we deny that we are the most extraordinarily beautiful thing there is, we are battling our own body.
So wiggle your toes for the sake of feeling, and always remember you are a miracle.
Editor: Nicole Cameron