3 min read
Grieving the right thing

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I love bunches! To me, they symbolise innocence and joy! Whenever I see my daughter’s hair in bunches, I can’t help but smile.  

And to think so many of us grow up to find fault with our hair! What fools we are.

If I were to find out that my daughter will turn on herself like that, I’d grieve the senseless suffering.

If you have hair of whatever kind, treasure it. Run your fingers through it.

And if you don’t, there will be something else to take pleasure in.

If you can read this, it means you’re alive after all, and therefore still have a body to experience life through.

Try not to take that for granted by buying into the popular habit of criticising the greatest gift any of us could ever receive.

Our culture trains us to find fault and focus on what’s wrong, to compare and contrast, and worry that our bodies aren’t sufficient to merit love, respect, affection or desire.

We must unlearn this painful way of being with ourselves. It does no one any good and leads to a lot of anguish and dysfunction.

Quite simply, it's not a good idea!

If you’re doing this, please drop the habit like a hot potato! It’s hurting you, and it won’t protect you from the hurt of being criticised by others.

No longer buying into the shame of having your natural unique body is the ultimate protection.

Then you need no longer fear what other people say about your body because you’ll have your own back.

And you’ll need it out there because the voices that tell you that you need to improve your body to be worthy of love are loud and dominant.

𝗦𝗼, 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗻…
… don’t do what a lot of the internet and the world tells you to do and find reasons to criticise it for its colour and texture.

Instead, touch it and feel the comfort of placing your hand on your cheek.

Close your eyes and touch the skin that you’ve been told is wrong. How does it feel? It has committed no crime. It is innocent.

Feel the cool breeze on it. Feel the sensations of touch, even pain. Sink into all.

It is your skin – it is protecting everything inside you, and it is full of nerve endings, so you can feel life. Isn’t that amazing?

Don’t concern yourself with how it ‘should’ look – that’s manmade nonsense.

𝗗𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗹𝘆?  

Mine used to be the part of my body I hated most. Apparently, it was the wrong shape. Unlike the rest of nature, no curves allowed. Why???

My belly is where I can get so much helpful emotional information.

And it’s where my food goes, and my body does amazing things with it that keep me alive!

And when my husband touches it, it feels tingly and wonderful!

Can you believe my daughter lived in there?

How could I curse this special, elemental part of myself?

If you’re doing this, please stop. It’s a travesty. Your belly is not wrong for existing. It does not need to pass a test to qualify for acceptance.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝘀?  
Do you think they are too flabby, too short, too scrawny? Again, STOP! Enough!

If you are lucky, they take you places. They enable you not only to walk, but to dance, to sway, to stand.

Perhaps you even get to wrap them around someone you love.

They bear your life.

When I’m nervous before speaking in public, they go ‘dead’ – they talk to me. I’ve learnt that when that happens, I usually have to speak up, so that I don’t stagnate – my legs tell me ‘Be not afraid! Speak! Grow! It’s time!’

Every part of our body can give us information to help us live life well.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲?  
😩Do you have too many wrinkles?  
😩Is your jaw not square enough?  
😩Do you have too many chins that disgust you?  
😩Do you have dark circles under your eyes that you interpret as making you subpar?  
😩Is your nose the wrong shape?  
😩Are your eyes ‘too small’?  
😩Your eyelashes too thin?  

Do you hear a voice in your head telling you how ugly you are?

A voice that crushes your spirit and makes you want to give up on life.

All those attacks work together to create a hellish cacophony so deafening you can no longer hear anything else except for the overwhelming sense of ‘NOT GOOD ENOUGH’.

That’s a lot for anyone to bear, especially on an ongoing basis, and particularly when it’s all usually happening just beneath the surface and can’t be evaluated with the balance that comes with the light of awareness or with the sanity that comes from the company of caring people of goodwill.

I think we all need to take a moment at times to grieve the way we’ve become accustomed to relate to our bodies.

Many people grieve when it comes to their body.

𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴.

They grieve because of their perceived ugliness or assumed unattractiveness.

But when you grieve 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦 – our habitual rejection of our unique natural physical selves – that’s when the same old story that’s been playing for a lifetime can start to rewrite itself.

The truth is that our ingrained judgement of our bodies as wayward, wild beasts that need to be tamed to deserve to be seen, let alone touched, is built on the back of a lifeload of cultural conditioning, of mental programming so powerful that we can no longer see ourselves outside of its jurisdiction.

It is malware that has overtaken every inch of our being and has fooled us into believing that it’s our beautiful bodies that are the alien threat.

And it’s not just in your head. Listen and watch – all around you, you will find it in the consciousness of the people you encounter. The ones who praise themselves when their bodies conform and berate themselves when they don’t, in the gossip about who’s hot and who’s not, in the self-deprecating put-downs, in the belief in an appearance hierarchy. It’s everywhere.

And yet…

Today I am free of it.  Completely free.  And it feels wonderful. 🥰

And it’s still out there. But it’s not in here, in my head. And that’s what makes the difference.

Now I can look at my round belly, or my thin, fine, straight hair – parts of my physical self I despised and hurled abuse at for so long – in a similar way I look at my daughter’s beautiful bunches.

Free of programming. ‘Beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing’ as Rumi says, where the beauty of my being feels almost unbearable, and becomes so loud that it drowns out any vestiges of disdain.

This is the compassion we fall into when we let go of our mind’s shackles and allow ourselves to be caught in the arms of what remains… that which is too sweet to do justice to with words. It’s a very gentle landing.


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