“Dogs have boundless enthusiasm but no sense of shame. I should have a dog as a life coach.” – Moby
Before I even knew what had happened, the word spilled out of my mouth. Shocked and embarrassed (and if I’m being completely honest – disgusted) with myself, I pulled my dress zipper out of their hands and stormed back to my closet.
Before I go on, this is where I interject to share a caveat – you know that thing you add to the writing to share that this is only my experience and not meant to make anyone else feel poorly and is instead to be vulnerable because maybe you too can relate. My caveat is this – I know that from the outside looking in, many people would say that my physical body and appearance is great. Okay, that’s fine and I understand and appreciate the kind words – truly, I do. At the same time, however, I know that my body is different.
I see photos from last year and years before and those clothes are hanging in my closet or folded in my dresser and they don’t fit. My body is different and I’m learning to embrace it – though I’d be lying if I said I’m doing a good job. I’m not.
I’m aware of the work that I do and I catch myself when I’m rough and negative and then I forgive myself and start over. Plus, having an 18 year old daughter, I know I need to be mindful of my words as she sees and witnesses everything I do.
Last night was different. Last night was tough.
This week has already been a bit of a challenge – inserting myself in places where I still desire to be but feel that I am no longer wanted – that’s ‘hard’ enough. Already feeling a little raw and a lot vulnerable, I went to my closet to select a dress for tonight’s event – a dance. I don’t dance. But, after receiving an invitation from a very specific person, I decided that tonight was a dance I would attend.
Like most women, I want to feel good when I show up for a special occasion. I selected a dress from my closet that I’ve worn many times and in the past it’s been quite forgiving when I’ve gained a handful of pounds. (Ladies, you know what I mean – there are times each month that we fluctuate – sometimes quite a bit – this dress is great for that!)
Slipping into the dress, I needed help with the zipper (I commend those that can get their own back zippers – I wonder how single women do this alone!) and walked into the living room.
I know I’ve gained weight. I know my body has changed.
I asked my honey if he would please help me and come zip up my dress. Of course he was happy to oblige, only he couldn’t get it. He called over my daughter to help. Maybe if she just holds the top together that will bring the zipper together and then it will go up. Nope. Maybe if he holds the top and she tries to zip it…nope. That didn’t work either.
In that moment – the moment of realization that the dress just doesn’t fit, something came spilling out of myself causing me to leave the room shocked, embarrassed and disgusted.
Instantly, upon knowing that it no longer fit, I called myself “fatso”. Even worse, I said it out loud so my fella and daughter could both hear.
As a speaker, author, workshop leader and coach, I can’t fathom ever calling someone that or putting up with someone that uses that language. As a human being and a real person and someone dealing with a changing body, it just came out.
Standing in my closet with a gentle tear rolling down my cheek, I put away the dress.
While contemplating my next move (wallow in my pity, forgive myself, try on another dress) my Little Man (Mario the minpin/yorkie) came in and sat at my feet. With is big dark eyes he looked up at me with his tail wagging.
In that instant, I knew the answer – forgive myself and give him a belly rub!
I am not my weight. I am not my size. I am not my hair. I am not my saggy boobs. I am not my thighs.
Those physical features might exist within me right now but they do not make up me. I am so much more.
I am light and love.
I am compassion and forgiveness.
I am peace and joy.
And so are you. You are not your body – you are so much more than skin and bones and flesh. You are a spiritual being that happens to be having a human experience. As a spiritual being, what are you focusing on? Are you measuring yourself and your worth based on the size of clothes you wear or by the number of hearts you touch? I promise you hearts are more important to count.
Make a Difference . . . Lead with Love