A short story on being a woman and having a body…
I was looking through old photos when I came across this video of me playing piano on a short weekend trip to NYC. My friends and I were exploring the city when we came across this piano in a park next to a beautiful church. My great-grandmother was a professional piano player and my grandma inspired me to learn the piano as a child. I took lessons for years and it really sparked my passion for music. I sold my piano and haven’t played in a while but the piano will always hold a special place in my heart. I got so excited when I saw the piano in the park that day and my friend & I took turns playing some of our favorite songs.
I shared the video with my family and a few friends when I got a notification of a reply from the boy I was talking to at the time. My heart immediately sank when I read the message shaming me for “showing too much skin” and the next sentence was as follows… “are you even wearing a bra?”
Shame immediately fell over me as I sank into my body, feeling as if I had done something wrong when all I was doing was simply being. The joy I felt in being able to share that moment with friends and family was gone. Negative thoughts started to cloud my mind… I felt embarrassed… and I also questioned, “is my body all that they see?” or even “is my body all that I am?”
I felt exposed. I felt shameful. All of a sudden I was hyper aware of my body and the anxiety that comes when insecurity arises. I received this text in the middle of a jam-packed day and my appearance was on my mind through every step we walked that day. I hate to admit it but later that evening when we were walking around times square, I bought a shirt to put on because of how ashamed I felt about my outfit, my body, myself.
Bringing myself back to this moment hurts my heart for so many reasons. In a split second of seeing the thumbnail of this video, I can feel the shame that I felt in the exact moment I read that message. And shame for what? being a woman? wearing a low-cut shirt? dressing in order to feel comfortable in the hot summer weather? wearing clothes? having boobs? having a body?
It is not easy to allow yourself to take up space in a world where people are continually trying to make you smaller (literally & figuratively). Unfortunately that message is not the only comment or the worst comment I have gotten about my body. I’ve received far more explicit comments while dancing at a bar or even walking at a forest presevre. This particular comment hit hard because it was said by someone I cared about… and taking their comment as truth affected my entire day.
I’m not really sure why I felt the need to write about this but it feels substantial because of how insignificant the comment seemed while impacting me significantly. The truth is that people in this society (especially women) live in a world where we are surrounded with messages of being not enough. Women are often told that our bodies are too much… or not enough… lacking this… in need of that… while at the same time being reduced to a body rather than a human being with needs, wants, desires, dreams, knowledge, etc.
All of what we are is forced into this object that is picked apart by men, by other women, by society, by marketing companies, by the media. Things get muddy. We take on lies about who we are from the day we are born and one day we find ourselves completely broken and unable to see our worth as a human being.
The past few weeks I have been revisiting my personal relationship with my body. I’ve been struggling with body image again in the midst of everything happening in our world. I re-read The Four Agreements this morning and forgave myself. I forgave myself for taking on the poison of this world and turning it into truth for myself. I let it go and I am slowly trying to continue in my healing process.
There are years and years of programming that I need to let go of. I need to transform the negative beliefs about my body and who I am into positive ones… but this transformation takes time & hard work. My body is a part of who I am while living my life on this Earth. It is a piece of myself that I am always trying to make peace with, to show love to, to find acceptance with. Some days are good, some days are bad but the more love I show to myself – the less I can hear the opinions of others…
As I commit to healing, I am going to keep taking up space and honoring my voice. In a world where everyone is trying to tell me that I am not enough, I will continue to challenge myself to be all that I am. 🌿 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 + 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 we all 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥.
peace & love. – kendall