Who’s That Lady?
In my previous post, I shared my personal story about writing a poem intended for a friend of mine, which turned into an eye opening and painful realization that I was my own worst enemy.
Self image is a tricky subject to think about, and even more challenging to talk about. I’m just going to throw it out there and say that a lot of us struggle with the image of ourselves. And I’m pretty sure a lot of us are hypercritical about our appearance. I used to think that this only applied to women until I recently discovered through one of my podcast guests that men struggle with their self image and body image as well. Who knew?
I am certainly not an expert on the subject, and can only speak from my own personal experience. I used to be the master of self denigration and self belittlement. You name it, I criticized it. You name it, I judged it. It was tedious, and there were days I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror. Until I met a woman who completely turned my life around.
I was in the last few months of my four-year long Feldenkrais training. The class was engaged in a lovely Awareness Through Movement lesson which started with all of us lying on the floor and slowly spiraling to a standing position. As we moved, I could feel myself effortlessly moving through space from the floor, twirling to standing, reversing the process and gently lowering myself back to the floor.
As I moved in the ballroom with its hardwood dance floor, my eyes scanned the room. Over and over again. Until I spotted a woman at the far end of the room. There was something so compelling and appealing about her that I was mesmerized. I admired the graceful way she moved, the look of pleasure on her face, and the feminine curves of her body. I knew I had to meet her.
Once the lesson was over, I walked across the room to introduce myself to her. But, the room was so crowded I couldn’t find her, and even though I kept looking, she was nowhere to be found. Tears filled my eyes and I felt like I lost my best friend before I even got to know her. Terribly disappointed, I turned around, and there she was, standing right in front of me!
We smiled at each other and I stepped toward her at the exact moment she stepped toward me. We both laughed as we reached for each other. And then I froze in shock. That woman was me. Thanks to the mirrors which were hanging along the wall, along with the freedom of moving my body without judgement or a critical eye, I had the rare and revealing opportunity to see myself as I really was. It was a life altering experience, and that was the exact moment that my negative self talk stopped. And it was about time.
Maybe we should all take the time to take a really good look at the lady or gentleman in the mirror, without judgement or criticism. We might be surprised at what we see.