Inhibitions, Fears, and Insecurities:
These three words dominate the makeup of me. They often override the parts of me that can be very rational and accepting. They often are silently lurking in areas of my life that I have left unnoticed or that I have become so familiar and comfortable with that I don’t even recognize the truth of what they are. Today I am sitting down to explore how these negative players have become a large component of who I am.
My first exercise this morning was to sit in front of a mirror and stare in to my eyes for 3 minutes. What did I see in those eyes? What did I recognize and what was unfamiliar?
Next I stood naked in front of that same mirror and stared at my body, my face, every angle. What did I see? What parts made me want to hide and what parts could I take pride in? And why did I feel that any of my being was in need of hiding?
I’ll be honest, staring at myself naked was a hell of a lot easier than staring in to my eyes. While naked I saw a woman whose body is full of her life story. I saw these breasts that I hate so much. I remembered being a teenager with these large breasts that were never as perky as my friends. I remember wanting to hide them from the moment they developed. I remember many boys commenting on my breasts and how they wanted to touch them and how dirty that would make me feel. I believed many of those boys only liked me for the size of my breasts. But I did allow my breasts some positive thoughts too. I saw them as the nurturing tool they were to my twin boys when they were born. I was able to pump enough life-giving milk for two boys out of these breasts and that is beautiful. I saw them as the sexually satisfying gifts that they are for me and for Mark.
I cringed when I saw my stomach. Two abdominal surgeries has left my stomach anything but tight. And a twin pregnancy has riddled it with stretch marks. But then I stopped slumping and stood up taller and saw one scar and flabby area as so beautiful. This scar gave doctors an entrance to my abdominal cavity and they were able to save my life through that scar. It’s not ugly. It’s gorgeous! I saw the c-section flab and instead of trying to manipulate it in to something tighter I remembered that scary moment when the twins were born premature and the doctor pulled P through my abdomen and he cried, he was alive! And next came S. Tiny but alive. That scar and those stretch marks proves that my body has given life to two amazing human beings. That scar is a representation of my sacrifice and love. Why cringe about that? I saw the dangling belly ring that makes me feel that my abs are a little sexier.
I looked at my shoulders and smiled. At my legs, strong and proof of lots of miles run and squats performed. A scar lining my left knee reminding me of how athletic I am and how much I love a good competition. I turned around and smiled at the tattoo that covers my back. A sign of independence and liberation. I saw my ass and grinned…not bad for 34 (sorry not posting a picture of that one ). I looked at my feet. I have always loved my feet…each toe pretty and another tattoo that means something to me. I looked at my hands, really looked at them and could see how much I have aged. They are aging but they are still beautiful. My left hand adorned by a sign of my commitment to Mark and the marriage that means so much to me. Wow! If we could all just take the time to really study our human selves. We would find that a younger, hotter body just doesn’t have a story yet. Her story hasn’t been written. But it will and she will have to stand in front of that mirror and decide if she will accept her story or try to erase it. I am choosing to accept mine. My story is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. So at times I may be tempted to lift those breasts a little higher or erase those age spots but hopefully when those negative thoughts creep in I’ll just strip down, stand in front of a mirror and admire my beauty.
Looking in to my eyes is a whole different ball game. That was extremely difficult for me to do. At first I focused on the external features. They are really pretty. My lashes are gorgeous (thank you, Lexi!). My eyes dominate my face. “Okay, Amy, look deeper. Look inside those eyes. What do you see?”
I had to take a few deep breaths. Ground myself. I saw a woman who is struggling to come to grips with change. A woman who is afraid of failure. A woman who thinks she is failing in her marriage, her parenting, her career, her aspirations…who is simply always failing. I saw a woman who has real deep insecurities. A woman who is deathly afraid of being abandoned and that insecurity was so evident when I stared in her eyes. It was hard to see past it. So I stayed with it. What do I see when I stare at that fear of abandonment and suddenly I could see my child-self. A child who felt lost in the divorce and remarriages of her parents. A child who often felt abandoned, neglected, scared, and who craved affection. A child who developed huge walls at a very young age and covered her pain with anger. I saw a woman who was suffering some of those same pains in her current marriage. A woman who longed to be loved, touched, admired, sought after, and never abandoned. I saw a woman who is fighting to come out. A woman who is fighting to find her voice. A woman who is fighting to undo the damage. A woman who has strength, tenacity, power but lets those traits become suffocated by her more dominate traits of inhibition, fear, and insecurity. I began to cry and saw the tears of a woman who is on the verge of a breakthrough. A woman who will enter the next 30 years as the person she has stifled. I left those eyes seeing the will and determination that Amy will need to succeed in this battle. The eyes that tell the story of love, hope, and a desire for the best life possible. Eyes that will learn to give grace in the journey that is.
This is my metamorphosis.