When I was a kid, I’d obscure my face with magnets on refrigerator photos and avoid my reflection in mirrors, because the creature staring back at me was terrifying. Most of my life I have been disconnected from my body, never fully in it, and always either in some form of panic or deeply immersed in self-loathing.
A few years ago I embarked on a journey toward self-love, something I could only do because I had already spent a number of years learning not to actively hate myself. I didn’t know it then, but what I was doing was beginning the process of my own personal healing.
It takes a lot of time and energy (and let’s face it, money) to undo a lifetime of harmful patterns, and this might sound a little nuts, but I’m finally at the place known in spiritual circles as the bridge. The past year has been extremely challenging, but what I’m learning is that sometimes we have to hit a hard bottom to really crack us open, so that we might begin to crack outward.
Through prayer and meditation, I have been guided to a mentor who I know will help me cross over. A Course In Miracles, a metaphysical text, says that when a student is ready, their teacher appears. My new teacher is renowned for helping women the world over to break free from body image issues, shame and fear. After hearing my story, she agreed to coach me.
A huge hurdle in learning to love myself has been understanding that I need to forgive myself. Only recently I have come to see how, subconsciously, I have blamed myself, primarily my body, for the terrible things that happened to me as a child, and how I have been stuck in a constant loop of self-attack ever since.
I know crossing over the bridge will be hard work, but good things are worth fighting for. Wishing you love and much peace.