Wednesday, March 20, 2013

None of Us are Spared

I'm beginning to think none of us are spared worrying over our bodies, thinking they're not good enough, destroying ourselves over this and that about them when there are other things we can and would like to think about. (Do you know anyone who is spared? Do such creatures exist?) Thank you for reading and responding to my post about it. Just before I hit publish, I worried it wasn't as universal as I thought, that this time I was really exposing myself. And as I read your comments, part of me was glad I wasn't the only one, and the other part of me was thinking, "You, too? You worry about your body?"

It reminds me of a moment in the women's meeting at church (Relief Society) a few years ago, when this gorgeous woman stood up to talk about how plagued she was by self-deprecating thoughts, how she never felt good enough or clever enough or pretty enough, and what she was doing to work on it. And I remember sitting there thinking, "You? If you don't feel good about yourself, I am totally screwed." But pretty quickly I realized that if they were so clearly lies when they applied to her, they surely must be lies when applied to myself. I've never felt so sure that it was all nonsense.

This essay is, I think, one of the most beautiful responses to the nonsense that I've ever heard.

One more thought. A friend wrote me today to thank me for the post, and she said this incredibly apt thing:  "I don't have those thoughts because I AM fat or ugly or awkward. But because my brain is confused about what is important, real, or worth thinking about." 

Isn't that the just well-said? I hope to remember it next time I begin spiraling.

4 comments:

belann said...

Not sure any women are spared, but I kind of think some men are. I don't think your dad worries much about it. He seems pretty comfortable in his own skin.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I think being honest about it is the first step to getting over it. But it really does seem pretty universal, and that's a shame. I find that, seeing my own physical quirks in my kids and how cute my kids are WITH those quirks helps.

Elizabeth Hegwood said...

The essay you posted -- oh how I needed that, and it's been five years since I've given birth. Thank you.

Elizabeth Hegwood said...

The essay you posted -- oh how I needed that, and it's been five years since I've given birth. Thank you.