Shame is a bully and it lives in my fat cells.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my fat cells lately. See, I started working out. My final frontier.
I’ve never been very good at sports. I have beautiful sisters who excelled, but I was the one you’d find smoking bummed cigarettes on the wall between classes. Or drinking Lemon Gin in a field on a Friday night. I could party with the best of them for years. Always funny. Always a bit wild. But workouts? Macro balancing? Resistance bands and barbells? Yeah, not really my thing. But hey, I’m getting older. It’s time. My knees are starting to hurt. I’m overweight. I don’t want to end up a decrepit old lady.
So what a surprise, when I start exercising, and stuff starts coming up like rocks in a field that I thought I had already cleared. I find myself crying at all kinds of things. Beautiful things, sad things, lyrics in a song (Meghan Trainer says every inch of me is perfect from the bottom to the top).WTF? Then I’m royally pissed. Like Hulk pissed. Then I’m afraid. What if this doesn’t work? WHAT IF NOTHING CHANGES???
What the hell is going on? I mean, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?? (Cue Kevin Bacon in Tremors)
I calm down. I decide to meditate on it. I’ve gotten quite good at it in recent years. I start the music, breathe deep, and bring in my mantra of ‘I am light’. Deep inhale. Long exhale. Before long, I realize my mantra has changed. To ‘I am really angry’. Hmmmm. Guess it’s time to go deeper. I follow the threads of my emotions. Look at my anger, my sadness, and my fear. Go back to the source. And lo and behold, I end up at SHAME.
Ahh Shame, you rat bastard. I thought I’d finished with you.
Shame is something that everyone deals with at some point. So many of us picked up shame in our childhood, and it’s stuck to us like gum on the bottom of our universal shoe. It’s insidious. It’s invisible. We can wrap it up so well that we don’t recognize it. But there it is, needling us, telling us we’re not worthy. Telling us we’re stupid, lazy, ugly, pushy, emotional, or fat. It can manifest as fits of anger, unexplainable sadness, or paralyzing fear. It can look like a not-so-kind friend, an abusive lover, a bottle of gin, a pepperoni pizza, or a big fat joint.
Any of this sound familiar?
So for a short while, I let it steer my boat. I forgot that I am enough, just as I am. In my quest for that elusive future when I am the perfect weight and can lift my barbell with dignity, I forgot to love my incredible life, and body, today. I forgot that I am a being of light and love. Trying something new can do this to a girl. And that’s OK.
This happens to us all, multiple times in our lives. And when it does, we need to remember that the voice of shame is not our true voice. It tells us myths that we think have value. It lies. We need to recognize it for the charlatan it is. Face it and name it. Tell it to back off. And each time we do this, it gets easier to hear our true voice, that voice that tells us that we are beautiful and worthy. Every inch of me IS perfect from the bottom to the top. So is every inch of you.
Today, I’ve uncovered another of shame’s hiding places. And that piece of shit is moving out. It was served an eviction notice. Hasta la vista baby. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.