I was reading a tweet about body image yesterday, how we should be proud of the body we have regardless of our shape (which I agree with, and liked) when at the same time I was sitting in the garden, holding in my round tummy, and sighing about the size of my upper arms. Searching within I heard a voice, a voice that has been fed, nurtured and reinforced since childhood, desperate and determined, say “I still want to be thin”. That sentiment is so deeply embedded and extremely difficult to ignore. But, that voice is not Me. Not the Me I have learned to be, the Me I have worked with all my adult life who listens to and follows her intuition, and “knows” what is real and what is Maya – illusion.
And yet, I live in this 3D world where my thoughts, feelings, opinions and beliefs are a lifelong concoction of messages, stories and myths. Each layer cemented by family, TV, magazines, books, poetry, politicians, pop singers, friends, enemies, educators, lovers, amplified by the global reach of the internet as I hit my 20s. Meanwhile, my fragile ego was absorbing and repeating these messages – always learning, always creating strategies for coping and protection as it grew.
From my late 20s I started to explore my inner world. This coincided with the worst M.E relapse of my life and an identity crisis (I was made redundant). I discovered meditation, learned about the world’s wisdom traditions, crystal healing and by my early 30s my spiritual development became my focus. This focus has helped me penetrate and dissolve most of those layers of conditioned messages to get me to my core, what I would call the Me that I refer to above.
Everything is a work in progress. As a friend I connected with on Twitter said “My soul is a work in progress!” Absolutely. We are always learning. We are always working out what beliefs serve us and which do not, and we are always identifying “who is writing our script” A wise lady said that to me some while back and it stuck with me. A very powerful question – As we speak and share our views, do we ask ourselves where those views come from? You would be surprised when you look deeply enough.
As I reflected on the journey I have taken with my ego self and my spiritual self, and this revelation of the voice, still there, still wanting to be thin, I thought of what other messages I had received that still held sway, and the wisdom that sought to counter it, and started scribbling away.
My shape and size of my curves are not important.
I want to be thin, with taut muscles
Money has no real value, and does not bring happiness.
I want money, lots, to stay in nice hotels, and wear pretty clothes
Say nice things to people or nothing at all.
I want to tell people what I really think, nettle-tongued
I don’t need anyone’s approval, nor they mine.
I want likes – lots of them, and hearts, and claps, and “good girls”
It is essential to look after our planet.
I want popcorn, summer blockbusters, drinks (with plastic straws), ready meals, an Xbox, coffee from a pod
Kindness is the shining goal for us all.
But some people are stupid aren’t they? – unworthy, beyond help, better not being here, should be set aside
It’s OK not be OK. Breakdown is breakthrough.
I want success, stability, a clear head, uncluttered mind, reason and “clever girls” (I don’t want to be mad)
I am a Human Being, not a Human Doing.
I want to do everything, travel, eat, dance, work, think, I want the world to know I am busy, productive, earning numbers and consumer goods
My path to bliss is peace and happiness.
I want reality, truth, exposés, intrigue, gossip, conspiracies that make my eyes wide and mouth water
I know nothing, what I can know is not wisdom.
I want the world to make sense, answers to all my questions, theories proven, evidence that I.AM.RIGHT
To love each other, all beings, is what we need.
I want romance, to be chosen over others, to matter. I want sex, to be sexy, “you’re the best I’ve…”
I don’t want to go through this world alone and unloved, whatever it takes, all is fair, to possess my LOVE and guard it from harm, I don’t want sadness and loss, (I want to be saved from that and have a happy life)
And when I am too old to remember, I will look again, wrap my arms around my ancient ribs, and smile.
* The fantastic art featured above is a photo I took at Hertford House hotel. The artist is Nick Shipton. Nick has recently opened the incredible art space “Brothership” in Bull Plain, Hertford featuring local and London based artists and illustrators.