Who took this hideous picture of me?!
Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.
Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.
“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.
I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.
“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says. “You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it, mom.”
“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.
“I know,” he says. “But mom, seriously, look how pretty you look?”
I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.
My daughter walks over and takes a look.
“That could be a postcard mom,” she says smiling. “You’re so beautiful. I love it.”
I take a deep breath.
This is exactly what I needed.
My default mode is to see and focus on the flaws and imperfections. I’m starting to see a bit more.
I still see my dimply, fat thighs.
I also see a mom collapsed on the shore that just explored the lake for hours with her children.
I still see chubby arms.
I also see the arms of a mom that just helped her kids across the rocks and hot sand so their feet wouldn’t hurt.
I still see a fat woman wearing a black dress bathing suit to try to hide her weight issue.
I also see an adventurous mom that loves her children something fierce.
Like many women, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. It’s not something that will ever go away for me. I don’t have a naturally slim body. Never have.
Right now I’m the heaviest I’ve been in 10 years. Yet…
I have not let my weight stop me this time. I am wearing tank tops, sundresses and bathing suits in public. I’m running around playing with my kids this summer and I sometimes even feel attractive.
Yes. You heard me.
“I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty and bright.”
Well… not exactly. But something like that.
Is it because I’m getting older? Is it that I have more to worry about than just how I look? Or maybe it’s because my kids look at me with such adoring eyes.
Really, it doesn’t matter.
I don’t hate my body anymore.
That’s huge for me to admit and hard to even wrap my mind around.
I’m not giving up on exercising and getting healthy. Those are things I will continue to strive for because I want to be around awhile.
Right now though, I just want to love my body where it is. I want it to be OK to see myself the way my kids do.
Thank you, kids.
Bridgette White is a stay-at-home mother of two who lives in Sacramento with her husband and two guinea pigs. She is the author of BridgetteTales.com, a blog about depression, self-discovery and parenting. Bridgette worked at the Sacramento Bee for 7 years and was featured as part of the inaugural Sacramento cast of Listen To Your Mother.
Who took this hideous picture of me?!
As written in “Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood”
Let the inner you banish all that disturbs; let the body which envelopes it be still, and all the frettings of the body and all that surrounds it; let earth and sea and air be still, and heaven itself. And then let the man think of the Spirit as streaming, pouring, rushing and shining into him from all sides while he stands quiet. This, my children, is worship..
Everyone experiences fear. Yet it would take very little right thinking to realise why fear occurs. Few appreciate the real power of the mind, and no one remains fully aware of it all the time. However, if you hope to spare yourself from fear there are some things you must realise, and realise fully. The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating. It is hard to recognise that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains. It appears at first glance that to believe such power about yourself is arrogant, but that is not the real reason you do not believe it. You prefer to believe that your thoughts cannot exert real influence because you are actually afraid of them. This may allay awareness of the guilt, but at the cost of perceiving the mind as impotent. If you believe that what you think is ineffectual you may cease to be afraid of it, but you are hardly likely to respect it There are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form at some level.
I am heavily involved in conscious manifesting these days… I have no doubt that we are all powerful creators – and this is how we create those experiences and things we want to see in our life out of the ‘stuff'; the waves of energy that we float in.
After all, that’s all there is: these waves of energy coming in to form and going out of form as we desire. The trick is – we have to imbue our thoughts with excited emotion and feeling – as if it were ours right now! There’s the rub – that is what I am having a bit of an issue with. I can think of what I want, and I can see it happening – but guess I haven’t gotten that feeling just right yet. I will not give up, though – too much to gain and this is a big deal!! Imminently worthwhile, wouldn’t you say?
One of my daily readings is from a book called “Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood”. It’s a kind of strange compilation of letters or guidance from anonymous folks from years ago – written to no one in particular. But I find them compelling.
I have been very much aware of the fighting, killing, and general unrest in Iraq and those areas where we have already lost so many of our men and women in conflict. Seems it’s again business as usual there. I feel disheartened by the news – so I don’t seek it out – but it comes….
Today’s reading lifted me up and I wanted to share because it gave me hope that what I CAN do is no small thing:
Excerpt from Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood:
Stand clothed in pure spirit, released from the human turmoil, and you will be uplifted high over panics, hatreds, ignorances and alarms. These are the acts of faith and your faith will make you free. Do not take on too much the suffering of the world, for the concept is not only too large to understand but is now beyond us. Trusting is part of your role; trusting in high hope, in peace and confidence. Wear these garments of joy without fearful anticipations, look upon the quiet of the hills, of a candle untroubled by the wind; be very very simple, very uncomplex, very natural in the eternal sense. Keep in the storm center, safe, a power for victory, healing and peace. Be aware of eternal values as against material values, be spiritually intelligent, keep the “naked intent” and never forget your direction!