Body Image

It’s not our body we are ashamed of; we are afraid to see the parts that hurt underneath. Neither is it our looks, our job, whether or not people like us. 

What matters is, do we approve of ourselves?  Do we like ourselves enough to offer self-love? 

The ironic part of why we choose to compare ourselves to others is because regardless of your body shape or whether or not you approve of your facial features, holding on to our shame hurts worse and weighs more than letting go of the past.

It’s a common belief that it will hurt too much to revisit the past and heal our wounds. 

We also live under the mistaken belief that without those wounds, we won’t know who we are. We’ve learned to identify and associate ourselves with being a victim and wrapped ourselves in our past. 

Comparing ourselves to others only deepens the wound. We convince ourselves we are the only ones who could hold this much body shame or shame for who we are or our past.

I want to offer you proof that you are not who you believe yourself to be if you’re committed to doing the work.

In the not-so-distant past, I learned to identify myself first as a victim, then as a survivor. Subjected to repeated childhood sexual abuse, I learned to identify myself as a victim as I matured to explain who I was and justify my existence. 

That identity was carried with me into every relationship, affecting the image reflected to me every time I looked in the mirror or looked at other people. 

Sometimes in the mirror, I saw a whore because of all the men I slept with to validate my worth. Sometimes I saw a woman struggling to find herself. Most times, I simply chose not to look, not to think, because it hurt too much. 

The identity I wrapped myself in was that I was a bad person, that I was unworthy of love, that I couldn’t express myself or be the woman I wanted to be. Because of those beliefs, I became overweight to protect myself from my emotions, thoughts, and shame. 

For most of my life, I’ve tried to punish myself because of the false beliefs I embraced as a child. The idea that I deserved to be punished with sex, rejection, dismissal, abandonment, and more. I believed that because I thought I was unworthy of love. 

As adults, logic tells us we know being sexually abused was not our fault. But we must learn to BELIEVE what we know, to move beyond reason and into FEELING the TRUTH, which is our greatest challenge.

Sexual violence does more than distort our body image; it changes how we connect with our inner child, which changes the way we connect with ourselves, and the world around us.

So how do we practice believing our bodies do not define our worth? 

I promise you; Practice does make Progress. 

Acceptance won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take time and practice beginning with awareness. Before we can accept, we must be aware of the messages we are sending ourselves. 

I invite you to try this exercise. Get out your journal or a piece of paper and create two columns. In the first column, list all the negative things you think of yourself. In the second column next to each of those items, write what proof, if any, you have of those negatives being true. 

We see what we believe, and we believe what we tell ourselves to be true.

If believing in ourselves were easy, none of us would have these struggles of doubting our worth. So this is going to take time. Practice this every day; write a new list daily because I know there’s more than one column of beautiful truths to write about yourself. 

Journal Prompt: 

How will you believe you are worthy if you don’t try?

Grow with Love.

❤️ Sher

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Sher Unbound

Sher Unbound

Growing With Love

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