I catch myself on multiple occasions, lost in thoughts of a person that is living rent-free in my mind. In those fragile moments, the victim becomes the perpetrator and the predator becomes a saint. Or at least a human with far fewer blemishes. I wonder if you ever stand by the window like me, looking out the scary abyss wondering if what you did was right, if you drove a person away with your face and personality. I marvel at the speed at which I tumble down this dirty rabbit hole. I wonder if as women we do it seamlessly while society conveniently calls it a ‘healing process’. No, this is not healing. This is simply how we are taught to grapple with an unpleasant situation. That is by letting all fingers point toward us.
I keep telling myself not to romanticize the past and to let it be where it belongs. But it stealthily makes an appearance at the most random moments. It takes over my mind when I am working at something else with complete concentration and suddenly all my thoughts are paralyzed for a minute.
In all of life’s events of acceptance, rejection, hurt, and humiliation the needle of our mind’s compass points towards the flaws of our physical idiosyncracies like pointing north. Why is it so easy to point at the person in the mirror and say ‘If only you had fewer pounds of flesh around your hips’, ‘If only you were few inches taller’, ‘If only you had smooth skin and pretty blue eyes like the other woman’ It is just too frustrating to think that in a situation where we should be saying ‘Chin up princess, it’s not your fault’ we keep trying to find physical flaws in us to find an answer to why someone else’s moral compass was broken. Why is it difficult to look in the mirror, see into the eyes of that confident, beautiful woman and say ‘I’m proud of you for all the love you are capable of giving. I revere you for holding people, even your wrongdoers, close to your bosom and comfort them like a child.’ I am trying hard to unlearn many things and the idea that a perfect body, permed hair, and a make-up layered face will hold someone back is the most important one of all. I am learning to fall in love with that bare self, raw, and naked soul that is always on fire. That which has one too many wounds that I wear like a badge of honor. I am learning to stand in front of the mirror and admire the imperfectly magnificent body. I am learning to appreciate the dark elbows, the gap between my teeth, my double-chin, a flabby stomach, thick thighs, and baby feet. I don’t want to look around for a pillow to hide my tummy when I sit. I want to someday look at myself and hopelessly fall in love like I expect someone else to! I want to see the strong and nurturing heart that lies beneath like I want someone else to.
I realize that I cannot find someone to love me unless I have fallen in love with every inch of my own body. Perhaps that is how it should be. I will eventually forget the face of every partner, every person I have liked but I have to face myself every day. And when I do so, I sincerely wish to see the face of a true, loyal, and loving human being that I am.