Today I had an interesting message which challenged my self-image and confidence but only so briefly. You see I have done a lot of work on self-acceptance, love and understanding of my own inner Goddess. I share this experience not to evoke any feelings of protection or pity from readers; just reflection and observation.
On February 20th, during the most spectacular sunset on a beach in Maui my soulmate of seven plus years asked me to be his wife. The day had already been amazing with a close encounter with a mama whale during an outrigger canoe tour being the highlight. I said yes! This amazing, overwhelmingly beautiful day found a way to get better. (The photo above is the view on the night of the proposal.)
Our journey together began at the sunset of my first marriage. The first lesson in numbers came when I discovered how old my new suitor was and tried to dissuade him with the honest truth that there was more than a decade between us. His reply? “I don’t care about age; the numbers don’t make any difference to me. I care about you.” It took a lot of inner work and resulting growth for me to get to where he started; to believe with all my heart that he didn’t care about age and that no one else really would either. Oh, the stories I would tell myself about what others would think and how it would be unacceptable. I learned that heart math doesn’t have a lick to do about numbers
Back when I met my fiancé (still get giggles over that word, it’s only been a month…) I weighed 46 lbs. more than I do today. I’m still a curvy gal now, just less so than before. I worried about that as well. This body has been through a lot having born four babies and a couple of surgeries. I won’t be making the cover of Sports Illustrated anytime soon. How would he respond to all of me? The numbers on the scale were not those of my younger peers who could just as easily be his partner, right?
Wrong again. Those numbers also had the weight of a feather on the scale of his love for me. I had learned to love myself before him. My body was a miracle that had given birth to four smaller miracles, even producing sustenance to nurse them into their first months of existence. My man worshiped the goddess within me and helped me to see who I truly am through his loving eyes.
So today, when I received a message from a well-meaning soul asking if I planned to “get in shape for my wedding” I was in a good place. I did not crash or fall into the deep dark well of self-loathing. I know where it hides itself in the tall grasses and when I dance there, I am wary. I did not tread upon the path of pills, journeying through the land of “not good enough” towards to road to redemption where the scales tips into the zone of acceptance. I just said no thank you.
I’m certain it was with the best intentions that this person approached me to see if the wares they had to offer would be of assistance to me and I have no ill will towards them. It’s the message hidden in the oft said words that I object to. Do you plan to get in shape for your wedding? What shape would that be? I have a shape. I have the shape of a middle-aged Goddess in the prime of her power. I have the shape of an hour glass with a little extra sand in the bottom.
I have the shape of a woman who has been through the ravages of loss of a child, loss of her father in the prime of her life just when that relationship was getting great. I have the shape of a woman who has lived through the #metoo area, who has conquered the old boys’ club and lived through divorce. I have the shape of a spiritual warrior who is helping her students to find their own divine selves.
No thank you. I am not going to change myself for one day or for another person. I am perfect the way I am for July 6th or any other date on the calendar. Age and weight are just numbers and math were never my favourite subject anyhow.
Love yourself. Take care of yourself. I love you all with all my heart.