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I have connected many of my problems to the way my body looks.
I have valued my worth on it and others did too. Some of my biggest insecurities came from comparing myself to others, which slowly changed as I started to share my art.
After all the struggles I have been through with body shaming, sexual abuse, self-loathing, and trauma, I am learning to see myself as I am—beautiful, strong, and worthy of love—not through the eyes of shame, body standards, or society’s words of hate. I am learning to see myself not from the words of others but through the heart of compassion of my own.
The scariest part for me is not being photographed nude but sharing that art with the world and hearing the words of judgment and shame of people who do not even know me but who make me feel like I am not worthy.
I am learning as I am healing.
It is important to think about where these ideals come from and how they change with history as our bodies do with life.
I am learning that my body is not a trend; it is a part of me and my life journey, and it creates this physical life journey.
I hope one day the world sees that the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.
Sharing myself online reminds me that there is so much more to me than the story in my head and the stories in others’ heads. Doing photoshoots and then sharing my art were actually some of the first steps to reclaiming my adult body, finding healthy adult expectations, and claiming my adult sensuality. It helped me feel alive again, and to heal from depression and the numbness of never feeling the world around me.
I have learned it doesn’t matter if I have a few rolls showing, am heavier than other days or less fit, have clothes or not, or if others had made fun of or misappropriated my body—those things do not hold space in reality and how my body moves in it. Now, I am leaning into remembering unconditional love for my body is a practice and what I see in the posts I share is my love and the gift of life my body gives me every day.
We will always be worthy if we see our worth—no matter how we look, what we wear, or the world’s or others’ validation.
Worth only comes and stays with the practice of self-love and compassion from within.