I claimed every inch of my body with love, honor and deep care. This body is me. She has held my soul and carried my heart for all of my days. Each wrinkle and imperfection is a badge of my living and of my giving of life. With tears in my eyes, I hugged myself close. I said thank you to God for the gift of my body and my life. And I said thank you to a sad man named Dave for reminding me of how precious it all is.
~Robin Korth of Huffington Post
Ms. Korth is one brave woman! Today I am just filled with the need to talk, blog, about crosses. It is as if God has opened the tap and all my words are rushing out into the sink! What is making me so gabby today: Those lie crosses of self image.
Read the article Ms. Korth has written about growing older, living and loving in that older body and you will see a common thread that all women have: We really don’t like our bodies. And moms have even a harder time with their’s.
I wonder if most moms are like me, treating my body as if it were a thing instead of what it really is: MY BODY. I don’t really look at myself naked. If I do it is more like I am looking at something I am not intimately associated with.
I am a spiritual director, someone who helps people find God in their lives, who works exclusively with moms. I do this because I believe moms do not have the support they need for their mothering and womanhood. They do not have a safe place to come and cry out all their pain, weep to God all their disappointment. And the greatest disappointment they have is with themselves.
I want to thank Ms. Korth for giving me inspiration. For years now I have been working on a Kairos for moms. It has been more elusive than trying to catch lightening in a jar. When I feel like that it is because nothing has “come to me”. Kairos is a weekend long intensive Ignatian (Jesuit) retreat to help anyone, moms, truly look deep into themselves and see the glory that they are. Each retreat day focuses around an issue of great spiritual-emotional importance, and days two and three no problem – day one, problem.
I am hoping to create an retreat exercise based on Ms. Korth’s reclaiming every inch of her body and thanking God for the gift that it is. This will not be easy. We, as women, moms, have been shamed to think of our bodies as bad. Society shows us young actresses who have dropped the baby weight in six weeks. This young women show off baby bumps as fashion accessories and those of us not wealthy enough to afford daily personal trainers begin to think of our “real” bodies with all their scars and imperfection as ugly, shameful, not good enough.
It takes a sheer force of will to reclaim what is rightfully ours. It takes a daily commitment to uphold ourselves as good, beautiful, imperfectly prefect.
For every lie we have been telling ourselves, heard from others, or has been conveyed by society, we must counter with a truth about ourselves. Each day will get easier to see ourselves in a new light. To acknowledge those changes we must work to help ourselves grow stronger. We must accept those things we have done to ourselves that hurt us and vow to never do them again. We must change, improve, create healthy strong selves spiritually, emotionally, physically. If we do all these with a sense of love for self and NOT as punishment we should become who we truly are women, moms of true beauty.
It starts with that peek we do through our fingers that will end up with us being able to see ourselves fully.