The Mirror. Part One.
The body reflecting back to her was one she no longer recognised.
The stretch marks.
Oh, the fat!
The disgusting, hideous fat.
Where did it even come from? She can’t remember when it started to creep onto her body. Maybe it began when her feelings died? Maybe it began when her feelings were no longer allowed? Maybe her feelings became her fat?
Maybe, just maybe, her fat holds every single feeling she no longer feels safe to express? All those feelings she was told were not good enough.
Every time she felt anything good (it was especially the good ones) she swallowed them down inside of her to prevent them from coming out. If they came out, they were quickly shoved back in again.
They took over until one day the good feelings didn’t even bother to show up any more. Hidden away in her ever expanding body.
The more she hated, the more she grew. The more she grew, the more she hated.
And, the love. Oh, the love. It ceased to exist. A small distant memory in the back of her mind.
Her heart felt a tug towards it every now and again, but the hate swooped in like a vulture and took that love away; hastily devouring it so she could not feel the pleasure love was eager to bring her.
As she looked in the mirror, a sadness flooded her body. She couldn’t do it any more. She couldn’t feel this way any more. She was exhausted from all of the hate and all of the hurt.
Her body felt heavy. Her heart felt weighed down.
What could she do? Where does she go from here?
She couldn’t bear to go on another diet.
She couldn’t endure one more person telling her to lose weight. That she must lose weight. That the only way anyone would love her was if she got skinny. If she lost her wobbles and had beautiful, sleek muscles instead. If she replaced her whole body with one that was more aesthetically pleasing.
How the fuck was she going to do that?
This is the body she has!
She’d love to go and buy a new body. Maybe there is a shop she isn’t aware of yet? A beautiful room full of beautiful bodies you could try on. Pick one out that everyone will love and gush over.
“Oh, my gosh! Look at your beautiful new body. You’re so much more pleasing to look at. I reckon you’re more loveable now”.
Her shoulders sagged at this thought.
Why couldn’t she just be loveable now? The way she is. Why does she have to change how she looks for love to finally find her?
“Love has found you”.
Who said that? Where did that come from?
A soothing whisper inside her mind.
“I don’t believe you. Those words are not true. Why would you say that to me? I’m hideous. This fat, ugly body cannot be loved. Not ever. Not until it is skinny!”
“Oh, how I long to be skinny”, she sighed to herself. “For people to look at me with eyes full of adoration and approval. Not contempt and disgust”.
“Don’t they know I feel their disgust. Don’t they know I carry it around inside this flesh and use it to hide away from the world?”
Her eyes fell upon the fatness of her belly. It was there staring back at her. Mocking her. Just like every inch of her did from the moment she became conscious of her fat body each and every morning as she lay in her bed. Alone.
The loneliness was the worst part. Alone and fat. Not an ideal combination. This compelled her to eat. Eat her feelings. Ignore her feelings.
Feel nothing. Eat everything.
“Love is inside of you”, the voice whispered to her again.
She wanted to shout, “Stop it!”, but she hesitated.
There was a sense of something different inside of her.
“What is that?”, she asked to herself
It feels beautiful and scary, she thought.
It feels welcoming. It feels, it feels… familiar.
I have felt this before. It’s so deep within me I can’t quite grasp the wholeness of it. But it’s there.
A peacefulness moves through her like she has never felt before.
She saw for the first time since she was a little girl, who she was.
She wasn’t the fat girl. Despite the size her body reflected back to her. Her body simply became this way because the love she once felt for herself got lost. Lost in her parents own inability to love.
Lost in her thoughts as they told her over and over again how she was not worthy of anyone’s love. Her parents didn’t seem to love her so why would anyone else.
“I’ve always loved you”, spoke the loving voice from within.
“Why was that never enough?”, she replied.
“It always was. You simply lost sight of it. Too many people telling you differently.”
“How do I get it back? This love I have forgotten all about”, she asked. Really wanting to know.
“Feel it. Know it is there. Feel its warmth and its strength in any moment you need reminding. Your love was never lost. You just forgot to look in the place it has always been. Within you. No love outside of you is greater than the love inside of you. It’s here waiting for you to feel it.”
A peaceful, contented sigh.
The feeling was filling her up fast. The more she felt it the stronger it grew.
The feeling felt so pure and light.
It is heaven and earth dancing together under the light of a full moon.
It is the softness of a new born kitten wrapped up in the cuteness of a lion cub.
It is the freedom of a bird soaring high in the air, spreading its wings and feeling the warm summer breeze moving through its feathers.
It is the feeling of absolute bliss.
She tried to think how else to describe a feeling that was so Her.
She can’t remember the last time she felt herself!
How she felt about herself and her body and those shameful, horrible thoughts began to drift away leaving only the purest of emotion.
She looked. Really looked at the woman in the mirror.
She saw. She saw a beautiful amazing woman staring back at her.
She sighed because she knew the road ahead was going to be tough. Those thoughts don’t just disappear overnight.
She didn’t want to feel this way about herself any more. There had to be more to life than hating herself and despising her body.
There had to be.
Loving herself. Loving her body. Right now. As she is. As her body is.
She can do this.
She has to do this.