Your Body Deserves Love and Compassion
By: Martiné Emmons
(4 min read)
I was talking to a colleague today about her new book and how much I enjoy reading it. We got into a discussion about JOY. And love. And loving ourselves – our whole selves.
It made me think that it wasn’t long ago when I realized that my body was and is a part of me. That may sound strange to some, but in my younger years, my body was something I was disappointed in and wanted to hide.
I was incredibly disappointed in my hips. They seemed too big, and I felt like I had taken up too much space. I now know that I was (in part) wanting to be small so as not to be seen. If I wasn’t seen, no one could hurt me. I also found comfort in good food, which was another love/hate relationship that developed into an eating disorder.
“Thinness” was expected in my house growing up. It was praised, and when someone inside or outside of our home wasn’t “up to par,” – it was known. I remember being so embarrassed at a movie theater once with my mom. We had taken our seats, and someone walked down the aisle, and almost immediately, my mother said, “ooh, she’s fat.” I know the woman heard, and I felt so bad.
My dad told me at about age 11 that I was fat and no man would ever want me. He would say, “Men don’t like that.” This was when I developed an eating disorder. I would starve myself for many days, and then binge/purge cycles started.
This behavior lasted until I was about 21, and something inside me told me I had to stop; otherwise, I would never have a baby, and there was nothing I wanted more than to be a mother.
I went through yo-yo dieting and weight up and down, varying from 10-20 pounds. I didn’t know what to do about my body or the feelings of disgust. I read somewhere, or someone told me that “you are not your body, so it doesn’t matter if your body is fat. It’s not YOU.” Did that mean I was okay somewhere inside? And it didn’t matter what my body looked like. I am not sure exactly what they meant, but after I had my first child, I was so in awe of what my body created. A perfect little human that I got to love and take care of. “WOW! My body made this beautiful baby girl …really?!” This is amazing!
Love started to filter in for my body, even though I still battled the overall connection of all parts of me. My mind, my body, my soul … ALL of me.
I was very triggered a few years ago by a health coach, and it was then that I took my journey into self-love very seriously. I can now say with every part of me that I love my body. I give her thanks daily for taking such good care of me despite how I used to look at her, mistreat her and shame her.
I DID the work. I looked in the mirror every day and told myself I was beautiful. That I was worthy! That I deserved joy, happiness, abundance, love, and more!
I put on my makeup every day and did my hair without clothes. It was torturous at first, as I was so uncomfortable that I could hardly do it, but I kept at it. In time, I began to appreciate every little part and every little flaw. Throughout my life on this earth, my body has taken care of me.
I know to the very depths of my soul that had I not fully leaned into caring for me and loving me, I would not have done well when I was diagnosed with Vitiligo in June of this year. And I am not saying that I didn’t struggle … Oh boy, I did. I felt sorry for myself and wondered how yet another thing could happen to me. (For more on my story, please go to www.martineemmons.com.)
And then, I felt compassion. Deep compassion for my body. She was showing me that I needed to slow down. And what better way for her to get my attention than by going to my vanity.
The spots on my body are warrior marks, like my scars and stretch marks. And scars & stretch marks are rather sexy to me and always have been. I didn’t like them on me, but I thought they were sexy on others as they told a story. I see mine now as part of my story.
This woman writing this blog … IS a warrior! She is a resilient and powerful woman who advocates for other women. I am proud of her.
We are all unique and beautiful human beings. It still makes me sad how I treated myself, and even more sad when I hear others say they are ugly or hate their bodies.
I want YOU to know that you are unique and so very beautiful. When we begin to love ourselves, our world changes.
Reach out if I can help.
All Things Wellness, LLC
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