I had lunch with a new acquaintance and we got talking about ourselves. ‘I still struggle with my body image and my tendency to be a hermit,’ I said.
‘Do you expect to ever be cured?’ she asked.
The truthful answer was no — no I don’t ever really expect to be totally fine with my body or to morph into a social butterfly who fearlessly seeks out new relationships all the time. I’m fundamentally shy, and culturally conditioned to believe that I should be a different shape and size than my body wants to be.
So where does that leave me — constantly frustrated that I can’t seem to get better, crying ‘poor me’ and giving up, or frantically looking for the latest new-age medicine that will heal my wounds?
Wounds and scars. The long snaked ripple of pink flesh where my brother had a shoulder operation, the zippered line of a Cesarean section where my friend gave birth, the white spot on my knee where I fell off my bike — these wounds have healed into scars that will never fade. We wear our scars as badges of courage, as reminders of our suffering, as proof of our resilience.
But they won’t ever go away.
Here are my wounds. Here are my scars. Body shame, shyness, anxiety, guilt, fear, hopelessness.
Will they ever be fixed? I don’t think so. Is darkness such a bad thing?
So I unveil them here as my badges of courage, my reminders that I’ve suffered, the proof that I’m resilient.
I choose the path of acceptance rather than resistance.
Whenever tragic loss occurs, you either resist or you yield. Some people become bitter or deeply resentful; others become compassionate, wise, and loving.
Yielding means inner acceptance of what is. You are open to life. Resistance is an inner contraction, a hardening of the shell of the ego. You are closed. If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in. You rest in the peace and inner stillness that come with surrender. You rest in God.
(Tolle, A New Earth, 57-58)
What are your wounds? Do you expect them to ever heal?