Soul Search within a Body that you hate (The woman you once knew)
Starting this journey I knew two things. 1. I was overweight and I completely blamed my mom 2. I was tired of being broken. I needed someone to validate my brokenness and my anger towards my mother. If this person could do those two things then I could start shedding this weight mentally and physically.
God must be laughing at my expectations because that is not how this happened. As I write, I am sitting in the sun looking at the water. I just had my third session with Lotus but this was the second time we have had in person meetings and after what I have just experienced with her I needed to sit here to breath, think, and heal.
Last weeks homework was to look at myself in the mirror naked and tell myself how beautiful and worthy I am. This was the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done. I have been told for as long as I can remember that I am not good enough because of my size. I am not worthy enough to be in my own skin.
Lotus asked if I wanted to meet at Wapato Park here in Tacoma, Washington. The first thought in my head was 'does she know I’m fat and I can’t walk and talk at the same time?’ My second thought was we agreed to be uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. So I brushed my hair, put on my workout clothes and tennis shoes, and slowly walked to my car.
I chanted in my head 'you can do this. Remember to breath and talk. You got this give yourself grace. You can’t do this you’re too fat to talk and walk around this lake. Why are you doing this to yourself. You are not worthy of losing weight, sit down somewhere!’ This rattled round in my head the whole ride to the park.
No turning back now, I’m here and Lotus always greets me with the biggest smile and a hug. It’s one of those hugs that make you feel loved and worthy. One of those kinds of hugs that big mama (grandma) would give you when she hasn’t seen you for a few weeks.
We slowly start walking and she asked be about last weeks assignment. I explained to her how I haven’t looked at my body intentionally for over 10 years. Looking at every bump, fold, and mark was hard. Telling myself I am worthy to be in the skin I’m in is hard. I have to learn to love my skin regardless of my weight or the approval of others because that is how you break the cycle of brokenness. God didn’t create us to be broken, which means I have to create a new truth in my head.
Half way around the lake I thought I was going to die. I was having a hard time talking while we were walking so we took our first break. I was looking at the water and I was talking about how angry and hurt I was at my past. How a few weeks ago my mom gave me everything I’ve ever wanted from her; validating my truth for the hurt she caused in my life. How I am struggling with moving forward. Some of that struggle developed when I couldn’t let go of the blame I put at my moms feet because I have come to find that I was guilty too. During that conversation I finally stopped and listened to my mom’s truth I realized she is simply a woman who was hurt by her mother.
While sitting by the water, Lotus asked me to close my eyes for meditation. She asked me to envision myself with two suitcase. One with past written on it the other had future. I saw myself as a shell of a person; I was so clear you could see right through me. Lotus asked me to put down my past suitcase. Tears rolling down my face, I put down my past. She then asked me to put down my future suitcase. I saw myself putting down my future. I was no longer clear but colored in with black. I stood up, the past suitcase on one side of me and future on the other. I was no longer hunched over. I was standing straight with my shoulders back in their relaxed position. I was free.
Lotus had me breath deeply a few more times and to open my eyes. Tears were still coming down my face because I felt free, but I felt grief. I’m now grieving for the little girl who wanted to be loved so much that she looked for it with the wrong men. The little girl who was searching for her mother in the darkest of moments but not being able to find her. I mourn the little girl who had to stop being a little girl. I mourn her loss and I mourn her broken heart. I grieve for her family what was ripped apart by divorce, and the innocence she lost.
As we slowly finished our walk I told Lotus I have always wanted to be a mother, wife and to support young women who look like me. I told her a memory that has shaped me to be the woman I have become. When I was a little girl I used to pretend I was sick. I’m sure my mom knew but she still let me pretend. She would make me comfortable on the couch with a pillow and blanket. She would cuddle with me in between house chores. We would watch musicals all day. Even when my brothers would come home she would make them go outside and it was just me and her. I shared another memory of when my mom started her girls group at Curtis Sr. High school supporting girls of color. This is the woman I always wanted to be. That part of my mom has always been my dream. She inspired me to be that woman.
Lotus asked if I have ever expressed to my mom that she wasn’t a complete failure as a mother. Sadly, I haven’t, not for the reason some would think. It wasn’t because of anger. It was pride and hurt. My mom as a woman and mother who made mistakes but I can never say she was a failure. She birthed Ryan, Christopher and I with love. And raised Sheila, my foster sister, as if she was birthed from her womb.
You, Mom, are not a failure. I see you as a woman who is evolving to where God has designed you to be. I forgive you for my past. I’m not sure what that looks like but I forgive you.
Edited by: Leanna Hanika 4/29/2019