Jenna

Love is Not Something You Should Have to Earn

I very rarely watch TV, I do not pay for cable or satellite so I am capable of constructing a reality that supports me and my vision of what is right and true for me. Every eon or so I turn on regular TV and each time I find it more shocking then the last. The other day I happened to find myself watching Dr.Ph*l and he was interviewing people for the new TV show Bridal Plasty where brides to be compete for plastic surgery and a dream wedding. There was one fiance interviewed who wasn’t on the show but she was invited on because she refuses to get married until she loses 40 pounds. Her fiance and father of her child loves her, thinks she is beautiful just the way she is but she refuses to get married until she can reclaim the pre-baby slimness she knew as a young girl.

Honestly, the first thought that same to me was, “Thank God I am not this woman.” Due to  my work with fat acceptance and body diversity I will no longer delay living my life for a body I do not own. Thank God I am in a place of acceptance and enjoyment of my body. I have miraculously stopped the insanity producing sadness which is the core of the rejection of self. This poor woman has had her self image so totally held hostage by society at large, by the media, by impossible standards she is blinded by it to the point where she cannot allow herself to marry her fiance…. her self hatred is crowding out all the love.

How many times have we crowded out love in our lives because we felt unworthy of being loved? Who have we pushed away because deep down we thought we did not deserve goodness in our lives? We sabotaugue all those little mercies and joys, ruin them in our self defeat then say, “See? I told you I was not worth….” the devil sitting on our shoulder wins.

So many people are operating from a place of lack. So many people find lack within themselves. It’s no surprise that people feel this way when we have been bombarded from an early age and live within a society whose main industrial standard is, “you lack something = here buy this something and feel better!” We have been convinced at depth that we are fundamentally not ok.

So when you and I are working to unhinge the self from the paradigm of lack by saying, “My luscious body is not only acceptable it is god damn hot!” The very act of finding yourself whole is a revolutionary act. And society works so hard to pull you back into its disease, it throws every weapon it has: public shame, disgust, humiliation… you name it. This paradigm wants you to believe you are unworthy of love, success, competence the whole thing… until you conform, until you buy, until you diet. You are not worthy of marriage or love until you get plastic surgery, until you lose weight.

But we know those lists of wants never diminish, we would never reach a state of sanity… until we let go… stop the madness! And say, yes, myself, I accept, yes my body I accept, yes my lovely beating heart yes I am fine just the way that I am. Then just like those late nights where worries loom so large and you are tossing about in your bed then dawn comes and in the bright light of of day all those fears dissipate… yes everything IS totally OK.

I sincerely hope one day the dawn breaks for the bride I talked about. So much… for her and for so many others.

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  • TheGeekWife

    Unfortunately, after years of loving and accepting and being happy in my 115kg frame, for the last six months I have been slowly spiraling out of control and beginning to hate myself like I did when I was an adolescent.

    Because my partner and I are trying to have a baby… and the first thing *anyone* tells me is “Oh, you’ll have to lose some weight, first.”

    Doctors, nurses, my mother (who has, in the last year, turned from a fat-accepting size 22 woman who I have loved and respected into a bony-arsed size 12 with food issues the size of the moon. Apparently my wedding photos set her off and now she has an eating disorder that she will not admit to and everyone else keeps praising her for losing so much weight.) EVERYONE tells me that I need to lose weight to have a baby.

    It’s bad enough knowing that with the gift of genetics from my family alone I’ve only got a 50% chance of conceiving naturally, and even then only a 40% chance of carrying that baby to term.

    There is no connection between these numbers and my weight. The doctor who has been my primary physician for the last 25 years has told me that no matter what I weigh I will still have odds that are just as sucky. In fact, if I were to lose any significant kgs while trying to conceive then chances are my periods and ovulation would dry up completely as my body panics, thinking that I’m being starved and could never support and nourish another being.

    It’s bad enough that articles like THIS ONE – http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/pregnancy/pregnancy-nutrition-and-wellbeing/pregnancys-a-weighty-issue-20101203-18iqk.html – get printed, women talking about weight gain in pregnancy like it’s some kind of disease, let alone my own family and the people I thought I could trust to be supportive of me on my journey to have a baby telling me that nothing good will happen to me as long as I’m in the ‘overweight’ category according to the evil BMI.

  • Mulberry

    GeekWife: Check out Well Rounded Mama for some much-needed support.
    Meanwhile, many of us understand that whatever goes wrong wrong with you is said to be due to your weight. I remember working in an office and picking up a cold on occasion, and my mother started up with the “If you weren’t so fat, you wouldn’t get sick!” “Ma. most of the office has caught a cold this winter.”, I’d say, but of course reason doesn’t make a dent with some people. The trouble is that so many doctors believe that fat magically causes (or at the very least exacerbates) every human ill from which a fat person might suffer.

    I’ve recently lost some weight due to some medicine I’m taking to treat a disease. People like to compliment me on my weoight loss, and I hate that. I tell them straight out it’s because I’m sick and things like that happen. The more decent ones shut up after that.

  • http://twitter.com/Fatheffalump Fat Heffalump

    I remember what that felt like. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was in the same place as that bride. My life would change, someone would love me, things would be better, so long as I lost that weight.

    Thing is, I did lose the weight. Things weren’t better. Life changed, but not in a good way. And nobody could love the obsessive, angry, depressed person I was then.

    It’s damn hard work to bring yourself to a place of self acceptance and self love. It’s damn hard work to stay there once you start to get it. But it’s also a damn good place to be when you get there!

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