Week 29 of #TWmemorymondays...wow. I've been thinking so much about how my internal self meets my physical body, and how I've divorced them from each other or punished my physical self via my internal self. Does that make any sense?? Today's memory came from me asking myself: when was a time when I fully embodied myself shamelessly?
From as far as I can remember, my family and I would go to my grandparents' apartment in Oakland every Sunday or Saturday for dinner. Every week except for when we were out of town. My sister and I always looked forward to it, because we got to take bubble baths before dinner. We only showered at home - so it was a treat to take a bath at going gong and pau pau's (Chinese for Grandpa and Grandma) place. We probably did this until I was about 7 or 8 yrs old. We would be in the bath together, and it was so much fun! My grandma would peek in all the time to see if we needed towels or anything, and my sister and I would be so annoyed that she would check on us so often 😆. Swipe to see my little sister and I.
During those years I was free of body shame - I didn't have to think about my body or think about how other people perceived my body. I was fully in it - when I played, learned, ate, danced. Then when I was older like 7 or 8 (I think) things changed.
I was suddenly aware of my "imperfections" and how people might see me. I was very self conscious of my thick thighs, short legs, puffy belly, undefined arms, long neck, big lips, low cheek bones, big forehead, straight hair. My view of my body was really off - as I now see pictures of my average kid/Jr high body. I thought my body was huge and so unattractive. And I actually carried my fluctuation sense of self into highschool and it got really bad in college. Into adulthood I still struggle with it.
The past couple weeks I've been confronted with the desire to really love my body as is, because it is fundamental to accepting myself and to be truly present. I need to mourn all the years for viewing my strong perfect body so poorly - and for treating her so poorly. Consequently, seeing other bodies so poorly.
It's important because interacting with my body well is crucial in my journey in accepting myself as a person of color - Chinese - female. It's all connected.
Watch my instastories for a tip on how to accept your body.
I want to get back to that place when I was free as a young girl. Free to live in my body with compassion, embodied worth, and shamelessness.
#TWmemorymondays: A painting inspired by a memory every Monday of 2018. Connecting abstract art to real life. Week 29/53. 'Body' / 8x8 in / mixed media on paper