Remember when you were small, and pure, when being naked, when dancing in front of people and singing at the top of your lungs was as natural as breathing, and you never wondered if it was any good, because somehow you just knew you were beautiful and so were all the gifts you gave to the world?
Remember when you loved to hear your name in another’s mouth, when it made you feel loved and like you belonged to someone, with someone?
Remember when you trusted what you knew, and knew what you trusted? Remember when you didn’t have to deny who you were to be safe and accepted? You just were?
Remember when you used to go outside without having to do your face first, without having to check your hair, with barely anything on you but a slip of cotton, with your bruised shins and your freckles all out there for the world to see? Remember when you used to get away with just your bather bottoms, and you loved to run your hands down your smooth, flat chest and it made you feel free and you never knew what it meant to be showing too much skin? You never needed to wonder if you ought to be ashamed, to cover yourself?
Remember when you learned you needed to cover yourself? Remember who told you you were naked?
You need to put a top on honey, you can’t go swimming like that.
You need to pull your dress down, sweetie. They can see your underwear.
Put your knees together. That’s not ladylike.
Cover yourself up please. That dress needs about three more inches. And wear your wrap.
Nobody wants to know what you think about that. Just do as you’re told.
Can you keep your voice down? Don’t be so boisterous.
Who told you that? Where do you come up with such things?
Please fix your face. Go tie that mess back. Cross your legs. Come here and let us look at you. That’s better.
And you learned. Your sparkling soul, your small, pure self was embodied within a shell others needed to control. People stopped seeing you as small and pure. They stopped seeing you at all, and started telling you how to cover yourself up – with you.
Once, you were not ashamed. But others helped you understand that shame is simply what we do here. Without even trying, without doing anything, by simply having a body you needed to behave in a way that demonstrated your shame.
And then, there were the things others did that brought you a full, close and intimate understanding of shame.
And you understood to be one of us, to survive, to retain even a semblance of whole ness, you needed to cover yourself.
Your body. Your face. Your soul. Your spirit. Your innocence. Your creativity. Your dreams. Your sexuality. Your intelligence. Your spirituality. Your self.
The truth about you is you are not what others see. The truth is shame about the things you did, the things that were done to you, and the things about you that could not be helped or changed made you cover the naked you so long ago, you’re not sure if you can even trust that part of you any more. You haven’t listened to your gut, to your heart, to your creativity for what seems like centuries. All you’ve done is what you needed to do to survive, to stay safe, to belong.
And then came the startling moment in time when it became clear that staying ashamed in your darkness was going to be more painful than showing your true self ever was.
Place your hands on your smooth, flat chest, my little love. Feel your innocence, your truth beneath your palms. Close your eyes to the prying, lying world. Hear the music. Take off the mask, and let the sun kiss your face once more. Kick away the shackles of shame from your feet, and dance. Dance with your arms out wide and your eyes open. Dance and feel the layers fall away. Open your mouth and taste the truth as it pours from your swollen cheeks. Those are your words, this is your song, my love. That is your story. This, my heart, is who you really are.
Do Awesome Broken is my online course for women who wish to grow into a greater appreciation for their own beauty and greatness, and who would like support to build a healthy platform emotionally, socially and spiritually from which to live their purpose and be their most authentic selves.
Do Awesome Broken runs over eight weeks and involves –
- Unique and stimulating course content, vibrant group discussions and a place to share, relax and connect with others.
- A secret (private), facilitated Facebook group where we view course content, and where course participants can interact with each other in community every day, talking about our discoveries and experiences and sharing our discoveries, thoughts and ideas.
- Support, both technical and pastoral, individual and collective, in real time (Facebook messenger) or via email, as well as a safe, facilitated space accessible 24/7, and a creative, supportive group culture.
Do Awesome Broken – Season Two is enrolling now for start date early 2015.