Living Life Unchained

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“Shame was the chain and guilt was the lock that kept me in my place and broken.”

UnchainedI did not want to die chained.                                           

You can’t free people who don’t know they are enslaved … especially yourself. You can’t shed old skin, old ways and old thoughts until you have something to replace it with. We are the only ones who can free our minds.

We have to believe we can break free. But before that, we have to believe we are worthy of freedom.

I was once chained to the stories I told myself, the stories I believed from others. And the most dreaded story of the all? The story that told me I couldn’t be beautiful … ever.

I hated it when people told me I was beautiful because, in my head, what I really heard was, “Beauty is only skin deep. You aren’t very smart or funny. Your voice and opinion don’t carry much weight.”

When I was younger I got a lot of attention from men and boys, because I had large breasts along with pin-up girl-like curves. Their stares made me uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like people really saw me. Instead, it felt like they only saw body parts. Eyes. Smile. Breasts. Tiny waist. Hips.

They did not see me. My soul. My spirit. My hopes. My dreams.

So I started hiding. I wore clothes that were five sizes too big. I began to gain weight, on purpose.

Shame was the chain and guilt was the lock that kept me in my place and broken. These chains kept me from trying, from changing, from growing, from learning. They kept me from expressing myself fully.

Being bound for so long, I lost hope. I thought this was my life. One where I hid my true self from everyone.

But I did not want to die chained. I had to break my chains so I could live. I had to be freed.

The funny thing about freedom, it is very rarely given. Most times it is fought for and won. I had to become my own example of struggle and redemption. My personal revolution.

It took having babies for me to learn what my breasts truly are for. It took me mothering others before I learned to mother myself.  And it took me loving other women before I could love myself. Slowly over the years I learned my body was just a medium for my soul. I gained and lost weight over the years. I battled disease and illness before I learned to love my curves, my cleavage, and my belly.

I wear my cleavage with honor now. I don’t hide it and I am not ashamed of it. It does not diminish me or my IQ because I have it. I have embraced all the parts of myself.

It does not matter what people called me before. All that matters now is what I tell myself.

____________________

Image credit: alainlm from flickr

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