I was recently reading about the body in a book called Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent while on a long subway ride and this quote struck a resonance with my core so strongly:
"One of the most challenging aspects of wounds associated with the most intimate place in the female body is the silence, secrecy, shame, or isolation that tends to trap energy. The process of witnessing the truth of these wounds, of acknowledging the pain, of being seen and heard by another person, allows it to begin to move."
Reading that immediately transported me back to a gym in middle school where I had been picked to play in multiple rounds of some sort of game. I don't even remember the logistics of the game or the specific details of what was happening, but I remember feeling proud that my other classmates kept choosing me to play on their team and I was giving it my all, because it was fun. Then at some point, my playing time was up and I went to sit on the sidelines and one of the girls in my class leaned over to tell me that the reason I was being picked so much was because the boys wanted to watch my chest bounce. I wasn't wearing a sports bra for gym class and the newest source of entertainment, apparently, was my unsupported bust as I was running around the gym. Ouch.
I can still feel the flush of embarrassment and horror and disappointment and hurt that welled up in me on that day, as I still feel that lingering pain in my heart as I write this. It is surprising the memories that bubble up from the body that we thought we had forgotten. This is a wound I have held for so long and have not ever told a single soul.
"When a wound is witnessed, it's energy begins to change."
I would like to change the energy of this wound. Being blessed with a large bosom, I have had some posture issues over the years. As I've been building my back muscles up through weight-training (as well as my boobs getting smaller with my weightloss), it is easier for me to stand up straight. And as I have been doing emotional healing work, it is easier for me to stand more open. I realized that my hunched shoulders were not only due to the weakness of my back and the weight of my breasts, but also because I was hiding my body and shielding my heart.
"The wounds related to your womanhood define you only if they prevent you from owning and accessing the vibrant energy of your core. You cannot change what happened to you, but you can change the way it impacts the root of your body."
The morning meditation I did on the morning before I read this book passage and had this memory flood into my consciousness was on forgiveness. It was powerful to visualize the release of negative energy that bonded me to people of my past who I needed to forgive, but I was struck most by the potency of forgiving myself. So I would like to place forgiveness here in this space of witness to my womanhood….
…I forgive the pubescent adolescents who didn't have the understanding and know-how to respect a woman's body or express their own sexuality.
…I forgive the fellow girls who didn't know how to stand up for a fellow sister and whose words, perhaps meaning to console, confide, or cut down, hurt deep.
…I forgive a world where the feminine has been devalued and parts of a woman's body have been objectified.
…and I forgive myself. For carrying the shame and the painful memory for so long and for allowing it to effect the love of my body and giving me certain insecurities for a long time.
I forgive. And I send love and light as I release it, because it no longer serves me.
And moving forward, I reclaim my bust! I vow to honor this voluptuous and sacred part of my body. Perhaps someday I will be able to generously nourish my children or offer a soft place to console a resting head. My breasts connect me to my divine feminine energy, my sensuality, and my instinctive earthy nurturing nature.
Thank you, dear community, for being my witness.
And as I share this vulnerability with you, please know that I also hold space for the wounds that you still carry, as I know we all have them no matter what gender we are or identify with. I invite you, if you are ready to go there, to reflect on the parts of your body you'd like to reclaim. Are there places that hold shame, guilt, pain? Are there specific memories that come up for you when you tap into these parts of your body? Is there a close friend, mentor, coach, or healer you can share the memories with who will hold you in loving support? I am here for you. I am here to hold space for you in this exploration and reclaiming. Please reach out to me if I can be that support for you.
PS. If any of you ladies are also looking for some literal support for your bust, Kim Caldwell of Hurray Kimmay is a generous, humorous, heart-centered wealth of information about bras, lingerie, and everything "underneath". It's on my list of intentions for 2015 to tap into her glorious knowledge to support my girls!