I am sorry that you felt fat when your mother dressed you and your sister (who was petite) the same. I'm sorry that you continued to feel fat your entire life, even at the times when no one else would have described you that way. I am sorry you didn’t feel beautiful or sexy or ever "enough."
I want you to know that when you shamed me for eating, I realize you had my best interest at heart. I know that when you called me names, you didn't mean to hurt me, that you were just scared. I know that you thought if you could keep me from being fat, I wouldn't have to share your pain.
Despite your best efforts I did share your pain and doubled it two fold. I became fat (much fatter than you ever had been) and I hated myself for it. I was convinced that there was something fundamentally wrong with me. I felt imprisoned by my body. I believed my body stopped me from being myself and living the life I wanted. I felt like the only way I would ever be happy, was if I was skinny.
The pain grew through out my life. I attempted to escape it with food, with sex, with alcohol, with drugs and with food again. I tried very hard to forget it , but it didn't go away, it only got worse. The pain seemed like it would win, until a great catalyst of change showed up. Your granddaughter was born.
Not unlike you, I became afraid that my daughter would suffer my same pain. I couldn't bear the thought of that. Like you I wanted to protect her. However I was lucky enough to realize I didn't need to protect her from fat, I knew it was feelings of unworthiness that were the real enemy. And I knew the only way I could actually protect her from that, was to deal with it myself.
Things got real bad, before they got better, but when I found presence and the wholeness that existed inside of me no matter what I looked like everything started to change. The freedom that both you and I fantasized would come with a smaller body, was right there waiting for me in the moment that I choose it.
TodayI love and accept my body as it is. And most of the time I know my worthiness and live from it. Sometimes I falter and forget that I am whole, but fortunately I'm too awake to not eventually remember.
I can imagine you may have seen my fatness as your failure. I can imagine how your heart wrenched to see me in such awful pain. But I want you to know my fat and my pain was the greatest gift of my life. In all honesty I would never change it.
My suffering broke through to blessing. Although Jovina will have her own struggles, she doesn't just have a mother who tells her she is beautiful, she has a mother who knows her own beauty and reflects that back.
And I don't just reflect this to Jovina. In me, many women have seen their own reflections. I am their living proof of the possibility of freedom. Each and every women who loves themselves a little more becomes a reflection for the women in their lives too. Together we form a great unending chain of women awakening to the wholeness and beauty of their self.
Thank you mommy for doing your very best. Thank you for trying to protect me in the only ways you knew how. Thank you for unknowingly blessing me with the pain that would be transmuted into my lifes work…my lifes peace and my greatest joy.