I am no stranger to feeling unsafe in my own skin.
I’ve personally experienced bullying almost every year of my existence on this earth. At first it was in school, before the Internet really took over and bullies could hide behind a screen and IP address. Whether it was being called a “fatty” (since I grew up as an obese child), or a “freak” (since I used to style myself in outrageous clothes borrowing from my mother’s fab 70’s wardrobe she had abandoned), I was used to the abuse. And this was just the gentle jeering. It happened again as a young adult when I moved to New York and used to go out on the town with my creative partner, all dolled up in our latest self-created avant-garde fashions. We would experience bullying that ranged from laughter and pointing to straight up violence and anger for our difference. Finally, I was jeered at in the queer community for choosing to marry a partner who was a biological male.
For some reason, certain people always make it THEIR concern, the way I appear on the outside and how I carry out the affairs of MY life.
We live in a country where fat shaming, gender shaming, and generally shaming people for who they truly are runs rampant. We are so busy trying to look like celebrities in the magazines that we’ve forgotten how to show gratitude to our bodies, the beautiful vessels that allow us to walk on the planet. We are so trapped in the illusion of separateness that we miss the basic understanding that I am you and you are me, and that we need this dichotomy to survive and thrive in our world. We have moved so far away from our Oneness that all we see are the blinding dividers of perceived ‘difference.’
Instead, we are busy filling our bodies with metal, needles, rat poison, silicon and more instead of loving them and feeding them nourishing substances that will heal the body naturally. Even the recent lack of indictments in the case of Eric Garner & Mike Brown are a form of body shaming, making black individuals feel less than, unworthy and worst of all UNSAFE in their own skin.
We’re taught to stay in our lane, to color in the lines and to do our best to look like everyone else. Just go into any chain store around and you’ll find the same mediocre, styleless clothes reproduced thousands of times over. But I get it. That’s safe. By wearing them, you don’t put yourself at risk to the bullies of the world who haven’t learned the art of acceptance, of self or other. Taking that harder path is painful and often times traumatic, but for me worth the priceless experience of getting to be fully me each day.
But the truth is that we each have a soul expression unique to us: like a snowflake, it is entirely original and impossible to reproduce. Each of us living our truth is needed to complete the intricate web of humanity in which we co-exist. (tweet it)
We are at a time where moving towards acceptance and overcoming our obsession with form is crucial for our survival and health as a species. We must re-learn that it is the formless that matters most: the formless: our Spirit, our comfort in our own skin, that which is immaterial. What we create with our hands and shape into the reality of the fabric of life, our great work.
So get over your tendency to shame yourself (and others) and start focusing on YOUR gifts instead. Why you’re here at this most crucial time in human history. It’s time to unleash your true self!
Let’s end this epidemic of shaming together!
Action Steps for greater acceptance in our world:
- Join me in donating to the #IamWhatsUnderneath campaign : A feature-length documentary that strips us down to open us up, empowering people worldwide to accept and express their true selves. In their own words: “True Style is Self Acceptance” @StyleLikeU kck.st/1AjfBgE #IamWhatsUnderneath (tweet it) You have until Sat, Dec 20 2014 6:52 PM EST to donate!
- Check out BeMore America and their mission to #CureRacism within our lifetime and watch their Vision 2040 campaign to add your own voice
- Each morning when you wake up, look in the mirror and loving say to your body, “I unconditionally love and accept myself right now, just as I am. I am so grateful for you. I adore you just the way you are. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”