I’ve been (probably over) thinking about my body dissatisfaction.
So here’s the thing: I have to admit that I have thought to myself if only I had a flatter stomach I could live with the rest of my body. Sure I have a big booty, but I can live with that. But if my stomach was flat, and my waist smaller, then I’d be ok.
When I really spent time thinking about it, I recognized the feeling that maybe my belly fat is protecting me. I have created a protective layer between my vulnerable abdomen – and all that lives there – and the world. This makes sense on a couple of significant levels.
First, my abdomen was literally cut open nearly a year ago. I had a healthy kidney removed from my body and placed into my sister’s body. [See Frankenbelly below:]
And that got me wondering, what is it about my belly? Why is that the specific focus of my dissatisfaction? What is it that a few extra inches around my hips doesn’t do, but a few extra around my mid-section does?
I imagine it takes a while to fully recover from organ donation, perhaps even longer than the doctors would have you believe. I feel recovered, but every once in a while I stretch too much and something pops deep inside – something let’s go. Scar tissue? Old habits? False perceptions?
According to the Chopra Center, the second chakra “is associated with creativity and birth―both literally to a new baby but also metaphorically to new aspects of ourselves, projects and ideas…[W]hen this chakra becomes congested, we may experience a block in our creative powers and a sense of dryness or emptiness.” It is not surprising then, with the amount of change I have recently gone through, that I may be protective of that tender, vulnerable part of myself.
Now that I am on the other side of my mother’s prolonged illness and death at age 61 from severe early onset dementia; the breakdown and eventual end of a long-term, emotionally abusive marriage; the successful life-saving kidney donation to my sister; as well as positive changes – like a new, healthy romantic relationship – is it time to release myself from such real, physical, tangible protection of my vital organs?
These are the questions I am contemplating as I move forward with this deep introspection and move toward fierce and radical self-acceptance. I believe that when I am really ready, really feeling safe and secure, the protective layer of adipose tissue will let go, dissolve away. Or maybe it won’t and I won’t care anymore, because I will know and value who I am, deep down, below the outer shell that covers me, but isn’t me, just as the thick paint strokes of a Van Gogh or Monet only serve to add depth, interest, and tangible character to a larger work of art.