I am Worthy.
“He said, ‘Come to the edge.’
They said, ‘No we will fall.’
He said, ‘Come to the edge.’
Then they came to the edge, he pushed them, and they flew.”
The greatest gift I walked away with from 14 years of Anorexia is the knowledge that I am worthy. It wasn’t an easy revelation to embrace, but it was necessary for me to take the next steps to owning my journey. The courage to embrace my worth, the courage to define my story and the courage to find my voice was rooted in first being able to say these words out loud, ‘I am worthy.’ It didn’t come easy; it didn’t come without many false attempts. But, when it came, I understood it deeply for the first time in my life.
I always allowed others to tell me I wasn’t worthy. I let the media and society’s definition of beauty define my worth. I obsessed with false truth’s within numbers on a scale, skewed reflections in a mirror and other’s opinion of me to define my story and silence my voice.
Until I was able to accept that it was my choice, and I was the only who could make it; until I was able to accept humility in asking for help to walk forward in healing; until I was able to accept that one must get up after each fall; until these revelations and steps could be recognized, could I BEGIN AGAIN!
In last 7 days of eating disorder awareness week 161 people died of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. That number is likely a lot higher, but the deaths aren’t often recorded as eating disorders. Think about that for a moment. People are dying trying to fit into a definition others impose on us, which they think will bring them happiness, social acceptance and a better life. Along my 14-year battle with Anorexia, I personally lost many friends to this illness. I personally lost 14 years of life I can’t get back.
Imagine if we just embraced who we are in this moment, for all the amazing qualities that we have by being our unique self. Imagine how amazing our journey could be.
I wrote my book because I strongly believe there is a positive in every negative. I do this work because I don’t believe one more person should die because they feel less than. I left the eating disorder speaking circuit some time ago due to life responsibilities. I didn’t return until now because of fear that I would be less than. This week I encountered amazing people through my events, through my blog, through private messages and phone calls. People who took a step towards healing by reaching out to me, to ask for help. I am grateful for this reminder that my voice will never be silenced. I am grateful for the reminder that it is time for me to put my fears and ‘less than’ mentality behind me returning to the work I am most passionate about.
My voice is loud, my voice is needed, and my voice is a reminder that we can all BEGIN AGAIN.
Listen to Andrea on WEHC 90.7 'Owning Our Stories & Eating Disorders'
"When you understand who and what you are, your radiance projects into the universal radiance and everything around you becomes creative and full of opportunity.” ~Yogi Bhajan
What is beauty? Re-envisioning beauty for me was having the courage to embrace the reality around me and change it into my voice and vision rather than what society tell us daily.
As much as society feels they can define beauty for every human being, the reality is the only person who can define your beauty is you. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, souls, hearts and bodies. No one can define you, but you. As I came to this definition and realization of how to re-envision beauty, my life stories began to come alive in a whole new way.
The difference was what I was able to pinpoint prior; when I spoke of beauty it would always be in terms for myself, but in actuality beauty is so much bigger than ever attaching it to one person. There needs to be a moment of deafening silence where you have to go deep within yourself and ask the question. It is only then can you go deeper to ask the harder questions sitting back to truly listen in honesty at the answers that will follow you along the journey. They may not be easy at first to hear. But if you stick with the process of healing the wounds that got you to the negative body shame, I promise a peaceful acceptance will follow. You define your own beauty today, tomorrow and forever.
When I began to re-envision beauty. I opened the door to compassion for myself and left self-criticism at the door knowing it had no business on my journey anymore. I needed to cultivate a self-love taking body hatred out of my vocabulary. I needed to speak words of love towards the body I live within and leave hate at the door. It became about letting go of forgotten pasts, embracing love for myself, then sharing it with all who cross my path. For in the end the gift of defining beauty is being able to share the truth with others to pass on to the next person. When I was able to take this step, I could see the beauty in every person who crossed my path. I could appreciate their beauty for what it was and not compare or contrast in what I was missing in my life
Today beauty resides in every moment of my day. I consciously see it in all things, I live it within myself. I am proud of my body scars for they tell the story of my life. Scars that show the beautiful birth of my children, scars that show the wounds which took me years to heal in order to help others. Every scar, wrinkle, grey hair tells my story, I simply embrace beauty in all things…and for that I am grateful.
Where does Beauty reside for you? How do you define Beauty? If you could Re-Envision Beauty for your journey, what would it look like?
Have you claimed your beauty? Do you own it? Share it? Embrace it? Or…are you one in the millions who are constantly doubting, berating, criticizing, loathing and downright not honoring the gift of beauty we are all born with?
This is a topic that shines mostly in our younger population, but it begins with our elders. For if the elders do not claim their beauty, their worth, the wrinkles which define the amazing journey they have walked or the grey hair that simply shows one’s life lived well…then how can our younger generation accept themselves for who they are?
You are their teachers and they need to hear from you in positive light!
My life began with my beauty not being defined, honored or celebrated. There was always something ‘just not right’ in others eyes. It was a dress, hairstyle or contacts instead of glasses that would make me just right. My worth was measured in appearance. If you think no one’s paying attention to your hatred, you are wrong. They pay close attention.
It all begins with each other. We are all mirrors to another.
We must STOP body hatred, criticizing each other and more importantly ourselves. We need to see, honor and love the beauty within our own body, our own journey and our own portrait.
Today, claim beauty.
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.