The following guest post was written by Rhiannon, a regular reader of Adventures in Voluntary Simplicity. I think Rhiannon's post shows that embracing simple living goes beyond de-cluttering your house and eschewing materialism and consumering. It can be a process as internal and personal as embracing the person staring back at you in the mirror.
ON THE BODY
I, like you, have a story. And it can be told... but how best to get my point across? You see, some people’s story can be told by the company they keep. Some by the place they reside or the car they drive. Some by the job they hold or the degrees they display. Some by the photographs of family sitting on the mantle piece. Some by the way the walk or talk. Some by the words they write.
Me? I guess mine can be told by my clothing or, rather, the lack there of!
My story may sound similar to a soap your mom watched at home each afternoon while you were at school: mom and dad become alcoholics, mom and dad begin swinging, mom leaves dad, dad divorces mom, dad dies of cancer, their daughter gets married, has a few kids, husband has affair, husband leaves wife,
ex-wife/daughter, well... gets fat!
I guess it’s fair to say, my story can be told... in my thighs! The swell of my breasts. The girth of my waist. The movement of my curves.
Because within this story, within these full folds of flesh, between these lines. I fret. I fret about my health. About my looks. About the example I teach. Fret... Fret... Fret...
And... I doubt. I doubt myself being true to who I really am. That others will truly be able to see me. That I’ll ever feel beautiful enough, worthy enough, sexy enough, to get out into that big fish bowl of men again. Doubt... Doubt... Doubt...And... I am mean. Mean to my soul. Mean to my heart, my lungs, my knees. Mean... Mean... Mean....
And I wonder. Does all this, fretting, doubting, meanness, serve me?
A healthy self image is something everyone talks about. Something everyone wants. A sexy body is something women want and men desire. I'm no different than everyone! But there seems to be two of these images. One others see and one I see. The two merging would seem to benefit, would they not? But they won’t. No matter how hard I try, the me others see (confident, funny, strong willed, self assured, woman) just will NOT merge with the me the mirror sees (chubby, unsure, scared, selfish, single mama). And although I only see this other me when I happen to be standing in front of a mirror or looking into a photo or in a room full of "pretties," it's still there, looming!
So one day, as I stand in front of the mirror I begin to wonder. Is this image I see in front of me the same one others see? And I already know the answer. So then I question, how can I take away all this fluff? How can I see ME? Just ME?
And the thought hits me. Could it really be that SIMPLE?
So as I stand there in front of the mirror... I begin to peal. Peal off my shirt. Peal off my socks. Peal off my pants. And as I peal, I look! I look and I look. And then I do it... I take off the little bits. (Okay not so little!) And I stare! I examine. I poke. I prod. And I enjoy! I enjoy this piece of art, this vehicle of mine. I spend the rest of the day, walking around the house, cooking meals, doing laundry and I realize I LIKE MY BODY! I like me a lot! Is it super model? No. But it’s mine! My very own story... of making it through.
Will it ever change? Sure! Hard work has proven that. Will I like it even more. Probably! But this body, the one I have now, it’s served me. Because I've lived and I've loved and I've cried and died a million times over. And my body has enjoyed and hated it all, right along with me. My spirits vehicle, will do my every bidding. So for sure I can! I can love me for who I am right now at this moment. The me I see, the me others see. They are all, after all, just me!
Would YOU dare take it all off and see? It is Voluntarily Simple!