Continuing this series on my inner beauty, the author of the book/guideline I am following has suggested that the things we dislike about our looks and our bodies are a reflection of something other than our bodies. She pushes for us women to reflect on what this might be. I can surmise mine in one word: failure.
There are various aspects of this reality of failure for me. But one of them stems from the fact that I’m a type 1 diabetic. I became an insulin dependent diabetic when I was about 8 years old – in fact, the date of my diagnosis was January 3, 1981. Yes, that’s right, it’s been almost 39 years that I have lived with diabetes. When I was a kid, I received a lot of support and encouragement to be responsible for my own care. I also received plenty of criticism; although the criticism was supportive and designed to help me understand the impacts of my disease, it had another impact on me and I became highly self-critical (I should make an entire post on my self-criticism) about how I handled my diabetes. I often heard from family members that I needed to be very careful so I wouldn’t go blind, lose legs, die, etc., etc. So, having those worries, I tried and tried to do my best. I became a really healthy person. As a teen, I tried really hard to fight the balancing act between blood sugar and hormonal imbalances.
Then, when I discovered martial arts, I found my ticket. I began working out all of the time. Began eating properly and managing my blood sugars like a champ. In fact, the idea of making myself a human weapon was kind of motivating for me. I did everything I could to take care of the body I was given by God. If it needed to be a temple, then so be it!
But I was not prepared for life, challenges, relationships, my brother’s suicide, being a cop, ptsd, anxiety, depression and eventually alcoholism. Then when I began realizing what a piece of crap I had become (see this post, by the way), I assumed I was a complete failure. And now, as I turn 47 in less than a month, that is a change that feels absolutely impossible to achieve. But what I want, what I desire seems to be plagued by ineffectiveness. I can’t seem to do everything I want to do and my mind begins to assume it is nothing but failure again. And this failure is combined with all of the other areas I feel like a failure: my relationships, my ability at parenting, my inability to get sober, my inability to live up to spiritual expectations, my career, my finances, etc., etc.
So, when I look at myself in a mirror, I see ALL of my failures wrapped up in my body.
And it’s a feeling that absolutely sucks.
But one of the questions asked in the book, is “What part of your life could you address to foster more overall contentment?”
For me, I think there are four areas I could address that would give me this overall contentment:
- My Spiritual Life
- My Health
- My Finances
- My Relationships (By far, this is the one I feel the absolute most struggle)