My ex and i broke up a few weeks ago. I was in love with him and adored him until one night he….ahem…. took my clothes off and insisted that I workout even more and start dieting. I was humiliated and ashamed and I still am in shock over this. Now that he said that, I can’t stop thinking that i’m fat. I can’t look in the mirror anymore without feeling shame that I didn’t try harder to please him (working out more and dieting). Never have I ever cried so much over what a man has said to me but for some reason, this really affected me. Please help me. I am scared that every guy I get with is going to act like this whenever we get intimate.
Scared Little Bee
Dear Scared Little Bee,
I’m so sorry that you experienced such a trauma. In order to feel in control of the pain, your mind is already starting to add stories to what happened in order to help you cope—stories like, “I can’t trust men;” “Men won’t find me attractive;” “There is something wrong with me;” “I’m not lovable as I am.” Your mind wants to search for meaning for WHY your ex-boyfriend said this to you, and the pain you are feeling is because his words fed a story in your mind (that goes back to a very young age) that there is truly something wrong with you. (There isn’t.)
I want you to notice when you start to revisit that moment with him and play it out in your mind. Your mind has no gifts for you at times like that—it is just trying to make you feel in control in face of the pain, and it actually FEEDS the pain and creates suffering. I want you to be aware of your breathing in those moments and find the point of emotional pain in your body (you’ll notice that all emotions show up in the body). Bring your attention and your breath to focus on the center of where you feel the emotional pain in your body and continue to breathe, relaxing your shoulders and feeling your heart opening. Focus your attention in this way until the pain dissipates. This is how we begin the process of healing and open our hearts.
I recognize that you may have fear every time you approach a new relationship with a man, and particularly, when it comes to becoming physically intimate. You actually have a choice whether or not you let something that happened in the past dictate your future, and the primary way you burn through the fear and mistrust and come into love is by facing your fears head-on, by continuing to date and allowing yourself to be vulnerable, despite the fear and the voice in your head telling you to close yourself off. It is not actually true that all men will speak to you or feel in the manner of your former boyfriend, and by facing your fears, you are actually honoring yourself as worthy of love, and your courage alone will do much to bolster your confidence and heal this trauma.
Life is always bringing us exactly what we need to heal and be free. I want you to know that even the painful moments (especially the painful moments) are here as gifts to help us to see where we are not trusting in life’s unfolding, where we have yet to embrace and love ourselves. In your search for approval outside of yourself, you chose a partner who did not honor you or see you as you truly are; you put him on a pedestal, and he then mirrored your own insecurity about your body. As painful as this was to experience, it was a gift for you to notice the ways in which YOU reject YOURSELF. I want you to imagine that it’s possible to love yourself and your body so much that the next time (if ever) someone speaks to you that way, you would just walk away in disbelief and simply feel compassion for the limit of that person’s thinking. It is possible to be that confident and free in yourself.
You are loved in every moment. There is nothing in life that is truly intended to hurt you—pain and inner disturbance are an inevitable part of life, and rather than punishing us that pain arises to reveal to us where we’ve not be in alignment with reality. In this case, the reality is that you ARE lovable for all that you are and you now have the opportunity to see where you still struggle to embrace this as true.
You are not your body. You are the consciousness housed by this precious body—this body that has been gifted to you in order to experience life for the short while that you are here. You are the one who is peering out from your eyes as you gaze at your body in the mirror. You are infinite, limitless, constant, love itself. This body you have will change over time, your weight will fluctuate, your skin will wrinkle and loosen and eventually this miraculous body will die. It is fleeting, precious, and it is the one you were given to play with and explore in this lifetime. It is not worth it to waste even a single moment thinking that this body defines your worth or to ponder over what is wrong with it. There are so many other wonderful ways to live your life, to create, to discover, to serve while you are here. Can you see from this perspective how futile it is to put so much energy into focusing on your body? What would it look like if you were fully cherishing your body and receiving it as the gift that it is? How would you care for your body and respect it as the powerful, magnificent tool that it is?
I encourage you to read this blog post for insights on ways to embrace your body: https://askthejoydiva.com/2013/02/25/im-afraid-to-be-naked-in-front-of-my-boyfriend-what-should-i-do/
And start seeking the power of your life beyond relationship, beyond how you look. There is so much to life, and so much life wanting to express through you.
Much love, Beautiful One.
:)Melissa A.K.A The JoyDiva
P.S. If you would like some additional support in taking a look, getting underneath, and transforming those painful thoughts and gaining clarity and freedom on your path, I would be honored to hold-up a loving mirror so that you can experience yourself in all of your magnificence and step into your power. Visit my website to schedule a free connection call so that we can explore what that could look like.
©2015 Melissa Simonson