For me as soon as that yellow ribbon was pinned onto me (not once but twice) when I was 7 and 8 years old my disconnection with my body began. Just like Peter Pan's disconnection with his shadow.And in a similar way it taunts me just like Peter's shadow did in his story.
And so began the seed of shame. It took a long time to grow but because that seed was planted in me, any comment ( large, small, deliberate, implied, miscomunicated or just plan old mean ) allowed that seed to grow and eventually sprout off little branches and grow roots that affected every area of my life.
I've started to realise that over the past almost 30 years of my life that little seed of shame grew into a deceitful tree called "I don't deserve....". Let me give you some examples. At various times in my life I have thought.
I don't deserve...
- To be treated with respect ( because I am ashamed )
- To have someone that I find attractive say that they find me attractive as well ( because I am ashamed )
- To ask for help when I need it I should be independent and not be a burden on people ( because I am ashamed )
- To say that I am hurt when my feelings are hurt ( because I am ashamed )
- A body that I am proud of ( because I am ashamed - I am really ashamed because even though I do exercise and eat well most of the time I can't do it for more than a few months and end up back where I started, then I'm just lazy and having Nanna naps every afternoon, tired and eating random stuff. I am ashamed because I have no self control. I like the first lot of the fruits of the Spirit. But the sense of shame I get whenever I hear or have to teach on the fruits ( Galatians 5:22 ) just brings me deeper down again and more disconnected with myself. )
And so the cycle continued.
It was only in the past couple of months as I was laid down in green pastures for my soul to be restored that God gave me an answer to the last point above. And while for the most part self control has played a bit of a part it was also a medical issue ( probably the only one that I haven't been tested for in the past 15 years !) and is now getting under control. But it's also highlighted how disconnected and how much shame has permeated nearly every area of my life.
And I don't like it. It's deceitful and I honestly thought I had dealt with this about 5 or so years ago. I think I may have lopped off a few branches but now it's time to get the chainsaw and root killer out and get rid of this tree for good. Maybe then I will be less guarded and more like myself when I meet guys that I don't know. *shrug* It also makes me wonder what my relationship with The Real Ex might have been like if shame hadn't been my shadow. Not that I am pining over him (that was soooo 7 or 8 years ago - lol !) but I wonder how different I would be if that seed hadn't grown at such a young age.
I do know though if I am blessed enough to have a daughter she won't be doing ballet exams if she has my body type (not a long limbed, slender, bird-like, ballerina frame - I was more suited to contemporary ) and being pinned with that yellow ribbon and knowing why.