This funny anecdote has been a golden classic in my family for years. My grandma loves to bring it up when everyone is sitting together in the living room after a big lunch. it always gets a good laugh because it clearly paints a picture of the specific brand of eccentric that runs in my family.
I was about 3 or 4 years old when I got chickenpox. I had these horrible itchy blots and blisters all over my body and face. Me and my three months older cousin were staying with my grandma until we get through the virus. But for me and my cousin- this was just another adventure and a good chance to play together.
It must have been a bit of a change – this usually cute blond baby girl now all red with a blotchy , red and itchy rash on her face. And so in an attempt to comfort me, my grandmother tells me on one of those days: “Don’t worry dear, you’ll be beautiful again, soon enough.”
This puzzled me. (This is the part that always gets the laughs.) “But Grandma – I am still beautiful,” I said without a single doubt in my mind.
Naive little me, insisting on being beautiful as if it was my birthright. There was a lot for me to learn about beauty and how to earn it. Then, there was a lot for me to unlearn.
A big a part of my unlearning was connected to how I was perceiving my body. Somewhere, in me I had this belief that my body is simply not good enough. It took years of personal work to change it, but what had really shifted the needle was recreating relationship to my body from inside out. Appreciating what it does for me. How it talks to me. What it lets me do and feel. How I can take part in the world with it.
One day I realised that MY BODY IS ME. Not just a thing that belongs to me – so I can dress it, or hide it or show it off. My body is me. How can I live life in contentment if I refuse this whole real, physical side of me? With clarity like that came a decision – I will love and appreciate this part of me as much as anything else I like about myself. I decided to love myself fully. And I get better at it every day:)
If this resonates, and you know there is work for you to do there, let me know. I have developed this beautiful, movement and self care program to help women on a similar journey to trust and love their bodies – and themselves.
Let’s help each other to all be like the 4-year-old me. Feeling beautiful and worthy is our birthright, chickenpox or not:)