In a writer’s life it can become easy to not write daily. We can’t let it become a chore either. It’s supposed to be fun. For our creative selves it’s important to nurture that side of our core. It’s a strength in many ways. It fuels several aspects of our being. That’s why I’ve created this weekly writing prompt.
This week’s writing prompt is “How to not be embarrassed.”
I’ll share what I wrote first to help get you started. Check it out below!
I squeeze my stomach and hold the skin between my fingers. I love my stretch marks—lines on a large sheet of paper. I can write my own story here.
I love my body. I close my eyes and the loud girls in the high school locker room vanish. They no longer spit on me or pull my hair. They no longer poke my love handles or push me to the ground. The word fat does no longer shames my vocabulary.
In the years since high school, I made a promise to myself: I come first. Always. That if I’m not taking care of myself, that if I’m not making a daily commitment to love myself and to remain committed to wellness then my negative perception of my body won’t change.
Daily exercise, healthy eating and self-love were key components to developing my personal empowerment. I celebrated myself and my body by taking long walks, writing love letters to myself, and making therapy a part of my life, which allowed me to transform my thinking and how I felt about my body.
My therapist used to ask me: what would change if you were thinner? I couldn’t answer because the truth was nothing would change, I’d be thinner, maybe a little lighter on my toes, but I’d still be doing the things I loved to do like writing poetry or teaching.
I never miss a therapy session or the opportunity to smile at myself in the mirror. I write in my journal when I feel bad about myself, I let out all the negativity onto the page and then close the book. I move on from the words, from the thoughts and turn my attention to writing another book, or gardening or biking.
Today, I take solace in my skin, in its whispers and echoes beyond the fault lines of my waist. I love the way my chin bends and my breasts cover the bed. I wrap my fingers around my legs and massage a small bruise. I don’t hit myself or cry deep into the night about the dimples in my thighs. I don’t make faces at myself in the mirror. Not now.
I remember where I started: the past is a cavernous place, a world with people that smothered me with hate, with shame. I put the magazine down. I stop reading the lines about how to fit in my jeans better (or for that matter, how to fit in). I tell the page it doesn’t know me like I know me. I tell myself I’m not a model. I tell myself the models are not even models. They are made of wood, held together by string.
I love the mirror. I do not fall in either. My skin glows under the light. My eyes are two buckets of brown dirt. I don’t cry anymore over my curves. I eat apples and pears and squats. I take long showers that pool with lavender. I stay naked for just a bit longer.
I throw out body shame like a used tissue. I won’t hold onto it anymore, or let others hold onto it for me. I’m responsible for how I see myself in this world, in this long and wide world of hurtful words and scams of the heart.
There’s no more kids to a spit on me in gym class. No more classmates to yell “you’re fat” in Italian class. They are long gone and sink beneath the ground, gravel, twigs and brambles. Their voices can’t hurt me anymore. They don’t get to humiliate me.
This morning a cool wind goes through my shirt and tickles my soft, plump cheeks. I dangle my feet from the bed—examine the cracked skin on my palms, the dried patches on the tops of my knees. I see my arm, freckled and chubby against the cat’s back. I rub my belly, the stretched parts too. The world is quiet now—no sound; just my heart, gentle and warm, and it says thank you for loving me again.
I push myself off the bed and look in the long, wooden framed mirror. All those spots, scars and scabs, those dimples in the thigh—it’s all a poem to me.
Your turn! Go!
And, if you like this blog, stay in the know. I have all sorts of prompts for your undamnded soul. If you post something I like, I might invite you to write a guest blog. So be sure to click to SIGN UP to get a piece of the action.