I wake up, get up and go to the bathroom. Suddenly I find myself in front of the mirror watching me, seeing if I have any new imperfection that I have to worry about before going out into the street. It’s almost like a ritual I’ve been doing since high school, more or less since I was fully aware of my appearance. I remember that I have always worried about my appearance. From a very young age, I was the one who chose the clothes I wore or the haircut I wanted (I thank my mother for not repeating the pattern of imposition that my grandmother made with her).
For a long time all I cared about was liking myself, or, rather, the things I chose I liked, because I think that the sense of self-perception for such a small child is a bit big. With the arrival of the institute, at age eleven, things changed: I did not worry so much about the decisions I didn’t like, as they were not strange to others. The first pressure on my body came when the reactions of those composing my environment were not negative. Fortunately, I still loved me too much for it to affect me. It was nothing that I could not handle in relation to things that I had never planned about my body and to which I gave the reason to or my pride because I liked me.
Once I started puberty, things began to get complicated. I no longer only sought over my appearance and my body. I didn’t want to provoke the rejection of others. I also wanted to please, like, go beyond simple acceptance. Luckily, I had some good friend and relationships that never made me feel really uncomfortable with my body. The negative comments about myself came from abusers. I have always had an attitude of not being afraid of it and despising everything negative they have said to me. Something in me always knew how to front a face.
The problems started when I got to college. I recovered in some ways the sense of aesthetics from when I was little and becoming more interested in fashion, I knew how to get better. My appearance at the time was a mix of trends, so I wouldn’t be a weirdo, and I had my own style. But it was also the time when being sexually active was more common in my life. The rejection and acceptance of the people who I was attracted to made me really question my body. The comments that was directed to me with malice never affected me, but the comments of those people that I cared for or appreciated somehow began to re-emerge and started to feel heavy on me.
I have always been a skinny kid, my metabolism has taken care of it. I have always been healthy and food has never made me feel guilty or provoked anything so I can be upset. The fact is that many people have asked me directly if I ate well or had anorexia. If such a donkey could be, there was no information about the eating disorders we have now. To that we added every comment of those who are interested in my body. If they liked it there was no problem, but at the time of being rejected that I seemed too thin, with little muscle, or anything else, it seems there was an issue.
Fortunately Eros began to have more importance in my life. I remember how in a meditation, God took me to a temple surrounded by a lush of vegetation and covered with a very faint muslin that separated the interior from the outside. I lay back on the cushions and Eros flew away. The warmth of the air, the serenity, was very pleasant. At that moment I did not even ask myself why I had been brought there, I simply enjoyed lying down among soft cushions. Eros came back and brought with him a skinny, dark-haired boy with short hair, but long enough to fall over his eyes and cover his ears. I was naked and when I wanted to realize the fact that was, maybe I was naked all this time. The Winged Archer pushed himself lightly to me, and he came in and approach me. I got up and felt the attraction immediately. We melt into a kiss and surrender to passion.
When everything was over the boy gave me a kiss on the cheek and left. Eros came back and looked at me amused, leaning against one of the columns, and asked me in a slightly mocking tone: “Did you like it?” I nodded and asked again: “What about him? Did you like the guy?” I answered yes. He spread his wings behind his back or made them disappear. He stretched out like one stretching upon waking up, but in a graceful way. He sat next to me and spoke again: “I’m glad that boy liked you. Now you will not be able to make excuses more than anything because it was one of the images you have of yourself. It was not the worst or the best, but one of the most realistic there in your head.” He laughed, he had to be putting on a strange face because he could not understand what was happening. Eros continued: “All those times you do not feel handsome or think that it is impossible for that spectacular girl or the shift knobs, can be fixed on you. You are alone in your head. You yourself understand that you like some types of people physically and others do not. The rest of the world does exactly the same. But without security and without liking yourself as you are you will never be able to experience something like what you just experienced here today. “
He got up, spread his wings, hiding in the light, and when he pulled back, he pulled me out of the meditation again through a flash of light. The first thing I did was go to the bathroom and go and look in the mirror to find those things that I liked about that meditation boy. The funny thing is that I found that all those little things were there and some of them I had never been aware of. From there I stopped having problems with my body. Yes, there were things that followed me that I didn’t like or I would have liked to change, but I accepted myself and wanted me as I am. Other people’s comments stopped being important as long as I liked myself.
The strength of that meditation, in my first year of university, accompanied me for a long time. Actually until quite recently. Now my life is at a point where I feel like I have no control in many ways and those old wounds have not yet healed at all. The insecurity with regard to my body, the feeling of being ugly and unattractive again became present once more. I felt that everything was too bad, so that no one could like it. Like a panther waiting for its prey the shadow of all those obsessions and insecurities rushed upon me. I did not think I could try to start a conversation or a relationship with someone new, not for fear of rejection, but because they could laugh at me. I started feel grotesques against myself.
Following an exercise within my training in Correllian Wicca, I chatted with my mentor precisely about this. He asked me this question: “But if I didn’t liked it physically and it is in my hands to change it and improve, what should I do?” Here I have two options: to change and improve based on the standard that others expect of me or not to change and accept me just the way I am. What is the real challenge? I know I just could not face that question. I went to the altar, lit a candle with the scent of violets, and as soon as the aroma permeated the whole room I plunged into a meditation in search of Eros.
Soon he appeared with his half-smile, in a mocking manner and his hair ruffled. He offered me his hand and led me to a large pond. He raised his hand and then it began to rain soothingly. In the water images started to appear. Of many people who had once been my sentimental or sexual partners, but at times when they were looking at me, caressing or kissing me. They were the memories of when I felt desired. Something in my chest changed, the pressure I’d felt lately relaxed a little. So badly would not be if others have felt an attraction for me. The rain stopped and with it the images. Eros stepped in front of me and asked me, “Do you like it? Would there be some way that you would like more? Before answering think about what you would answer if that body was that of another. I’ll wait for your answer. “He kissed me and pushed me toward the pond. Just when I fell into it I came out of the meditation.
A few days passed and within that time, I dedicated myself to try and find the answer. In the end I came up with a solution. Mirrors deform reality as soon as we look at them, but a photograph does not lie, our brain is not able to change that perception so much. I undressed and began to take photos so that I could look at my body from other eyes. There I found the answer. I like it, but there are things I can change in my body to like me more. If I were someone else and I would meet myself, I would like myself, but if I were not so thin and had a little more muscle I would like me a little more. Although I know that in that answer there were also many comments that others had made about my body.
Today I had things quite clear and I went back to the altar of Eros to meet him. He took me to the temple a few years ago, sat down beside me and waited for me to speak. I told him about my perception of myself and about the fears I had about how the opinion of others influence me. Then he took me by the hands and said: “You are perfect and you will remain perfect as you change over time. When you had a date you managed to like that person a little more than you would normally. Think that same effort you have to dedicate it to yourself. You have to do everything possible so that, if you were another, you could not resist falling into your own charms. Do you remember what your friend Maria once told you?” I stared at him, not knowing exactly what he meant. He released my hands and grabbed my chin like a movie star to respond to himself: “She told you that you had a spark, that even if you were not a model, you had charm. You are attractive and that not some models that could be considered perfect have it. Now go and get dressed. “
I still have the smile on my mouth. To regain that self-esteem that I had when I was young in such a magical way is not something that happens every day. Now I know I’m not so bad, that every rejection is simply a taste, an opinion, like who likes vanilla ice cream and who does not. But I also know that I would like to be different, there are things that I can not change, but that makes me more perfect and unique. I still remember hearing singer Anastacia say in an interview that the scars after her breast cancer operations made her beautiful. Each of my scars, my “defects” make me beautiful because they make me unique and indistinguishable. I also know that just as I am proud of my work when I do something creative I can feel proud of my body and that I just have to work a little to make myself irresistible. Irresistible to the only person who really matters: me. I have it a little easier than others to be bisexual, I can always take a picture and play to who I am and try to see how much attraction I could feel.
Today I promise to love and respect myself until the end of my days. I promise to work only to like myself more and when I think about doing it to like others, stop and re-evaluate the situation. Today I promised myself and Eros before his altar. Today I establish a cult of my body whose only devotee will be myself.