Most of us want to feel hot and sexy. We want earth-shattering orgasms – and to feel like those women look in those damn magazines sipping a Margarita with smoky eyes who are about to have the most incredible sex in the universe. Right? Maybe? Who knows – but I hate them.
Seeing those images can make me feel confronted with what I am not and leaves me with this feeling that I am not enough. More than that – it is this feeling that I will never have in my life what I truly want because I just don’t look like that.
And what is it that I want – you may ask? It’s a simple thing really….I want to be deeply desired, and feel free in my body. I want to be able to know that I am sexy from the inside out and truly believe it – all the time! I want to be able to walk around naked and not worry about my ass shaking in a bad way! And don’t give me platitudes. I know them so well I could sing along.
I want to get so lost in my own wanton sexiness that orgasms flow from me like a water fall. I don’t want much – I just want to dance in my own inner sexy wildness! Is that asking for so much?
Lately, as I prepare to go on the first of many healing retreats, I have really been confronted with my own self loathing. It is shocking that I can still go to those places of calling myself names. After all, this true confession is being spoken by a woman who has professed to the world that I have conquered body shame and self acceptance by embracing my sexual pleasure. Am I a fraud – or am I simply real and honest? The fact is – that I have healed so much of the damage that I have walked around with for most of my life when it comes to my body image and my sexuality – but everyday as my feet touch the ground – it takes a little bit of courage to love myself just as I am. And that is the truth – to say anything else would be to over promise healing – like those 30 day miracle diets on television.
Several months ago in Wallstreet Journal there is a great article, Conquering Fear which is all about those nasty little voices in our heads that tell us that we are not enough – that we are fat and stupid. That our bodies are ugly – and that our boss hates us.
My book Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner (Rodale January 2011) is all about my funny, sexy, unconventional path to falling in love with myself again in the most unbelievable way…. And I did.
But every now and then I get tweaked in an unexpected way. There are a few new videos that have been posted of me on You Tube from a conference that I recently spoke at – and frankly they make me cringe. I hope you enjoy them. They make me cringe.
Every time I watch them – I get taken out of how I was “feeling” when I made those videos and I get stuck in how I believe I look. I hate my neck. My face is too round. I have a double chin in that angle. How did they shoot that angle? And I stop feeling sexy. Instead I get filled with self doubt – and worry. You see – I am a real woman. Isn’t that reassuring? I am not going to give you pleasure platitudes and tell you that if you do this or that – all of your inner fears will go away completely. They don’t. But it can get better.
This is what I can promise. If you work on embracing who you are – every single day just like a religious practice – things will change in your world.
In so many ways – it is like developing a healthy eating and exercising plan. There is a lot of self talk, and self encouragement that needs to happen. I have to do it too – even now. Especially now! The voices of fear that tell us that we are not enough – or are broken in some way – don’t ever really go completely away.
I hope that by showing up and being honest about how I feel and how I move through all of the hatefulness that I can throw at myself will inspire you to do it too. The fact is that most of the time these days – I feel smoking! I have a swagger to my step – and kick to my heels. I dress like a diva with a wink! And I still feel bad about my neck a lot. You see – I still have really big moments of self loathing. It’s all a part of the process…..
3 thoughts on “When Self Loathing Comes A Knocking”
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the journey I am on as well! As I face 50, it takes a tremendous amount of effort for me to say that I am a beautiful older woman. I keep thinking that I want to look 30 or 35 or 40, or hell, even 45! But no, I look fabulous and I am gray and getting more wrinkles and have lost definition in my neck. AND I am struggling to dismiss the nasty voice that says I am not enough! I would love to find out more about your healing retreats…I am ready to embark on some of these!
My dear Ms. Madsen,
Don’t we all have our moments of doubt? Who can be totally self-confident twenty-four by seven? A little boost from one’s partner can help but sometimes a little boost from a non partner is appreciated. I remember a straight male comedian telling a story of being in New York walking around with a gay friend. He described how other gays would check out his friend but wouldn’t look at him and he started getting miffed. “Just because I don’t want to go to the party doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate getting an invitation.”
I just watched your video. If I may be so bold, with all due respect to your husband…