Body and Self-Acceptance…
Years ago, when I was still trying to come to terms with my new body after27 turbulent surgeries, much of the art I created was tactile art, using materials like felt, buttons, etc. to really feel comfortable with how my body was “magically” altered every time I woke up in the recovery room. Waking up with a new colostomy, ostomy, wound, scar etc. is always a bit jarring and takes some time to get used to. Getting recognized with the Great Comebacks Award was a big honor and also helped me realize that what I had been through could inspire others.
I even wrote a song about it years ago: “The Body Song” — you can listen to it here.
I was in a coma when I was 18 for months, was unable to eat or drink a drop for years, and since then have had 24 (yes, at the time I wrote this, it was only 24!) surgeries trying to reconstruct by digestive system. This was a song I wrote to my body, who has been through so much.
This was just a “mini-me” I made out of felt years ago to get accustomed to the new body I was in:
Me…with an ostomy. (But still me.)
It’s hard to always feel connected to your body. We keep so many emotions locked up in our physical frames.
How I Used my Art to Celebrate:
I’ve been thinking a lot about my body lately, especially with my ostomy. It made me reflect on my relationship to my “self” and the actual body my “self” is in.
I’ve been painting a lot of figures without faces or expressions lately because the truth is…I’m not so sure how I feel about my self in my body at this moment.
I like dabbing around a paper towel through my art — that’s all I did to make this. There is something soothing about the non-exact kind of just playing around in paint. Very therapeutic not knowing what I’m doing — or caring.
ANYONE can make art.
In the past, I’ve talked about how terrible I am at minimalism. I have a problem “walking away” — there always needs to be STUFF added to it!
Yet…my body has a lot of stuff on it too, I guess. Maybe it’s hard to make peace with that, and I try to through my art.
Finding Gratitude When Your Body and Mind Aren’t Perfect:
I’m a very positive person but I have plenty of difficult moments.
I write a lot of positive things because I’m very grateful to be alive.
BUT…Loving your body takes work.
SO, I have awful days too. Having bags all over the place isn’t easy — ever. And sometimes I forget what it was like to just wake up and not deal with anything — and honestly, sometimes I just can’t deal at all.
But I think what body-love is about is just knowing that we’re not alone.
Life With Scars – We’ve All Got Something
Life is a bit harder and it takes a bit more work, but there is some kind of power in numbers here.
Knowing we all struggle, we all get frustrated, we all feel messy, sick, angry, sad, or just don’t want to deal — when we know others go through this too, we actually feel human.
You may not love your body, your life, your circumstances. Heck, you may not even like it.
But remember, the whole world is with you — today and every day.
Why we should all celebrate together. Is there something about your body you hate? Scream about it. Let the world know! Get it out so it doesn’t stay inside.
After all, we’re all in this together, and in the end, togetherness makes things just…well, easier.
I know I’m not alone here — How do you feel about your body? What frustrates you? Do you have a hard time always trying to find the positive side?
- Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to understand ourselves. Carl Jung
This summer, we love our bodies, our minds and our detours!
See ya, Detourists. Keep on following your own beautiful detours. I’m following mine, and even though I’m already nearsighted…I have NO idea where it’s going! Wish me luck!