Do you ever feel like "the fat one," "the ugly one," "the weird one," "the single one," while everyone else is beautiful, perfectly functional, and happily in love?
Well the truth is, you're not alone. I know from experience that many other women feel the exact same way as you. You are not the only "one."
I recently led a workshop in Bali where one women explained she always felt like the fat and ugly one who could never land a decent guy. I asked the rest of the group if anyone else felt this way. Practically the entire room nodded their heads, no matter what their size or shape.
It dawned on me—so much of our struggle with our bodies and our lives is about separation. Feeling separate from others, outcast, like we don't belong and like there's something wrong with us. Like we're the only one struggling and no one else understands. Like we're "the fat one."
This can easily make us want to conform to society's standards of beauty in order to fit in and feel connected to others.
Our illusion of separation gets mirrored in our own relationship with our bodies. Too often we separate different body parts from each other, singling out our hips, belly, thighs, arms, breasts—labeling pieces of ourselves "problem areas," energetically dissecting our being into targetable zones for judgement and loathing.
The truth is, our bodies are not meant to be picked apart. Every piece of us is intricately connected. Just notice how when you look down, you can feel a slight stretch all the way down your back. Or wiggle your fingers and your whole arm moves. Your body is a web of interconnectivity.
So is humanity. So is womanhood. You are not "the one" who has problems. "The one" who is fat and ugly. You are a unique piece of the whole, experiencing a life that is far more similar to the person next to you than you might think.
Although it may be normal for women to think there's something wrong with us, it's not natural. I invite you to remember the truth that you are whole and complete exactly as you are, and you don't need to change one thing about you to belong. Know that the more you allow all parts of your being to belong within you, the more your external reality reflects how much you belong on this planet.
I used to be at war continuously with my body. I literally wished I could cut pieces off—and I did! I had a breast reduction in my early 20's. I was ashamed of being a woman and wanted to remove that blatant sign of femininity from my body. I thought that manipulating my body, piece by piece, would bring me happiness. I was wrong.
I also felt totally isolated and separate from the world. I was convinced no one liked me, I didn't have a solid circle of friends, and I was sure that I would be single forever.
It was only when I began to weave my being back together, to welcome all parts back home, to listen to each part of my body, allow each emotion to pass through without judgement, and see the tremendous gifts in every bit of my being, that my outer world began to shift.
Now I look at my life and realize I feel more at home in my body and in the world than I ever have. I have friends all over the globe, a relationship with a man from the very opposite of the earth, and feel like I belong pretty much everywhere. My body and the world are truly my home.
Of course there is always more for me to learn and heal and accept about myself and the world, but I have learned this much so far: we are not separate, we are not alone, and the more that we can embrace all aspects of ourselves within our own being, the more unity and connection we experience in our outer lives.