Body image is a hard subject for abuse victims. It’s all about control or rather lack of control. We had no control so we try to control how our body looks and that somehow gives us a sense of taking back our power. But it is an illusion. Grasping on to what ever control we can get will not end in success. It will end in obsessions. It will end in temporary fix where it NEED a permanent solution. We purge. We starve. We workout too hard. We get what really is a temporary “fix”. It’s like when I saw my friend who smoked and hadn’t had a cigarette all day. He took a puff and sat back and his whole body relaxed. But that cigarette was not good for him. It just momentarily satisfied him. Gorging will temporarily satisfy. Cutting carbs and running 5 miles will temporarily satisfy. But there is no fix when you focus on the exterior especially when you try to control it in a way that you think MEANS something valuable. Getting to the root of the issue is invaluable. It is priceless. I could have turned sideways. I could have cropped and filtered this picture. It is not my old “water skiers body”. I don’t want it to have a title. I don’t even want it to be a “muscle disease body”. I just want to embrace it. I want to move past it. Move to the deeper pain that requires much more love and care than what I can try and control on the outside. This was a beautiful day. I appreciated this day. It was a magical day. I had physical pain but it seemed manageable because my inner pain had lessened. My physical pain even seemed livable. It didn’t matter what the end result of me walking on the beach would be. I listened to the waves and I focused so intensely on the sound and the smell and the movement of the water that the outside of me didn’t matter at all. I felt very little physical pain at all and what I did feel didn’t seem significant. I simply embraced the me that has no labels. No diagnosises. No past. I’ve never been able to do that before. But I discovered that just allowing inner peace gave my physical body a break from the chronic pain. I don’t know how. I appreciated the true blessing in my body even being able to do what it does now. Instead of wishing it could do more I really marveled at the strength it still has. In the past I always focused on external strength by lifting weights. I have to say that the moment I realized the beauty in the fact that I could walk at all gave me much more satisfaction than working out in the gym ever did. It was a far more peaceful feeling than a temporary “fix”. My husband and I picked up some shells and stayed until the sun was about to set. The shells are a reminder to me of the what is most important. The “look” of my physical body has become further and further down the list of priorities and that is a huge step towards healing.