Connection is hard enough without the ‘no fly zone’ of food and body preoccupation between us.
Here’s the rub: we need connection with each other like we need air and yet nothing scares us more than connection, than being seen, than being so vulnerable we could be rejected.
We need connection and yet we live during a technologically-centric era of human civilization where real connection is often traded for isolated screen-time and high-light reels.
We need connection but judge ourselves so harshly we don’t give others a chance to see, like, or love us.
And with connection so essential and already so challenging, what we don’t need is the added barrier of body shame and food obsession.
I thought this the other night as my partner’s hand traversed the curve and softness of my belly and I could actually feel all that didn’t stand between us — and all that could — and all that does.
Because connection is hard and it’s everything.
I thought of this because I know what life feels like when we don’t love, or even like ourselves. I know what life looks like when we’re hungry, empty longing for a crumb of connection.
I know what life looked like before and I know — hallelujah — what life looks like on the other side. I know just how unnecessary the wall is that our loathing, shame, preoccupation, and obsessions build. I know how easy it is to think that we’re the weird one, that we’re the exception to the rule, and that everyone else but us is deserving.
At another time in my life when a partner lovingly touched my body though we were in the same room, in the same bed there were miles and miles between us.
Tear the wall down. Even if it’s grain of sand by grain of sand.
Behave kindly toward yourself. Don’t proclaim to do this. Bring it to life in small tender moments.
Practice inhabiting your own skin. Don’t proclaim to do this either. Rather, right now, feel your skin touch the air and your thighs touch your seat.
Most of all feed yourself so the gnaw of hunger quiets and you can make the connections that are what you’ve been hungry for all along.