Healing with Aphrodite

I’m sorry. I’ve been neglecting you, my blog readers.

When I started my crazy schedule in January, I thought I would have time to make more video blog posts. And at the start, I did.

And then I started doing my healing work with Aphrodite – the healing she is pushing me to do. It’s very personal, and emotional, and not the sort of thing I want to be recording a video about on the ferry. So I’ve been putting off the video, which means I’ve also neglected my blog.

So today I decided I need to get something out there, just to let you know I’m still alive, and moderately sane.

Me at the Aphrodite and Eros dance this weekend, pushing my boundaries of self-acceptance.

Me at the Aphrodite and Eros dance this weekend, pushing my boundaries of self-acceptance.

The healing work Aphrodite is doing with me is about body image and body acceptance.

We live in a culture of body shame. As a child, I was taught that our bodies are dirty, our desires are shameful, and we must work to cleanse and purify our bodies and souls. I was molested as a child, which lead to more shame and guilt (though I have forgiven my molester, and, for the most part, don’t let that experience determine how I live my life. Except, apparently, when it comes to accepting my body and my beauty). And I was told when I was 14 that because of my (at the time) tiny pot belly, I looked like I was 3 months pregnant.

I was also a nerd. Being teased for being a nerd definitely does not help one’s self-esteem. Throughout high school, the only time the “cool” kids talked to me was for help with their homework. It’s not that I really wanted to be a “cool” kid. I just wanted to be accepted and acknowledged. But nerd definitely did NOT equal beauty. (Thankfully, geeks and nerds are becoming more accepted now, though high school can still suck.)

Anyway, at rehearsal a few weeks ago, I was told I wasn’t being sexy enough. Not that *I* wasn’t sexy enough, just that I wasn’t letting that come out, I wasn’t letting my beauty and sexiness shine through. And I’m crying again now as I write this. It feels uncomfortable, and embarrassing – that’s not how good girls behave. But why does it have to feel shameful?

I honor and celebrate the Divine Feminine. I see the beauty of the Goddess in ALL her forms. Except mine. I get embarrassed when people tell me how beautiful or attractive or sexy I am. It feels good, and it also brings up a lot of guilt and shame.

We’re told from the time we are little that girls are supposed to be pretty – but not TOO pretty, because then you’re a bimbo. Be sexy – but not TOO sexy, because then you’re a whore. Be attractive to the opposite sex (or the same sex) – but if you flaunt it and don’t “put out” then you’re a tease. The media bombards us with images of beauty that logically I know have been altered, and then sells us all kinds of lotions and potions promising to help us achieve that unattainable image.

This work is not easy. It challenges me, pushes my buttons, and rips me open. Yet I know I need to do this. Not just for me. For every girl and woman who has felt ugly or shameful or otherwise “less than”.

Because the Goddess IS beautiful in all her forms. Including mine.




8 Responses

  1. Mary you are an absolute inspiration! I’m constantly in awe of your poise, your intelligence and yes your inspiring beauty. I thank you for the work you do and for sharing your journey with us. You show great courage and compassion by doing so.

  2. Wow Mary, very inspiring and eye-opening post. This is something I know I’ll pushed through at the right time because this has been my worst inner demon, my perception of my body and outer beauty. High school was basically the same for me the way you described yours and I was so happy to leave. Aphrodite is one goddess I know I will be working with at some point along my path and I look forward to putting the negativity behind me finally!

    Keep up the great work Mary, you’re an inspiration to so many!

    Bright blessings, Namaste!


  3. What a beautiful message. Thank you for sharing such an intimate experience. Please know that you are not alone in your journey. Many of us have wrestled, are wrestling, continue to wrestle with these or similar issues with body language and our own sexuality. You are brave to share these trials and encourage me as I continue to work on similar lessons. Blessings and continued courage to embrace your Goddess within.

  4. *hugs and/or the Tray of Comforting Things* You are so brave. Thank you for sharing.
    JeninCanada recently posted..My Love Story

  5. You are a brave, powerful, sexy woman, Mary!

    This is a goddess I’ve always shied away from. It’s that midwestern “don’t call attention to yourself” mentality that was drummed into my head, especially when it came to sensuality. I always felt I had no connection to Aphrodite, and I never questioned it. Hearing your thoughts on Her, I now realize it was me shutting her out, not the other way around.

    Please continue to post more about your work with her. She’s a goddess many of us need to connect with, and your light will help guide the rest of us. 🙂

    Big hugs!

  6. Thank you for your wonderful and candid sharing! I know both I and my daughter struggle with these issues and that, for us, Aphrodite has always been an “uncomfortable” goddess. Last year, I put together a Valentine’s day celebration of Aphrodite which was about loving oneself (which we repeated the rite this year.) This brought forward a huge number of issues… from body image, to caring for one’s health and appearance, to being loved and lovable, to Aphrodite as a transformative power (a la Jean Shinoda Bolen). Lots of work to do with all these, so thank you so much for your post!

  7. The saddest part about this is the fact that so many women go through the same thing. Most women I talk to have had these same experiences or similar ones. Reading your post, it felt like I was reading something I myself wrote. As I have gone through life almost to a T the way you describe in your post. It’s just unfortunate because it doesn’t have to be this way, but I have no solutions to offer up on how to change the views of socity and other people.

    I guess all we can do is be the best we can be and travel the path of self love. Which is such a difficult path to follow. You’re a true survivor and I hope that you and all of us womenfolk can one day overcome these ridiculous ideologies and live happy, loving lives where we are all accepted as we are. 🙂

  8. I’m sorry you’ve gone through so much of this as well. And yet, it helps to know we’re not alone. We can help lift each other up and give each other strength and the courage to heal and reclaim our bodies as the beautiful things they are.