Wow. I want to thank all of you who have commented on Healing with Aphrodite. You encourage me to continue exploring this issue, because it touches so many of us. I am humbled.
Back when my husband and I were dating, I, of course, felt very conscious about my looks. I wore baggy clothes to hide my body, because it was shameful. Or it would lead men, and me, to sin. I didn’t date a lot of men – I wasn’t asked out much, so of course that meant I wasn’t pretty. At least that’s what my head said. But here was a man that I instantly knew I needed to get to know, and he was interested in me.
He’s been very healing for me. I still have the little tiny green notebook that I had back then that I recorded my favorite quotes and sayings in. One page says, “He called me his Venus!” I still smile and feel wonderful when I read it.
He was telling me he thought I was beautiful, comparing me with the Goddess of Love and Beauty, and telling me that my beauty was timeless. Though I may not fit today’s rigorous standards of beauty, that doesn’t mean I am not beautiful. He saw the goddess in me, way back then.
Once we were married, he gently encouraged me to push my comfort zone. Early on in our marriage, I could not walk the 10 feet from the bedroom to the bathroom without putting a robe on. I was not comfortable being naked. He was totally comfortable in his body, able to walk around the house nude, and even host hot-tub parties that were clothing optional in the tub.
Slowly, with his support, I have become more comfortable in my body. I started wearing clothes that accentuate my curves instead of hiding them. I can now walk around my own house in the nude and not have my head on a swivel worrying about who might see me.
We used to “fight” with compliments – he would call me beautiful, and I would call him handsome, then he would call me intelligent, and I would call him genius… Whoever ran out of compliments, or broke up laughing, first, lost. It is a silly game, and it really helped to boost each other up. I know it helped improve my self-confidence.
I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can participate in mixed company skyclad rituals. For those who don’t know, skyclad literally means clothed in the sky. In other words, nothing. This was a huge healing step for me just over a year ago. I did it at a festival, and my husband wasn’t there. I was on my own.
Baring my soul is one thing. That doesn’t bother me. Baring my body is another thing altogether. I was nervous, but everyone was very relaxed (or at least appeared to be), and pretty soon it wasn’t a big deal.
I’ve got another healing/courage step coming up. Traditionally in the ritual drama at Spring Mysteries Festival (which is filling up quickly, so make sure you register soon!), Aphrodite is bare-breasted at one point. This is a bit different from a skyclad ritual in that I will be on display, instead of in a group in which everyone is participating. It will be a huge moment for me to stand tall and be proud of my body as it is.
I’ve come a long way towards body acceptance. It’s still something I struggle with regularly. There are good days and not so good days. Thankfully, I’ve got Aphrodite on my side. And a few friends who are very vocal about accepting bodies as they are. Check out Fat and Not Afraid, The Mundane Mystic, and Gaia Magick Photography for more inspiration.
PS. Apparently the donation button was not working on my post “The Long Journey to Eleusis”. If you would like to make a donation to help me cover the costs of all my travel for rehearsals, here is a working link: