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About me, for me

I look at this woman in the mirror. Thirty-seven and a little more, but what does time mean. Normally I don't touch on age so lightly, life energy is something that means more to me, but in the context of this story I want to put some chronology.

I look at her, I look at myself because this is ME.

For months now, I've been catching the reflection of my body in mirrors, shop windows, and windows at every opportunity. And I look penetratingly from all angles, study, notice.

Sometimes I get caught up in the feeling that I shouldn't, should. But then he brings me back to consciousness and I allow myself to look at myself again, this one from today. And I want to write this text partly as a reminder to myself, but also as an inspiration to others.

Because just like this 37-year-old woman, there is also a girl, perhaps more precisely a young girl, living inside me. Maybe she is 10, 11 or 12, 13 years old, she is on the threshold of changes and feels them painfully and hard in everything she is. He feels that something important and big is happening, so he approaches the mirror at every opportunity and tries to figure out what is changing, what is happening. I remember that period when hormones, feelings and physical changes came like a storm that took away the ground from under my feet. The reflection in the mirror gave me security. For hours I could observe my face, the line of the eyebrows, that ending where they go up and then "break" down. I could see my lips, a light pink line that could stretch and shrink across my face depending on the expression I wanted to make. I loved my smile the most, a beady line of teeth in tandem with almond-shaped eyes that I could never tell if they were more green or brown. Looking at my own image was taking control of who I am.

It was a process.

Then the body started to change. Until recently, straight lines began to have curves and twists, a shape I had not known until then. I was a child unencumbered by my own sexuality, and movement and movement, freedom of the body were more important to me than what befits girls.

But somehow, at some point, that freedom takes on the weight of a woman, her curves, her roles that are suddenly more than running and climbing trees.

These changes were difficult for me, but again they came naturally like a tide on the open sea, I was not afraid of them. I just wanted to study more, notice, learn to love and be that me - a woman with all that is feminine.

I painfully remember the moment when this natural need of mine to find and embrace even the slightest change was embarrassed in a rush of incomprehension. How could anyone judge the girl standing in front of the mirror? But they could because that is the easiest thing - to judge and not to try to understand.

They laughed at me, thinking how I looked because I was full of myself, narcissistically in love with my own reflection, and I was just learning to love my image and opportunity. They whispered behind my door about my "hours" in front of the mirror and mocked me in the name of concern.

Instead of fully understanding what and who I am, instead of learning to accept myself as I am with my whole being and to love my reflection in every opportunity, I learned to be ashamed of my own needs and desires, I learned to suppress the needs that came from deep within me I learned to minimize and eventually hate what I saw in myself.

When I think about it, I feel sorry for that girl, I feel sorry for the needs that remained unsatisfied, I feel sorry for the love she could not allow herself to give herself, I feel sorry for the fact that she was diminished, deconstructed, destroyed. If I had known, I would have been gentler, more patient, more generous towards her, regardless of or in spite of other people's judgments.

Months of studying my own reflection of me from now, so many years later, reminds me how important it is to give myself time to study myself, to accept my own changes, to love the parts of my image that I didn't even know were here: and even the wrinkles - the ones from laughing, those from worries, those from anger. It is all the fabric of what weaves this ME. I look at and admire the muscles of the body, which has been persistently repeating the rhythmic movements of yoga every day for 10 months. I smile with my eyes when I find myself wondering what shade my eyes are today, moving them towards and away from the light to see the difference. I touch my hands and face and stomach. The belly that was the first home of my three children, a reminder of how powerful and strong the body is, how miraculous and mysterious and magnificent it is. I also love my sagging breasts, the ones that have been able to create nourishment and comfort for 7 years. My hair is long, something I wasn't allowed to do as a child, I love that deep forest of brown when it waves from shoulder to shoulder and scratches my back. Oh, how I love to look at and admire myself, and then in the calmness of all that I now know that I am, I drop thoughtfully on my knees and find that little girl in me, misunderstood in her beauty and need to be, so I hug her - this grown-up me from now on and whisper in the ear gently, the gentlest: "You are wonderful love in everything you are, go look at yourself and love yourself whole". Then she looked into my eyes and we both hugged each other and cried. All those tears of misunderstanding, disappointment, feeling of inadequacy. We cry like that and with every tear I wipe it awayabout what is not ours, what others gave us, sewed on, imposed on us.

We hold hands, saying in the same voice words of forgiveness for everything that happened between her and me from now on. I forgive myself today for all the moments in which I didn't love myself, the moments in which I hated parts of myself, the moments in which I renounced parts of my soul, parts of my personality, I forgive myself the rudeness I inflicted on myself, the contempt I felt for myself, I forgive myself in the end, all those punishments and torments that I inflicted on myself and my body in order to reach an ideal that I didn't know what it represented. I forgive myself for starving myself, and torture, criticism, panic attacks and fear of myself.

I forgive myself in the name of that girl whom I left in the darkness of ignorance and loneliness of misunderstanding. And then she and I, still hugging each other, accept all those rejected parts of ourselves and put them where they belong, in the sections of me - the ones from before and the ones from now.

For all the girls, girls and women reading this, who remain misunderstood and unseen somewhere: don't allow others to take away your ME, to steal from you what you are, to impose on you something that is never nor will be a part of you.

Look at yourself as much as you need, enjoy what you see in every moment, love everything you feel, everything that is a part of you.

So that you don't spend your life punishing yourself for something you should never have been responsible for.

Hug that little girl, girl, woman in you, forgive her and love her: now and always.

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