"She needs to be skinny to the bone.
Laying on her side, naked, with her eyes closed, fragile and vulnerable. She has wings. Butterfly wings, but she does not know she does..."
This is how I described her to my tattoo artist when I decided to get a tattoo on my skin.
What I did not realize back then is that the girl I was describing was myself.
Naked, sick, fragile. Skinny to the bone. I was in was with my body, hating the way I looked, barreling with eating disorders and depression. It was not about what I was supposed to be, it was more about being able to see my skeleton, trying to desperately control the only thing I could control back then: how sharp my bones could feel under my skin.
I was consciously trying to hurt myself because I did not think I was worth any kind of love, but at the same time there was a part of me that refused to die.
A part that fought with every breath she could to make it through.
"She has butterfly wings, but she does not know that."
She is beautiful, but she does not know that.
She is resilient, but she does not know that.
She is strong, but she does not know that.
She is loved, but she isn't ready to know that.
Today I am ready. Ready to look at my self in a mirror and be ok with who I see in that reflection. Ready to admit I am not perfect.
Ready to share my story, even if I am not proud of many chapters of it. Ready to forgive myself for the many mistakes I have made and to forgive others for theirs.
Ready to recognize my beauty, a kind of beauty that lies in the courage to be nothing more than who I am.
I love my skin, I love the many imperfections in both my body and my spirit.
I honor my shape for just what it is, knowing that my body is magnificent, and not because of the way it looks, but because it contains my soul.
Don't hide yourself.
Whatever shape, weight, color and size you are, love yourself.
Photo by @eleonorazampattiphotography