Every time I hear about a female being raped, molested or sexually abused, I feel a deep sadness for her because I know that something vital has been altered within her being. Initially I wanted to say that something was destroyed but I am not sure it is destroyed. Buried, altered, transfigured, morphed…I’m not sure, but absolutely changed. Perhaps it is different for every woman.
I suppose I should be including males in this meditation, but I’m not. I can only speak from the female perspective.
I have spent countless hours pondering the lost parts of myself. And then there are the parts of myself that overcompensated, overreacted, acted out. The misplaced anger, the deep need to punish relentlessly and disassociate from the ugliness within myself. As a defense, I grew up too quickly, taking on an adult persona long before I should have. The carefree young girl went deep undercover.
Last summer my daughter posted a photo of me on Facebook. The photo was taken while I was camping; it was the end of a hot beach day, my hair was oily and clipped up and the only thing on my face was sunscreen and sand. I was standing on the small private beach next to our campsite, the water and the setting sun behind me. I must have been feeling very good at that moment because my daughter captured a decent shot of me. A decent shot is a very rare thing for me indeed. The camera is not my friend.
Within a few hours a friend made this comment: “You are really beautiful.” I was shocked and my immediate thought was, No I’m not. But then I looked at the photo again and saw a confident happy woman looking back at me – perhaps there is a smidgen of beauty in there, perhaps my true self had emerged on that carefree summer day.
I am hopeful that undamaged beautiful soul still lives in me. And I would like her come forward more and play a larger role in my life. Because she is smart, intuitive, playful, forgiving, imaginative and she believes in the possibilities of life.
She is my true self and she is beautiful.