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We Are Souls Underneath Our Clothes


A few weeks before the pandemic settled in to our collective realities, I walked, maskless and ignorantly blissful, into a department store changing room and had an epiphany: I’ve been wearing the wrong size jeans my whole life.


I am a carbon copy of my mom’s body, for better or worse. Strong arms and legs and a belly like a bread basket. My belly has been my nemesis for the majority of my adult life. I’ve hated on it. Then I’ve tried loving on it. I’ve negotiated with it. I’ve hid it. I’ve girdled it. I’ve resented it. Sometimes I’ve even accepted it. But I’ve never honored it with the accurate waist size.


My legs dictate my choice in jeans. My belly, regardless of the fact that it’s the core of my body, has seemingly been stuffed into place like an afterthought; along for the ride.


The size of jeans I normally buy was sold out that day at the department store so I reached for one size larger, tried them on and realized: this should have been my size all along.


It’s not that I’ve gained weight. It’s that I’ve gained willingness to cross the great divide between what I wish my reality could be vs what it actually is.


How many of us live on the wrong side of this divide inside of our lives, suffering like hell, when all we need to do is let ourselves step over the puddle?


We carry a need to belong as human creatures, but specifically, we need to belong to our own truths and realities first. How can we know our boundaries, what’s right or wrong for us, what’s enough or what’s too much if we aren’t honoring our knowing of who we are and what we need?


If I’ve gone a lifetime shoving my belly around out of secret shame or denial, what other parts of me am I overriding? Zippering up? Buckling masochistically? My dressing room epiphany got me thinking.


Throughout pandemic life, I’ve experienced the whiplash of gratitude for being able to let it all hang out in the new yoga-pants-norm and the feelings of meaninglessness that often accompany long stretches of being under witnessed and occasionless.


As I was swapping out winter clothes for their summer counterparts recently, I folded my epiphany jeans and thought about all of this, wondering if there might be some holy middle ground between sucking it in and dropping the reins completely as it all spills over.


Can we let ourselves be, as we authentically are, not with an air of resignation or futility but with a kind of ceremoniousness? Cherishing our aliveness and the miracle of being here, in this particular shape, in this particular circumstance? Life force pulsing through, like a firefly in the deep summer grass?


We are here. We are Souls, underneath our clothes. Underneath our skin, our moods, our perceived brokenness and limitation. We are so much bigger than any size on the rack. In our essence, we cannot be buttoned up or contained. To remember this, even for a moment, is to set ourselves free.


Sending lots of light,