A couple of months ago, I watched a video by Sorelle Amore where she did an exercise in self-acceptance. The exercise seemed simple enough. You stand in front of a mirror naked for an allotted amount of time and simply observe your body without making any judgements or opinions about it. Just observe.
After having completed this, you start over. This time, however, you start making positive remarks to yourself and actively look for things you like about your body.
I loved the idea, though it seemed terrifying. But why? Why was the prospect of standing alone in the safety of my home while naked seem so…exposed?
Last weekend I decided to give it a go. I set the timer and got in front of the mirror aaaaand two min later I stopped the timer, put on my clothes, and started eating veggies. Haha!
It was difficult. more difficult than I could have expected.
After wrestling through that emotional experience, I decided to try again but extreme. Yesterday I set up my camera in my living room and simply took my shirt off. That’s all. That…was enough.
Something as simple as taking off your shirt and taking a picture that no one will ever see can have such a profound effect on one’s emotional status. It wasn’t long before I found myself scouring the kitchen for anything high carb or sweet and throwing them away in a rage. I was so angry at myself for gaining back some of the weight that I worked so hard to lose. I’m nowhere close to where I was a year ago, but it still angered me.
In the journey to self-acceptance, the very things we need can cost a great deal of heartache. The exercises to build up self-esteem and to grow are often very painful. But is the pain that makes us aware of how strong we are and how strong we can become.
While I was coming to this realization, I accidentally hit a bump on my nose which began to free bleed. Instead of stopping it, I used it as an opportunity. My bleeding was perfect for capturing how I felt in the moment. The photographer in me awoke with fervour and here is the result.
It ended up being the perfect, therapeutic exercise for me. It was a real-life moment where I took something bad and made the most of the opportunity, capturing real emotion and internal feeling as an external image.
This image is a reminder to keep getting back up. To not stop fighting. Just like my tattoo states: Carpe Noctem, Seize the Night. Every dark moment made usefully to the Light.