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I Don’t Want to Inspire You

dear body project Gabriele pennacchioli
art by Gabriele pennacchioli

I was scrolling Through Medium a few weeks ago, when I stumbled on an article titled “Stop Trying to Inspire me”. The author was experiencing a sort of positivity fatigue, given the internet ‘s saturation with feel good advice and inspirational quotes. As someone who writes to inspire, it immediately engendered a moment of self-examination. Is that what I do with my work? Do you contribute to the positivity fatigue? Do I make you feel like you’re doing it all wrong if you don ‘t want to drown in positive affirmations?

I hope not.

I hope that in this space, you find the safety to lay out all your feelings, all your struggle, all your frustration. That here you find a way to welcome your brokeness with kindness and give it necessary attention.

In retrospect, all of the abuse I inflicted on my body was nurtured by an obsession to bury my negative feelings. I spent enormous effort maintaining a facade of confidence, while obsessively working out under the pretense that I just loved the challenge of exercise (partly true). Truthfully, I wanted nothing but to escape myself, to claw out of my own skin. I felt like a refugee, a casualty of the war I mercilessly waged against my body. The confidence was a lie to others and a lie to myself. It wasn’t until I made the choice to face the truth of my own hatred, that change really began.

This is the truth that drives my passion for this blog. To be unapologetically honest with myself even when that is nothing but resentment for my body when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I hope together we learn to sit with our truths, with our negative emotions. That we learn to treat those emotions the way we treat physical pain. If your foot is hurting, you stop to ask what’s wrong, try to treat the problem, seek to alleviate the pain. Same it is with sadness, frustration, shame. You needn’t pretend it is not there. Let yourself feel all your feels. If love is not what you can give, give kindness. If no kindness, give compassion. If no compassion, give attention. Just listen to yourself and say “ok. I see what I am feeling, but right now I got nothing to give except for attention. let’s start here”.

No need to drown ourselves in positive affirmations if they don’t feel true, if they feel disingenuous and delusional. Always seek to operate from a place of honesty. as Iyanla Vanzant says, “Your willingness to look at your darkness is what empowers you to change.”  

All in all, yes I want to inspire you, but not by contributing to your positivity fatigue. Let’s just get honest about the struggle of it all. Let’s start there.

Can we do that?

logo made of a lady stick figure. a circle for the head, slightly bigger circle for the bust, and a bigger half circle for the bottom. on the right it reads "the dearbody project. Do you love you?"

Dany Isabelle Masado View All

Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.

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