Seeing the hidden beauty in each of us

I am working very hard at learning to love all of myself, a process that reminds me of peeling an onion. I pull off one layer, and uncover another, but I’m absolutely sure that each layer brings me closer to peace with myself. I am also convinced that so much of what I carry – what we carry – in terms of self-hatred, is passed down by our family’s and society’s views on our bodies.

I have a history of self-hatred. I know that I am not alone in this affliction. Some of us are aware of the hatred we carry, while others aren’t sure why they can’t stand certain parts of their bodies. I believe this lack of self-love is something that can be healed. I am certain this path of healing takes you exactly where you need to go, to grow. This gift of self-awareness can teach you compassion for yourself and others. I have worked on healing in various ways, one of which is taking nude photos of myself. I have been both the subject and the photographer. Both roles are healing. Each gives me a softer, more loving way of seeing myself and others.posernue1_wuafba

I am a very skeptical person. I doubt and question everything. I do not put my trust in very many things. I do, however, put my trust in this process for these reasons. The results I see, feel and hear in my own body confirm the healing nature of this process.

The first time I considered taking nude photos, I was working with a very kind person I had met at a health food store. I came to her with some of the health challenges I faced. She began to see me at home because she said she liked to help others. She helped me in so many ways. One, was learning to trust. She often spoke of taking nude photos as healing. She seemed so open and loving, I felt a need to try it. I had issues about pornography and I was very worried that she might turn out to be untrustworthy, after all. It was very hard for me to let go and trust. Yet, there was a chord that was touched inside me that yearned for this healing. I finally just decided to give it a try.

She took her clothes off as she photographed me, as an act of solidarity. She told me to close my eyes and feel the inside my body and to move in the way I wanted to. I had never done any of this before. At first, I felt very self-conscious. I was very aware of what she would think as I moved. Slowly I began to find a place inside me that felt liberated. To really be seen in a loving, accepting way, as you really are, is so freeing. I was exhilarated. I had climbed a mountain of fear and seen the possibility of absolute freedom on the other side.

I honestly felt completely loved and accepted. She did nothing to feed my insecurities or mistrust.

Later, I started taking photographs of other people too. I found that taking nude photos of people in nature gave me the gift of seeing them in a place of love and beauty. When I am behind the camera, I cannot see using my usual judgments. Everything I see is bathed in light, acceptance and love.

I continue to take pictures to explore things I need to love and accept. I have not found a more fulfilling way to touch the body with absolute love and to connect to the bliss of seeing the hidden beauty in each of us.

– Theresa

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