My greatest insecurities lay between my neck and my waist… not because of the layers of loose skin and pounds of dormant relaxed muscle but because of the fear and secrets of what is still hiding beneath the mask the loose skin represents.

Of course, I can feel the physical discomfort when I reach down and I am forced to feel the doughy feeling of the pounds and pounds of skin from my poor eating and life decisions from the past. Yes, I would love to lose more fat and gain more muscle in my mid-section in order to look and feel better. The thought of getting skin removal surgery has crossed my mind more than a few times… with the dream that it would just help me feel better about myself if I could just “throw away” the feeling of self-shaming and allowing myself to see my “real self” through my body.

To add insult to injury, the idea of a taking my shirt off in front of a female makes me sick to my stomach. Partly because of the shame I feel about myself, partly because of the idea of my skin draping over my own body… but mostly because of the insecure little boy who still holds onto the years and years of rejection because of how I looked. I still have the distinct memories of women who have used my loose skin as a way to hold power over my little boy.

My body is full of scars… yet every scar on my body represents an experience in my mind. Some experiences are full of pain and others shame. Many experiences hold love and others smiles for times have not always been so doom and gloom. The scars on my body are tough to take physically yet the scars on my mind created the beauty of who I am today.

A friend of mine sent me a poem recently that has hit home in a very difficult way for me:

If they have yet
to fall in love
with your naked soul,
your naked body
should not be available
for them to make love to.

*I do not know the author of this poem…*

When I read this poem, it all came screaming back to me… the pain of my fat, my body, my pain, my shame. She never loved me. She never loved my body. She never loved my mind. She was in love with the idea of how I made her feel when she needed the love and attention, but when it became too much or she needed something I couldn’t give her, she found the love and attention she wanted somewhere else with someone different in order to numb her pain and fill her deepest insecurities.

She would touch and grab my loose skin and tell me she loved my body knowing she was speaking to the deepest parts of the insecure little boy inside who couldn’t resist the communicated compliments about his deepest fears…

It was when I fully understood my own self-worth that I was able to break free from the strong hold of her emotionless words to find the courage and strength to face my fears of poverty and loss of love. As I broke away from the pain of my past and embraced my deepest fears and insecurities, I was able to break free from the chains of my past and breakthrough into the freedom of my future. It was in facing my deepest insecurities that has given me the freedom to explore the truth of what I deserve today and in the future.

Discovering and accepting the pain of my past has given me the power over my today so I can experience my future with clear eyes and a full heart. A heart that is full cannot be broken by another because the strength has been built from within. A person who has accepted the scars on their body cannot be ugly. Those who shine a light on the darkness of their mind will forever see the light for the darkness can only be seen by those who hide away behind the walls of their fears, doubts and insecurities.

As a culture, we look at beauty as a physical trait, yet the most beautiful people I have ever met have faced the darkest places of their mind to find the beauty in the physical scars on their body. Those who have no scars will never understand because they have not faced the darkest places of their mind to accept what the makeup, money and masks are covering deep inside. Those who do not have the strength and courage to look inside themselves will forever remain in the pain of the dark. They cannot find happiness because they are looking for the gustatory pleasures in the now to break out of the pain of numb. The numbing of pain also creates a numb reaction to pleasure. The numbness must be balanced in pain and pleasure causing even the best of occasions and experiences to feel as if they are dull and mundane whereas the most beautiful souls can find joy and happiness in the smallest experiences and pleasures.

My personal experience of breaking out of the pain of numb was long and brutal. It took a woman who fulfilled my little boy and used my fears and insecurities to control me to break me down to my knees. I was beaten and broken down and my self-worth was taken away from me. It wasn’t until I had built up my mental strength to find the firm ground where I could stand up for myself and fight to regain my personal power. I was forced to stand up and face my strongest fears and deepest insecurities to take the first step forward. I had to stand in front of my reflection with love and face my truth. When I was able to accept the situation as it was instead of what I thought it had been or wished it could be, was when I found the one step forward I needed to take.

Being emotionally beaten down is tough because it doesn’t show the bruises and scars on the body as in a physical beating. When someone has a strong hold over us and uses our deepest insecurities to control us and hold us into one place, we don’t recognize our loss of personal power until it is too late and we have been beaten, broken down and lost our sense of self… this is why we must be mindful and aware of our situation as it is today instead of living in the fantasy of yesterday and the dream of tomorrow. Those who are not willing to see and understand the scars on our mind should not be allowed to hold our most intimate scars on our body.

I challenge you to look onto the scars of your body for what they are and the lessons they have taught you. I support you as you look deep into your mind to find the strength and courage to find the darkness in your mind that will release you from the stronghold of your fears and insecurities. I trust in you that you have what it takes to face today and take the one step forward toward the rest of your life.

I believe in you.

Do you believe in yourself?

Look deep into your eyes and you will find the window of your truth. Learn to face the truth of today and you will be given the gift of who you are so you many find the courage to discover the strength to become who you have always dreamed of being.

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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