Sharing my heart about a place I’m crazy tender about. Here goes nothing…..

It all started walking through the security line at customs.

The woman started her standard pat down and slightly sweeped across my stomach/belly and then lifted my stomach/belly a bit and sweeped back up, leaving my extra skin/fat flop back into place.

Then I felt it.

Utter weakness, anger, failure erupted.  On a normal day I would have just pushed through and told myself to suck it up, but it being my first week of Revelation Wellness Instructor Training, I was up for trying new things. I didn’t push it away I recalled what just happened.

What was that? What am I feeling? Why did I emotionally and physically react that way? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

This is emotion is SHAME and it’s currently stored in my chubby belly.

I suddenly I realized how often I did everything in my power to numb or avoid anyone touching me in that area. Clothing choices, smacking my husband away when he would grab to hold me there, and here in a security line when I had no choice but to let a woman touch my shame, I realized it’s power to defeat me.

At first I couldn’t believe why this place, was so emotionally affected by touch. Especially the stroke from below my belly to its current top is so atrocious to me right now. It truly disgusts me *  because the shame screams louder. Yet, as this moment has simmered in my mind the last days I think the spirit has opened my eyes to maybe why. The truth on my heart. The last two I could barely type through the tears.

-I currently feel like a failure I never returned to pre baby weight after my son. There were a lot of hardships that fought against me, but I feel like I should have figured it out by now. My son is 3.5, no more excuses. Enter Shame. Failure. Not enough.

-I weighed less when we miscarried our second baby at 12 weeks. I stepped on that scale before my DNC and 12 weeks pregnant I was in better shape? What the What?! Get it together Gina. Again. Enter Shame. Failure. Can’t get it right.

-I stand in constant fear that my current “belly” will bode questions if I am pregnant, which I’m definitely not but hope to be again. Double SHAME, you aren’t but you look like you are?? What will you look like if you ever are pregnant? You are so behind. Gina make sure you tell everyone you’re not so they don’t have a chance to ask. Enter defeat. Fear. Double Shame and hurt.

 -A “belly” is for where a baby grows, a sacred place and when I’m touched there currently it’s just a reminder that I am broken here it’s not a baby I want, its failure of fat. It’s not sacred it’s sad. Enter defeat, hurt, shame and pain.

I know this all might sound a little wacky or completely ridiculous to you, but these are the thought battles in my mind and I want to bring them to light. Why? I would never ever say to another but they live on replay here. Lies, hurt, emotion. These are the thoughts that are ignited when attention is brought to my “belly”

That moment in customs identified my place of trauma** and I want to bring it out of the darkness and into the light.

See my dear friend Alisa’s heart and mission around Revelation Wellness  is “Because bad news gets stuck inside good bodies”  While I know we all carry many places of hurt (many worse than this) I never have seen the connection to a physical place that would hold access to this much pain.

Of course I immediately wanted to fix it, stuff it, make excuses or just say your not that bad (there are worse things you could be dealing with)  or the opposite. “Gina get your crap together look at what you haven’t done anything about”.

I’m choosing a different path. To feel it. To not have an answer, to ask the Lord what He thinks about it.

I know in my head the answer is that He loves me fiercely the same whether I have 8 pack abs or an extra 30 pounds. Yet, this area of trauma shows my heart isn’t there. And if I’m honest I don’t know how to get there. This hurt seems to be place of complete disconnect.

Why am I sharing this? Because I want to believe that the Lord will heal this place of shame and make it whole.  I want to remember the detail of this shame that He frees from. I want you to feel less alone if you also carry battle scars from the trauma or pain you have walked through.

I want us all to be free from surface answers to real trauma that always lead back to us emptiness.

I’ve done years of shakes, programs, workouts. All the things and I just want to declare through the tears that His way has to be better than anything I’ve tried and I’m not interested in another way to slim and trim (though I admit I would enjoy those benefits) but truly to get whole in heart, soul and mind. Then the body will follow.

I also know this wholeness won’t come through my strength or effort but ONLY in the spirit moving and me following. (note please don’t send me your diet/shakes/ systems/plans) That’s why I’m all in for Rev’s Mission and have HOPE that this might just be the only path to freedom.

I open my hands and lay down the shame and its stomping ground, this center of my core I’m so ashamed with and though I don’t understand how, where or when. I am clinging to hope that it will indeed be healed and redeemed His way not mine.

-G

* I know that this sounds like crazy. Yet it’s the self talk that I am realizing is here. I would never judge another about their body in the way that I judge myself. I’m using the real words that I hear, not as a standard, but as a clear picture how broken I see myself. So please note I am not saying a body should be any shape or size. I want freedom for each of us.

** I also tread lightly using the word trauma as there are many of you that are carrying trauma SO much incredibly worse than mine. Know that I know on the grand scale of things this trauma is small, yet it’s power is large. So note again, I think there is unthinkable trauma that even my closest friends have walked through and I have a hard time reckoning with. Know this is just my heart for my own feelings and not at all a reflection or a standard.

  1. Nix

    AMEN!! This is the closest anyone has ever come to expressing my own wrestle within. This is easily the most encouraging piece I’ve ever read and is helping me acknowledge and express my own sense of lack, of failure and shame, in order to walk into freedom and the true identity I already have in Jesus. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable. This is is giving me clarity and confidence to keep walking the path marked out for me. I’m not alone. I will keep running towards the author and perfector of my faith. ❤️

  2. Julie

    Wow Gina!!! I am proud of you!! What a huge, bold step you took by sharing your heart!! I can identify with you. Shame is such a hard, hard place. I have tried to find ways to soften the way I feel about myself…often looking for something to blame and a magic miracle pill or plan to make it better. It is hard to admit shame and walk in the place where you feel that it is obvious to all around of your failure. You have encouraged me to really name the way I feel as shame and to truly give it to the Lord!!! Thank you again for your boldness. Many blessings !!

  3. Sabrina

    Thank you for writing this post and hitting publish!! I know it would be near impossible for me to publish. So much that I tried to write this comment on Instagram, but know more people would likely see it so I’ll posting here instead. I have so many similar thoughts regarding my belly. Or arms, legs, or heck- my face because that has both fat and acne that won’t go away, and everyone sees my face wherever I go. I’ve struggled with this for a long time, slowly getting worse, but in the recent years have struggled a lot more because we want to start trying to have kids. However, I need to be in a healthier place before, because I have a heart condition (that I see no symptoms or evidence of in my daily life, thank you God, but it does make it harder to stay motivated or try harder). And while the doctors think it’s still okay, I don’t want to put myself or future baby at a greater risk because of my weight. The guilt is HARD. I also struggle because I see people talk about post-baby belly fat in general and I feel like what I have now is already worse than what some women have and I haven’t even had a baby yet. I hear myself thinking that at least they have an actual, life-giving reason to have extra belly (or any) weight.. It makes me wonder and fear what my body would look like during pregnancy or after, and how much harder it would be then to lose the weight. Such a struggle, and I feel like I’m constantly trying and failing. Thank you again for sharing, and giving an outlet for others’ thoughts to be out there in the work.day. We all have our struggles, fears, guilt, shame, and we don’t have to face them alone. <3

  4. Abby

    I so needed this post! I completely feel the same way about my “baby weight” (if you can even call it that anymore since my daughter is also 3.5) Thank you for being so vulnerable and open about this. Much love and prayers!

  5. Links and Likes 3.4.18 - Teaching Sam and Scout

    […] “Hello. I didn’t know you lived here” – a rare personal post from photographer ,Gina Zeidler, on bodies, shame, and freedom. Really beautiful. […]

  6. Pati

    The part about swatting away your husband’s hand hit home. I understand that and live it. Thank you for your honesty.

  7. Megan

    Thank you for this. Helping to shine a different light on negative self talk. I needed to read this. ❤️

  8. Amanda K.

    Beautifully said — thank you for sharing, for being vulnerable and open about emotions that so many women carry. xo

  9. Samantha

    Gina, thank you so much for sharing this. Your honesty and willingness to share is such a breath of fresh air and a light, even without any “answers.” I have struggled so much with body image and especially with infertility feel like my tummy should be the last place for attention – yet it’s where I carry my weight (thanks genetics!) I have had so many people ask me if I am pregnant and when I am due and it always feels like this double whammy of anger and shame. I’m walking with you in this, trying to make some sense of it all, giving myself a lot of grace, and being truly kind to myself. Love you Gina.

  10. Rohana

    Gina!!! One Big Amen!!! So so thankful that you wrote this from a place that is so vulnerable. I can identify with you on so many levels and shame is such a hard place. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. So much love to you with prayers of light, self-love, and working through the muck. Your willingness to share is so incredible.

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