And how the world turned your body into a
(Why does the world turn everything into violence?
Just because you have beauty in your skin
doesn’t make you dangerous)
When in reality you were always:
They must have read a faulty translation
Because you are:
Fields filled with
the skeletons of your dreams that
somehow lay upon your hidden arms
And you hate the way your lines
show every nook and cranny of where
You should be able to hide
But you refuse to reveal your stars
Because you were told:
have skin that glimmers like starlight
and a touch that doesn’t stop
And you can’t help but compare your outsides
to someone else’s insides
But I promise,
covered with stories
Stories that tell the world:
I survived.I lived.I almost died.
I am alive
I am alive
I am alive
When I was a little girl I was enamored and fascinated by the way my skin shone in the light. It was summertime and my skin was glowing gold. I became a hoarder for my own beauty and I was captivated.
I noticed a strange silver line that seemed to be growing under my arm.
I showed my Mother.
I will never forget the moment when my Mother grabbed my arm, brought it to her face, shook her head and threw it down.
“Be careful. You don’t want any more of these.”
To this day, whenever I find a new stretch mark there is something inside of me that breaks.
It curls up and tries to become small.
I don’t remember how old I was when my body suddenly became a war zone.
All I knew was that becoming a woman was more pain than love.
The messages surrounded me initiated me into the deadly war of being too much and not enough.
The women around me fought a battle to become small (then big) and then small again.
Hiding their arms, their scars, their marks.
I listened to the words women ate instead of the food that was silently waiting on their plates.
I need to be small. I need to be less than enough. I need to be beautiful. I need to fit. I need to break until I am small enough to belong.
I was told a man would never love the brokenness of me.
Don’t let them in.
Don’t let them see.
Even my friends were caught in the battle to accommodate.
We gave our hearts away too easily.
We moved in ways in order to catch attention.
We pushed and pulled at our skin, begging for someone to tell us the words we didn’t know how to scream.
Eventually the voice inside of me was one of shame.
Telling myself all of the ways I would never ever make the cut unless I became someone else.
I stayed small.
Making room for the world in my breastbone because I couldn’t even hear my heart.
I am twenty-six years old.
It has taken me a quarter of a century to fall in love with my own soul.
Yet, here I am.
I write poetry on my skin.
I whisper love letters to the mirror.
I cry for the little girl I once was.
I no longer demand less or more.
I am learning to choose myself.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have found myself staring in the mirror, wishing I could love myself with softer fingers.
There are so many scars on my soul I have inflicted that I would do almost anything to heal.
I refuse to let my body be a battle ground for the world to turn me into poison.
Not when there is a garden growing from the love I am finally learning to plant.
Be gentle to yourself.
You deserve to become the kind of person you would want to spend the rest of your life with.
You deserve to fall in love with yourself.
Lisa Nena is a Lionheart kind of girl. She enjoys writing about befriending fear, living with courage, and sometimes manages to take pretty pictures. Every day she wakes up and tries to look at the world with honest eyes. She hopes that through the telling of her own stories someone else mind the courage to look at their own life with kind eyes. Lisa has obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Writing and a Master’s of Science in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University. You can typically find Lisa on spontaneous adventures, swimming in the sea, or with her nose in a book. Her literary crushes range from Markus Zusak, David Levithan, Clementine Von Radics, and Gabrielle Zevin. She’ll tell you one of her greatest moments was meeting Markus Zusak and managing not to cry. If you ask her how she likes to live her life she'll tell you that she prefers to live on the wind.
To stay up to date with Lisa's Lionhearted adventures, visit http://storyofmylionheart.com/ or follow her on instagram at _lisanena.