I had the honor of co-hosting the Women's Round Table discussion at the Amputee Coalition National Conference. I consider the session to be one of my favorite conference moments. While I loved reuniting with friends, the discussion that transpired behind those closed doors was simply powerful.
We talked about a myriad of topics, ranging from socket fit to dating to sex. I was in awe both of the honesty and the strength of all of the women in the room. Opening up to strangers is difficult, and I was concerned about creating an environment conducive to sharing. It turns out that my worrying was unnecessary because, although there were nearly 100 women in the room, the discussion felt intimate and safe.
I learned one extremely powerful lesson during the session: young and old, skinny or overweight, it really doesn't matter. The majority of women have issues with body image. Hearing everybody confess to the same concerns and worries was empowering.
As women, we spend an inordinate amount of time self-loathing and working to conceal or fix perceived flaws. We don't see the flaws in our friends and in other women, yet we are highly critical of ourselves. In a way, knowing that I'm not alone has been both uplifting and sad at the same time.
I wish that I could view myself through my children's lens. Robby and Timmy don't care if my thighs are flabby or if my tummy is soft. They are just happy that I'm in the pool playing with them. They don't care if my hair is greying or if my boobs are starting to sag. They think I'm perfect and love me unconditionally. Perhaps it is time I start offering myself the same courtesy!