Question about Body Image and Those in Transition
"Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire."
-St. Catherine of Siena
As Brittany looked in the mirror, all she could see was a girl who was fat, chubby, face full of pimples and frizzy hair. Nothing she could do would help her to look better. She could hear the girls at school whisper and talk about her. "Here comes plumpy girl." "where did she get that outfit, in the garbage?" She tried to ignore them every time she saw them in the hallway. They would leave nasty post its on her locker telling her how ugly she was, and how she did not belong there. Brittany's friend, Andrew always stuck up for her. He would tell the "clicky popular girls" to back off. But that didn't seem to help. It actually made it worse and it got heated at times where it almost got physical. Brittany went home in tears that day, and that was not the first time. There were many days that ended with wet kleenexes. The interesting thing is that Brittany was far from being fat, ugly or anything of the sort. Brittany was a very beautiful young lady. She just couldn't see it or believe it.
The saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me" is such a lie. What we say to other people matter and the things we hear about ourselves go very deep within our core, within our hearts. We all want to be praised, have nice things said to us, and want to be loved. These things affect how we view ourselves; how we feel about ourselves. When we are surrounded by positivity, it makes us feel great! But when we are surrounded by negativity, it brings us down and we become depressed. Many times a person who calls another person deregatory names, put downs, and bullies another person, is someone who has been emotionally wounded. There is also another saying "Hurt peope, hurt people." Meaning, that when someone who is emotionally abused, goes and verbally abuses another person. It's like a a chain reaction or domino effect.
Sometimes when we are surrounded by so much negativity, reality can become skewed and situations get blurred. Bullying is considered a traumatic event. Many other situations in life are also traumatic such as physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse. When it happens over and over again for years, it is chronic or complex trauma. Some of us have had little trauma and some of us had multiple traumas. Whatever the case may be, if we don't heal from the trauma, reality becomes something different than the norm and we are not living the life we were meant to live. We hear a lot about people changing their sex, because he/she does not feel comfortable in their body or he/she does not want to be called a gender and wants to be referred as "non-binary." But what is really going on inside emotionally and mentally? We all need healing, whether we know it or not. When we are healed, we become whole and we find that joy that has been missing.
If we are questioning our gender, and do not feel comfortable in our own bodies, then we should find out why? Where is this thought coming from? Where is this feeling coming from? There is always a source behind every behavior and behind every thought. Our parents help shape who we become as adults. Every word, every action and interaction with our parents is very important (all through our lives but is critical at an early age). Our parents are supposed to share God's love. They are supposed to show us who - God -is - through- Love - because God is Love. However, this may not be the case with everyone. Sometimes our parents can be abusive, and not show us love. But God makes up for that. He is our Father, our Creator. He breathed His life into Adam in the garden of Eden, and then made Eve to be Adam's companion. In the book of Genesis 1:27 is says" So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Therefore, no one is born in the wrong body. If a person was born male, that person is male and if a person is born female, that person is female. God creates all of us, male or female for a reason. He does not make mistakes.
Listening to God, to His words in the Bible, and to the Magisterium of the church helps us to live in Joy and Happiness. When we know God, we know who we are as human beings. Modern day culture does not help the gender confusion. It only makes it worse because the woke culture is lying to us. It does not promise happier lives. Instead it creates heartache and pain. It creates more depression, more anxiety. Who wants to live like that? If you have not heard of Oli London, I suggest to look up the name on google or youtube. He is a British influencer who de-transitioned from a "Korean" woman to a British Man. He was born male and did not like the way he looked, and had multiple plastic surgeries that led him to become a woman. He was not happy with his transition and said that the transition only left him with temporary happiness. He wanted to go back to being male. He said that God and Christianity was the reason for his change back to a man. You can find out more about his story here: https://news.yahoo.com/oli-london-tackles-gender-identity-201632167.html His story is not the only one who regret transitioning. There are many people who are coming out and saying they wish they never went through with the surgery. Many of them want to go back to what they were before the surgery, but it's not physically possible to do so.
'We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love and our real capacity to become the image of His Son." - St. John Paul II
On July 28, 2002 during World Youth Day in Toronto, Pope John Paul II said this during Mass. He is responsible for giving us what we know today as "Theology of the Body." This is the explanation/vision of the Human Person. It is a foundation of wholeness in human persons. It also lays out the foundation of our sexuality and how sex is an expression of love between a man and a woman that create life (children). Theology of the Body is identity in "Who I am" in relation to God." We get our identity through Jesus Christ. If we don't know God or have refused to know Him, we lose sight of our identity and we become more and more confused. When we heal from our wounds from the past, we become more fully ourselves. If you would like to know more about Theology of the Body, there is an Institute in PA that has more info/courses on it. Here is the link: https://tobinstitute.org/
Questioning our gender is not only an issue related to mental health, but it is also related to spiritual health. In my experience of being on the prayer team for Unbound ministry, this topic comes up many times. An open door to negative spirits happens when a person believes a lie of the enemy (satan - yes he does exist). Lies would be that a person is ugly, no good, a tramp,slut, he/she would look better as a man or woman. Anything negative, deregatory, verbally abusive is of a negative spirit. But there is always hope and God leads the way. His Spirit is more powerful than evil spirits. With Unbound prayer, many people have been set free by breaking the chains of the enemy and the lies that have been said over a person. The way a person would break the lie would be in prayer. The person would repeat after the "interviewer" something like this: "In the name of Jesus, I break the lie that my mother said I was ugly, or..... I break the lie that my uncle said I am a slut." These are just examples, and usually a prayer session can last anywhere from a half hour to an hour (that's going through all the 5 keys, repentance, faith, forgiveness, renunciation and fathers' blessing).
If you are reading this blog, please know that You are Loved by God. His love changes everything and can change your life if you invite Him in. He wants the best for you. Healing is a process and it does not happen over night. There are always ups and downs with healing, and in life but God is the constant that will always be there for you. Knowing God is knowing you who are and that will lead the way to joy and fullfilment.
About the Author: Donna L. Marotto is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Director of Faith Formation and a Lay Franciscan. Her book, Love Changes Everything can be purchased on Amazon or on her website Youarelovedministry.com. If you would like to contact her, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org