Skin Stories

We’ve been conditioned to see our bodies as projects, billboards for our successes and failures, never quite good enough just as they are. From the moment we wake, we’re bombarded with images of what we’re supposed to strive for, an endless cycle of comparison that leaves us feeling less than, often incomplete. It’s a constant noise in our heads, telling us we need to be more of this, less of that. But what if we stopped listening to the noise? What if we looked in the mirror and saw not what’s supposed to be missing, but what’s there?

Because this isn’t about vanity or pride. It’s about reclaiming the narrative of our own bodies, recognizing the stories etched in every line, every scar. It’s about understanding that before we’re anything else to anyone else, we’re home to ourselves. Our bodies carry us through every moment of our lives, the good and the bad, and they do so without applause. They’re the silent witnesses to our experiences, the keepers of our secrets.


This skin, this frame, it’s where I live, a mess of scars and stories,
not just flesh, but chapters deep, of falls and fleeting glories.
It isn’t a canvas or some book where tales are neatly penned,
but a map of roughed-up roads, of beginnings and of ends.
In this body, I’ve laughed loud, cried silent in its rooms,
felt the weight of unseen chains, danced free of looming glooms.
It’s more than meat and bone, it’s where my soul’s fires burn,
a place of whispered dreams, where tides of feeling turn.
In these hands, I’ve held love, let it slip through like sand,
in these eyes, I’ve seen dreams, die and stand.
I’ve painted joy with tears, laughed till I ached,
In this body, I’ve felt every tremor, every quake.
This flesh, not just matter, but a storybearer deep,
in its curves and edges, secrets it keeps.
Not an object for your approval, nor for your disdain,
but a testament to survival, to every loss, every gain.
You see me, judge me in fleeting glances caught, think you’ve got me pinned,
but beneath this skin, there’s a war I’ve fought, a light that’s never dimmed,
not to meet your gaze, or fit your mold,
but to embrace my stories, untold.
This body, it’s my ride through the rush of passing days,
holding my heart, my gut-deep plays.
Not for you to label, or to box and seal,
but for me to honor every raw, real feel.
In-bodied – it isn’t just a word, but the beat of my drum,
a testament to every breath, every overcome.
Standing here, in this bare skin—my unfiltered truth to tell,
in this body—my story,
                                   my heaven,
                                                      my hell.
I’m more than just what you see, in this skin, I ride, I strive,
in this body—my truth, 

(2019, © Julia Delaney)


So, here’s to looking at our reflections and seeing the map of our journeys, to acknowledging the resilience, the power, and the vulnerability housed in our skin. It’s time we celebrated ourselves for who we are, for the battles we’ve fought, both inside and out. It’s time we owned our stories, our truths. Let this be a call to embrace the beauty of being unapologetically alive, in bodies that are far from perfect but perfectly ours.

Be Alive 🌱
Love ❤️, Julia

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Cautions: If you have experienced physical abuse or trauma in the past, it is not recommended to do this practice without a trained professional. Additionally, if you notice intense fear or other strong emotions related to a particular part of the body, please discontinue this practice.


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