I’ve given you a lot of shit over the years. I’ve abused you, overworked you, underfed you, berated you, loathed you, stuffed you full of foods that make you feel crappy, and mourned your changes.
I haven’t looked after you particularly well, or expressed
much any gratitude or appreciation for you. I’ve drugged you with food and caffeine and alcohol. I certainly haven’t moisturized you enough or pampered you very much.
I’ve spent a great many years almost entirely separated from you, keeping my awareness up in my head or in the future or the past -anywhere but in you.
Body, I don’t want things to be like this any more. I’ve been thinking about this a LOT lately. I’ve come to some realizations. And there are things I want to tell you:
I appreciate you.
You have carried me to magical places.
You have expressed my heart through dance (even when I didn’t know exactly what my heart was feeling).
You have weathered all of my abuse, and still you’ve carried on.
You keep hanging on to your strength, even when I do nothing to support you.
You grew and birthed a beautiful little boy, and nourished him all on your own for months.
You instinctively know when to reach out with a hug.
You are full of quiet wisdom…when I take the time to listen.
You stand tall and radiate warm, glowing energy.
You are beautiful.
We are beautiful.
I am beautiful. (At this age. At this weight. Right now. Always.)
You are a miracle, body of mine.
And you know what else?
I miss you.
I want to be present to your sensations. I want to feel my ribs expand and relax as I breathe. I want to feel the pressure of each foot as it treads the ground. When I reach out with my hands, I want to really notice what it feels like to run fingers through my hair, stroke my son’s cheek, or give my husband a hug. I want to taste the food that I eat.
When I move, I want to feel something other than distrust and fear that I’m going to hurt myself. I imagine you’d like that too.
So, I make a promise to you:
From this day on, when I look in the mirror I will shower you with love. Every time. I will cherish you.
Because, really, you’re just amazing.
And everything about you tells a story about me and my life:
My feet are wide and large. They ground and support me.
My legs and hips are strong and wide. They carry me through the world and dance to the music around me.
My belly is round and soft. It stretched to hold my growing son. Every stretch mark is a testament to that miracle.
My arms are big. They’re strong enough to lift the cares of the world from someone’s shoulders and wide enough to hold my family in a warm embrace.
My hands are strong and nimble and quick to learn.
My eyes are bright and observant.
My smile is wide and dimpled.
My breasts are large and soft. They fed my little one and helped him grow into the boy he’s becoming.
My grey hairs are a testament to the challenge of parenthood. Every one is a badge of honour.
How can I criticize something so powerful, so resilient? It’s madness. How can I look at you and wish you were anything other than your amazing self? You’re incredible.
What do you say, body?
Can we give this thing called life another shot? Together?
Because I really can’t do it without you.
What do you think?