Aw, you. My dear, beautiful, amazing, beat-up body.
We’ve had some times, haven’t we?
Remember when I decided that I wanted you to be hairless, so I shaved your arms and legs and a layer of epidermis from your shins? And you bled and bled and bled, and I fretted because I wasn’t really supposed to be shaving yet?
Or when we discovered how fun sex was? Both that first time and then even more just the other night? (Bravo, body. Bravo.)
And remember the times that you carried four humans inside? You nourished them inside and then out and created safety for them. I don’t think I ever loved you as much as I did during those times, though it was too quickly forgotten in the depression that fogged my memories of your power and beauty.
Because if I’m honest, body, I haven’t always loved you. Hell, I haven’t even always liked you.
Too many freckles. Too pale. Too awkward. Too ugly.
And if I somehow managed to feel okay about how you looked, fear still lurked. What if you caused someone to lust? How could I be a good Christian and have a distinctly female body? The same faith that told me that you were a temple also taught me that you were a distraction and a stumbling block.
So I hid you. I hid you with over-sized clothes and layers of fat. I didn’t take care of you because you were suspect. You were always going to be not enough or too much.
I never wanted to be reduced to your parts by others, but I did that to you myself just fine. You were a collection of flaws and disappointments. Bits and pieces that didn’t fit together properly. I didn’t want to be objectified, but I made you an object anyway. I was supposed to love you, but I abused you a lot more. I made sure that if there was any comparison to be done, you came out on the bottom, whether that was fair or not.
But this comparing, this hurting, this covering – it needs to stop. You deserve so much more. And my daughter’s bodies? They deserve more too, and we can’t give it to them if I don’t love you.
So I’m going to wear those clothes that show off your curves (even some of the ones that I still desperately want to hide). I’m going to take you to the gym and subject you to that damn elliptical machine and wonder at the ways that you’re able to keep going when my brain wants to stop, stop, please, for the love of everything stop. I’m going to feed you food that’s good for you, and some that’s not, because it’s delicious anyway. I’m going to marvel that you’re able to do more with a simple hug than I can with thousands of words. I’m going to savor the feeling of warm water on your arms and cool grass under your feet and soft kisses on your neck.
Body, you were fearfully and wonderfully made. I love the Creator and I love you.
I’m linking up with SheLoves Magazine as part of their synchroblog. I encourage you to check out the other submissions and consider adding your own.