Dear Body (all 10 trillion* cells of you),

March 2, 2008

in BlogHer, Excavating, Mindfulness

Dear Beautiful Body,

Remember when we read that essay by Annie Lamott? The one where she confessed she didn’t learn how to eat — how to tune into her body — until she was an adult?

That resonated for me. For in spite of the fact that I have inhabited you for, oh, a lifetime, I feel that I am really just now getting to know you.

We’ve had a turbulent relationship. I’ve often been quite angry with you and have felt ripped off that I didn’t get a better functioning body. The allergies, the asthma, the need to hunch over to breathe better, and, capping it off, the hormonal chaos that prevented a pregnancy.

And at other times I have felt so grateful. We are tall, with long legs and a high metabolism. We are relatively healthy, shedding most of the allergies and healing from asthma. We are strong and getting stronger, and I can feel us getting more flexible, too.

I look at photos of us from 10 years ago, from 20 years ago, even from 30 years ago. “They” (my parents) were right and “they” (the popular girls) were wrong . I was beautiful. Why couldn’t I see it?

And in 10 or 20 years, when I look at photos from now, I will see how beautiful I am in 2008. I aim to know this now.

Truth is, I haven’t always been good to you. I haven’t always LIVED in you. I’ve lived in my head. I’ve spent many years moving into my heart, being more present, being in you. I’ve made progress. But my head tenaciously hangs on to power. Unlike you, o present one, my head lives in the future, making all sorts of contingency plans — and in the past, nursing old wounds.

Mostly, I want to have a love affair with you. I want to love every part of you, inside and out. I want to live in you, fully appreciate you, treat you the way you deserve (sorry, that might mean cutting down on the sweets), and play. I have this big reluctance to play. Please call on me to play.

Thank you for doing such an awesome job at being my body and housing this demanding mind. Thank you for carrying me around in life and for allowing me to experience myriad sensations, the delicious and the dreadful. Thanks for allowing me to in-corporate gorgeous sunrises and Mozart sonatas, lavender bushes and 87% dark chocolate, the tender touches of my husband and children. Thank you for the ecstasy on my wedding day and on the days my children arrived. I can even muster up a thank-you for for the devastation I have felt when there has been deep loss. You have given me the capability to feel, to experience, to be and to do. How great is that?

Thanks for partnering with me to be a spirit in a material world.

Let’s stay intertwined and ever more intimate for many, many years to come, shall we?

Your eternal love,
Lori

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Mel from Stirrup Queens invites all readers to submit a Dear Body link on her BlogHer post.

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* estimates range from 6,000,000,000,000 to 100,000,000,000,000 — even more than the dollars in the US federal deficit.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 11:49 pm

WOW.lovely-just lovely!you are very talented as a writer lori.mb

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The Casual Perfectionist April 6, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Lori, this is a beautiful letter!

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annacyclopedia April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

This is absolutely beautiful. You really have a gift for speaking from your heart.

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annacyclopedia April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

This is absolutely beautiful. You really have a gift for speaking from your heart.

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Pamela April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

Are you sure we’re? Tall, check, asthmatic, check, live in my head, check, flexible, check, high metabolism, check, late bloomer, check. OMG – you’re like a long, lost twins. Looking forward to meeting you in July to see what else we share in common!

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Sheri April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

First off, the cartoon – cracked me up! Cuz yea, it’s just like that.On your letter though, I’m impressed. I wasn’t really into these ‘dear body’ letters, I don’t know why, but your twist on it is really really great.

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Pamela April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

Are you sure we’re? Tall, check, asthmatic, check, live in my head, check, flexible, check, high metabolism, check, late bloomer, check. OMG – you’re like a long, lost twins. Looking forward to meeting you in July to see what else we share in common!

Reply

Sheri April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

First off, the cartoon – cracked me up! Cuz yea, it’s just like that.On your letter though, I’m impressed. I wasn’t really into these ‘dear body’ letters, I don’t know why, but your twist on it is really really great.

Reply

Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

MB, CP and Anna — can I just carry you around with me for the rest of the day?Chicklet — thanks.PJ — we won’t have any trouble finding each other across a crowded bar, will we?Furrow — “fleshier” is a word I should come to appreciate.

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Furrow April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

very, very nice. Springtime always makes me remember the glories of my body. The sun on my legs, bare feet, warm wind through the hair, it’s a good time to play. A good time to get back in touch with the old fleshy vehicle.

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beagle April 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

Wow Lori, incredible letter.

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ordinaryjanet April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

This is something I wish I’d thought of first! Great post! (I came here from DeathChic.)

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