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,
Mel from Stirrup Queens invites all readers to submit a Dear Body link on her BlogHer post.
* estimates range from 6,000,000,000,000 to 100,000,000,000,000 — even more than the dollars in the US federal deficit.