I challenged some of my people/friends to write a love letter to their body. Here is what my daughter wrote.
My (dear?) Body,
My (dear?) Body,
I am writing to you under protest...but you already know this, and I would rather not try to start healing our relationship by telling you lies.
I don't love you. Yet. But for the first time, maybe I'm willing to try.
I hide you, disguise you, despise you for not being flawless. But you have never betrayed me. I have been carried by your strength and health without bothering to notice or to offer thanks. You have embodied more Love and Grace than I ever imagined a body could. But I have been blind to your beauty, willfully, turning my head away from mirrors and rejecting gentle hands reaching out to run along my skin. Somewhere along the line, I bought the lie that I should not love you, and that I wasn’t worthy to be loved, because you are not smooth or taut… that you & I are somehow less.
How can I learn to love you, to make us friends and lovers instead of enemies? How do I stop fighting you at every reflection, every meal, every touch?
Maybe you are not less. Maybe you are more.
That scar, maybe it means that Love lives in you. Those lines, maybe they mean we have laughed hard and smiled at strangers. That cellulite, maybe it marks feasts and celebrations with family & friends, babies carried and born, wine and joy and chocolate licked off beaters and not ignorance or shame. What if the curve of our hip and rounded waist are the wondrous mark of a life gifted with plenty and not lack?
I am ready to learn how to love you. I am tired of fighting against you…I want to know what it’s like to have peace between us. I want to live into your strength and beauty, however faltering my first steps may be.
Sincerely, with affection,