It is one thing to make peace with your body, it is an entirely different animal to whole-heartedly love it, cherish it, and truly believe it is beautiful in all of its various shapes, forms and conditions. It is especially hard to do this when it is broken.
In the past five years, I’ve been pregnant six times, although none have made it to term. I’ve gone through 5 surgeries, 2 of them emergent. My sixth and what is now my final, natural pregnancy was ectopic and required the tube be removed. After surgery, not only was my stomach protruding more than normal due to trauma and subsequent healing, it hurt to suck it in. I found myself going about my daily business with a puffy, round stomach I was unable to hide and I felt…Oh, so, FREE!
I began to see this battle from the perspective of my body. I recognized, for the first time, the monumental process it is enduring and how hard it is fighting. Rather than the typical feelings of shame, hate, and degradation, I felt proud. So, I just let it be. If my belly wanted to poke out of places or needed live in stretch pants, so be it. If my thighs jiggled a little more because I hadn’t worked out in weeks – get crazy. Either way, I was going to give this ol’ bod a respite and allow it to fully heal. Not just from surgery, but from years of hate, harsh conditions, and freely giving without love in return. My body has been like the redheaded stepchild that keeps trying to please without ever truly being “seen.” It was time to hug that child and let her know she is loved and welcome and beautiful no matter what. It was time to be humble and grateful…
To my strong, able, beautiful body:
I know our relationship hasn’t been great the last 38 years. I’ve judged you, berated you and cursed you. I begged, stole and borrowed for you to be different. I pushed you too hard, I pushed you too little, and I filled you with rotten things or nothing at all. I haven’t been kind, not even a little bit.
I’ve thought differently of you since May 2015.
I see now that you have battled for me when I needed you to– over and over…and over again. You have worked so hard to do what you were meant to do, what I asked you to do…what I needed you to do.
I want to thank you and I want you to know I’m proud of you. I appreciate all you have done and are willing to do for me.
I promise… I will do better. I will think of you and your well being more often. I will make better choices.
I will not push you for too much longer and I will respect when you tell me it is time to quit. Thank you for hanging in there with me.
I love you.