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A Letter to my Body (Collaborative)

February 24, 2008

Over at BlogHer, they have this interesting new collaborative project where women write letters to their bodies. I encourage you to check it out and join in! (And if you do, please post the link to your letter in the comments below, as I’d like to read them!) You can even win a trip to BlogHer 08 if that’s your thing.

Here’s mine. It’s a little more personal than I’ve gotten in such a public forum, and so I feel a tad naked, but that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?

Dear Body,

You are strong. You have grown and birthed two healthy and amazing people. You have fed them and nourished them for going on six years now, collectively. You give me energy to run after them, take them places. Your arms cuddle them, hold them. Your lips kiss boo-boos, give zerberts on bellies, and tell them how loved they are.

You treat me well, too. Your legs have carried me miles, your eyes guide me, your heart beats steadily, and your lungs nourish me with fresh air (or as much of that as is available near the city).

Yet, I don’t always return the favor. Why? Why is it so hard to keep treating you well? I do a good job on a regular basis, keeping healthy foods at home and avoiding toxic ones. But the days are long and busy and all too often I find myself too tired to cook you a healthy dinner. And finding time to exercise is difficult. Well, no, lets be honest. Finding the will to exercise is far more difficult than finding time.

It’s time to love you for what you are, to love you for what you look like, even. I am fat. And that does not make me less of a person or a woman, although that is the idea I have deep in my mind. It is not a judgment call on who I am as a person. It does not represent my personality in any way. I am fat and that is morally OK. I am trying to see the beauty in it. (Lately, as I look in the mirror before we leave the house, I hear a voice in my head telling me I look fat – I smile and remind myself inwardly that it’s only because I am! It’s a funny way to learn to love oneself, but it’s not a negative thing at all. Acceptance is the beginning of love, in this case.) And I will be honest: it’s a long road, and I’m really only beginning the journey. Bear with me as I learn not to hate you anymore.

I was prepared for your stretch marks, your breasts were never perky to begin with… I’ll admit, though, that all that extra skin threw me for a loop. It is not a body image that is worshiped, or even respected, here in our current culture. But it is a body image that should be revered as Goddesses past. For without it, the human race would cease.

I choose to see your stretch marks not as battle wounds, because pregnancy was not a battle, but instead, as badges of courage, strength, wisdom, love, nurturing, the fullness of life. And they are beautiful because of what they represent. Each scar on you, Body, tells a bit of my story. The one on your forehead shows where I fell and got stitches when I was two. The one on your wrist shows where I had a ganglian cyst removed nearly ten years ago. The ones on your thighs show where I grew into a woman. The ones on your belly (and calves! and arms! and sides!) show where my babies grew so quickly and healthy. Body, you are a book, and this is your story. Who I am I to deny who we are?

Many blessings,
Bonnie

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4 Responses to “A Letter to my Body (Collaborative)”

  1. mary Says:
    February 24th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing your letter. Tears are dripping down my face. What a lovely tribute and reminder to us all.

  2. Sarah Says:
    February 24th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    That’s beautiful! I love it!!!

  3. Abby Wilson Says:
    February 24th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    thank you for your letter and the suggestion to write my own. it was a powerful experience to delve into myself like that. http://www.blogher.com/letter-my-body-1#nofollow

  4. shi Says:
    February 24th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Wow, Bonnie, you have no idea how healing and amazing this was to me. I chose to write my own letter, before I read yours, because I didn’t want to be influenced on what to write about. The outcome was amazing, something that really truly has given me that pride that I KNOW I have the right to feel for the marks my little ones have left. One thing that came up in my letter, was how so many women find it beautiful to tattoo tributes to their little ones on their bodies. The one friend I have who is completely mark free, and who I struggle so hard not to be jealous of, has tattoos of her sons etched into her flesh. MY tattoos are right there, etched into my womb, by the very ones who they represent!! They are permanent and they tell an AMAZING story of life, love, and prayers answered. I longed so much for my babies, and I have the story of this amazing journey right there, right in that place, for the rest of my life. My “tattoos” are no less beautiful, and I dare say are full of so much more meaning, and I will remember that each and every time I wear them proudly in my bikini.

    THANK YOU

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