And that's when the thought happened. Because I too have that complicated relationship with my own body. We tussle between love and hate with relatively little space in between. I'm 44. My legs are still as long as they ever were. But the thighs jiggle more than I remember them jiggling in the past. My belly isn't as tight as it used to be, and the new scars that I picked up after my last surgery 6 months ago, well, those are still something that the rest of me still sees as Foreigners. I can't quite look them in the eye yet. And let's not forget The Girls who just aren't as perky as they were 20 years ago.
"This body".... THIS body. Usually said with scorn more heavily-laden as we age...
Yes. THIS body. THIS body that surprised me at the age of 20 by letting me know it was going to give me a son who would make it his life's work to help people reach their potential and learn to love their own bodies. THIS body that saw me through a bad relationship and into the one that would give me a second son whose plan is to (and whom I believe will!!) conquer the world.
THIS body who worked tirelessly to run a business and raise 2 kids alone. THIS body who crossed a street one winter night and used itself to protect the ME that it houses when a car came out of nowhere.
THIS body that was unwilling to stay broken.
THIS body. This body who saw me through times that were so hard, some New Years Eve's were spent with the wish that this year might just be a little better than the year before. Nothing huge: just a little bit easier than the year before...please...
THIS body who I counted on to run when I needed to run. To keep me going when I really just needed to sleep. To stand me tall when what I wanted most was to crumple. THIS body who took the beatings life handed out sometimes over, and over, and over again, but still kept going, reliable and fierce.
THIS body is the one I have earned. THIS body is the the map of my life. THIS body, the one I inhabit today with its scars, it's marks, it's flaws...This body has been with me from Day One. It's been with me through everything. THIS body is the shape of the woman I am today. And as much as I want to see it as something separate from ME, the precious package it holds safe inside, we're the same entity. And as I've grown and changed, my body is doing that with me. Right now our focus is on being healthy. But our focus in the past has been on everything from perfect happiness to survival. We did it together.
Just as the ME that is inside it has grown and changed, together we're changing the outside. And THIS body will continue to reflect the changes going on on the inside as it becomes stronger alongside, keeping pace.
But THIS BODY. I owe this body everything. <3