Dear . . . ,
We’ve known each other a lot of years. We’ve been everywhere together and spent hours and hours and hours in each other’s company.
You’d think we’d be best friends by now.
You’ve always had my back, but I’ve not always had yours.
I have said mean things about you, almost daily. Sometimes just directly to you, but often in front of other people, too.
I’ve wanted to change you. I’ve wanted you to be different, to be more like somebody else.
Yet you never gave up on me.
You’re still here.
Granted, I’ve also thanked you through the years, too. You’ve brought me some of my greatest joys, deepest thrills, most profound experiences.
So maybe this will be my year to call a truce with you. No more bad-mouthing you. No more trying to conform you to my expectations. No more negative talk about you.
Just love. Just acceptance. Just gratitude.
Thank you, my dear body. You’ve been very forgiving. Let’s see what we can do together next.
This writing exercise, A Letter to My Body, is the last suggestion Hillary McBride makes in her new book, The Wisdom of Your Body.
I’m glad I wrote a makeup letter to my body. Although it was painful.
Through the years my eyes have noticed the negative things about my body more than the positive things. I see where the fat gathers, where the wrinkles crinkle, where the joints ache.
And even more so as I age.
But even an aging body deserves kindness.
Maybe especially an aging body deserves kindness. She (my body) does everything for me. She’s taken me everywhere I’ve ever been; she birthed my three babies; she’s allowed me to experience tastes and sounds and sights I’d never have known without her.
So yes, I want to make peace with her. She’s been a gift from God to me, even with her pains and malfunctions.
According to the information that Hillary McBride shares, many of us need to make peace with our bodies.
“The body is the only way we have to move through life. Yet research about body dissatisfaction and body hatred shows us that the majority of us—up to 90 percent of those of us Western culture and in communities touched by globalization, inclusive of women and men—loathe our bodies.”
We can grow to be more aware of our body as a sanctuary instead of an enemy.
“Our bodies are constantly speaking up, telling us who we are and what it is like to be us. These signals tell us what feels good, when we feel alive, when to eat and sleep and cry, what is unsafe (or what has felt scary in the past), what matters to us, and how we are different from or similar to the person next to us.”
That sounds like a friend to me.
McBride goes into great depth in The Wisdom of the Body, touching on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our relationship with our bodies. I highly recommend her book, even if you have a good relationship with your body already.
Our bodies deserve it. Our bodies are good.
Because our bodies are our homes.
Have you ever written a letter to your body? Do you have a complicated relationship with her? Share in the comments.
thanks to NetGalley + Baker Academic
& Brazos Press for the review copy of this book
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