In sickness and in health, til death do us part…

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Loving what our body does for us

What has your body done for you lately? Lots, I bet.

“In sickness and in health, til death do us part….”  We all know the words, but the only creature you truly have this relationship with is your body.  If you are on this planet, it is taking care of you.  There are even times you’ve checked out while your body endured some horrific trauma.  It is always there for you.  Always.

When I first woke up to this idea, I realized that I had treated my body the way my first husband had treated me.  I took it for granted.  I didn’t try too hard to find out a whole lot about all the different things it was doing for me every second of every day, I just complained that it didn’t meet my expectations.  That those expectations were not grounded in reality on any level mattered not.  When I did bother to find something out about how it worked and what it needed, it was to try to manipulate it into being what I wanted it to be. My body was a disappointment to me. Never what I thought it ought to be.

Feeling that way in my marriage hurt me on so many levels.  Now I realize that it just deepened the pain that I was already carrying.  He merely reflected back to me how I felt about and treated myself.

I’ve had many experiences over my lifetime that have taught me that happiness, companionship, and success have absolutely nothing to do with weight. I felt much worse about my body at a 7 than I did at a 26.  So if it isn’t about the weight, what is it about?

Its about the relationship we have with our bodies.  If someone talked about you the way you talk about your body, how would you respond to that?  If someone felt about you the way you feel about your body, what would that feel like?

“Your body hears you.” Michelle May leaned forward and whispered during her Am I Hungry? retreat last month.  It was one of the most powerful moments of the week.  I was there to facilitate the evening program, and was deeply touched by the stories of the participants.  The places I’d visited in my 20s and decided were just too cruel to live in were places many had spent their entire lives in.  I moved away, but I spent the rest of my 20s defending my right to not live there,  defending my right to love my body.  Even if I didn’t fully step into that right, I wanted the option available.

How about loving my body for the brilliance of its functional form? A recent Jezebel post asked “Can Nothing On A Body Be Merely Functional?” in a recent article about feet and all the flack they take. Though the language is a bit too strong to include in my newsletter, the message is one we desperately need to hear.  How about appreciating our bodies for all that they do instead of judging them for not looking like the photoshopped images we’re bombarded with every day?  What would that be like?

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