My Dearest Body,
Too long it has taken me to see the wonder that you are and to love you as you truly deserve. You, the very home where my spirit resides… you, who have sheltered, protected, endured me for these 44 years… you, who have suffered in near silence and will suffer no more at my hand. I was ungrateful. I put you through hell. I blamed you for my problems. I deemed you unlovable because boys didn’t like me. I called you names – fat, ugly, disgusting, wretched, broken, worthless – so I could say it before someone else had the chance. I let people’s words change the way I felt about you. I humiliated you, degraded you. I was embarrassed to call you mine. I rid my homes of mirrors as much as possible, for in my madness I could no longer stand the sight of you. I starved you, I overfed you, I forced you throw half of what I gave you back up. I pinched you, poked you with pins, burnt you. I hated you, loathed you, was utterly disgusted in you in a way I would never feel about another human being and yet feeling that way about you, treating you in such a way came blisteringly easy. I hurt you because I was hurt. I was so wrapped up in the constant, nagging turmoil in my poor, damaged soul I never stopped to see it wasn’t your fault, never saw you for what you really are.
You have allowed me to do so many amazing things and for so long I have chosen not to see that. Please do not think I am not grateful now. Thank you for letting me swim under the stars at midnight. Thank you for letting me make angels in the snow, for letting me burry myself in piles of crisp autumn leaves, for letting me walk along the beach, the cool ocean water ebbing and flowing and swirling about my ankles. Thank you for letting me embrace the people I love. Thank you for letting me run from the ones bent on harming me. Thank you for letting me dance with wild abandon in my private moments alone at home. Thank you for the million little things you make possible every moment of the day. You are a miracle. You have endured my constant mistreatment with grace. Despite my secret wishes that you would fail me, that you would send my spirit spiraling to some other world I imagined would somehow be better than this one, you never wavered. You drew breath into my lungs, pumped blood through my veins, converted food to energy, functioned in the countless miraculous ways natured designed you to function. You did the very best you could with what I gave you.
I am so sorry it took me so long to see how blessed I am to have you, to see how beautiful you are, to love you. You could have held a grudge. You could have punished me for all the punishment I’ve heaped on you; I would have deserved that. And yet your love for me is unconditional, boundless. Your forgiveness of me automatic. I changed my ways, I choose now to treat you with care and you have responded with joy. You have given me what I always wanted but was too afraid to want it aloud, too afraid to ask. You are giving me health, you are giving me wellness, you are giving me infinite energy. You are letting me glow from the inside out. I finally see you now for all that you are, for all that you do, and my love for you is as endless as yours for me. Never again will I treat you the way I have, never again will I let others treat you the way they have. You are my body, you the greatest gift I ever received, you are the most precious and valuable thing I will ever own, you are my beloved.