Dear Body

Nov 26, 2018

Dear Body,

We are 38 years old.  We’ve been through a lot together.  Like, a lot.  A LOT.  I’m writing to you today because I know without a doubt that though all of that “a lotness,” you have been primarily focused on my survival.  Even when I beat you up, didn’t feed you enough, overfed you, treated you like a trashcan, exhausted you, asked you to perform on two hours of sleep, ignored your pleas for rest or attention, grew and birthed babies inside you, and bartered your value for the pressure to be attractive … even in light of all this, you woke up and said, “How am I going to serve this human today?”

I’d like to think that on bad days, when I felt like shit or when you felt sluggish or when you caused me to feel pain, that it was all your fault, that maybe you were out to destroy me.  But, the truth all along has been that you were simply weeding through the muck and the mud to find equilibrium.  And, I can only imagine that with all I put you through, that must have gotten harder and harder over the years.  It’s no wonder some days you needed 25 cups of coffee or you made sure my spine reminded that it could in fact break if I kept pushing it. 

So, I’m here today to turn the tides on our relationship, something I have been doing for some years now, but finally wanted to say out loud in an evolved way.  I’d like to make amends to you.  I’ll start that by stating all the things I think we agree are no longer working orders for our operations each day:

 

  1. I will no longer say yes when you say no.  Instead, I’ll check in with you and get your consent first.
  2. I will no longer tell people that you are broken and falling apart.  Instead, I’ll do something active and soothing with you and remind both of us that you’re doing a damn fine job and that all discomfort is temporary. 
  3. I will no longer remove myself from feeling connected to you.  Instead, on bad days when you and I are really not good friends - like when you are more wobbly than I’d like or you’re digestive system is wonky or you are hormonally effed up or you look like a normal human woman’s body and I can’t seem to be ok with that or I feel like I want to crawl out of your skin - I’ll treat us to some humor and remember that as much as I’d like to believe otherwise, you and I are temporary blips of flesh and spirit all mixed together and none of it matters in the end.
  4. I will no longer wish you were something else.  Instead, I will find a way to radically accept what you and I are, and how you have decided to show up in this world.
  5. I will no longer focus on hiding you.  Instead, I’ll celebrate you by expressing who we are without apology.
  6. I will no longer compare you to other people or talk badly about other bodies, ever.  Instead, I will remember that you are an unpredictable and unique human being body, not a sculpture. 
  7. I will no longer ignore your pain and discomfort, or be afraid of it.  Instead, I will let you use these signals to teach me what you need.
  8. I will no longer surrender to inactivity because it feels too hard.  Instead, I will remember that bodies that move, are bodies that last.
  9. I will no longer make you show up to things that aren’t safe for you and I certainly won’t make you smile when you don’t want to.  Instead, I’ll remember that unlike you, I have a voice and I can say, “No” and “I’ve got to go” and “Stop” and “Bye.”  I will speak our truth for us.
  10. I will no longer hand your care over to people, places, and things that don’t deserve authority over you.  Instead, I will claim my birthright to trusting your gut and getting real, expert, true help as I navigate how you function best.

 

Dear body, I am sure there are other things to be said here and I’m confident that as I grow older, I’ll have more amends to make and more “insteads” to declare.  But, for now, I’m just so sick and tired of living in a society that puts so much pressure on me and every woman I know to be anything other than simply resilient and connected.  I’m so sick of being a woman in 2018 who still has to fight for her basic rights and ownership of you.  I’m so sick of feeling gross and icky inside your skin, when this is simply because I don’t know how to celebrate aging and changing.  I’m so sick of helping other women repair themselves from the screwed up view of how they should look, rather than how they are functioning in the world.  I’m so sick of compromising your basic needs in the name being a good girl.  I’m so sick of spending so much time trying to fix you, instead of experience you. 

So, yeah, this December, before the crazy and insidious season of “new year’s resolutions” strikes again and we all inevitably fail at trying to make you something you are not, I’m going to sit really heavy in the seat of your humanity and wisdom, and I’m gonna encourage everyone around me to do the same. 

Sincerely and forever yours,

Courtney

 

Join me and MommaStrong members around the world as we dive into a month long challenge where we try to show up everyday for 15 minutes of exercise.  Do something different in the world of fitness this December.  Instead of fixing and pummeling and being superheroes, we are going to sink into radical acceptance of our bodies and get active for the simple sake of knowing if “you use it or you lose it.”  Nothing fancy or purposeful beyond that.  Make amends with your body before 2019 comes rushing in and start your New Year the way it was intended:  Fresh.  Click here to get more details and to register, whether you are a brand new member or a current member.  Registration ends on Thursday, Nov. 29th at 11:59pm PST.

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