It's been on my mind a lot this week. 2013 is brand new and it brings with it those promises we all love to make to ourselves. I've started to think about my body. Just like I do every single year at this time. I think about how I want to treat it better and be healthier. How I want to be nicer to myself when I'm inside of my head chatting away. These are good things, of course. But then something inevitably happens. I start to lament the things I haven't already done and the ways I wish I could be different than who I am physically.
It started this morning in record time. As I squeezed in a new pair of PJ pants after Plum wiped some boogers on the ones I was wearing. It didn't go well. They were more than snug. More than just a little tight. And I started down the road of self-destruction.
Why can't you get your shit together? You are gross. You are fat. LOOK at you.
But then, before I could even peel the pants back off, I was out of that shame spiral. I was on to more important things. I throat punched that mean girl in my head. I told her to back the fuck off. And I nursed my child who had just fallen down and needed comfort. I nursed her with the very body I had just been shaming. And as I looked at my perfect child and held her as she quieted, her hand gently patting the stretched and marked belly I grew her in, I began hoping for her. Wishing and dreaming for her that she will love her own body.
My Darling Girl,
Your body is a gift. Your body does and will continue to do amazing things. And I want you to believe that. I am desperate for you to know that.
My body made you. That's kind of the most amazing thing, isn't it?
I pray that I can foster in you a love for the body that I grew in mine. Because there will be times when you aren't so sure. Times when it's hard to love yourself and yep, the Target fitting room might be one of those places. I want to build you up and teach you how to love your body so that you can handle those moments with grace, and maybe a little humor. And walk tall right on out of there. Chin to the sky. Letting it roll off. Knowing that it's not you. That it's a piece of clothing that didn't work. And that it has no power over you and will never inform you of your beauty.
I promise you that I will work hard every single day to speak kindly to myself. Not just in front of you, but also when you are not there. Because I intend to believe in me, too. Baby girl, my whole life I have struggled to love my body. To accept it and care for it without shame. But there is something in me today, in this moment, that says to stop. Stop being cruel to myself. Stop wasting time by wishing and not doing. Stop beating myself down. Just stop so that I can start somewhere else. Anywhere. Just start.
You are watching me. You are learning from me.
I promise to try and rid my language of words that could wound you without my intention and to help you to process those words coming from others. I hope to teach you that you are beautiful. Inside and out. Because you are, my sweet girl. You just are.
It's that simple and that complicated, all at once.
You are perfect just the way you are.
And so today I say to myself, You are beautiful. You are divine. LOOK at you. You are amazing.
What kind words will you say to yourself today?