Dear Body

Dear Body,

We’ve known each other for a long time. There was a point when we worked together well. At least I think we did, though it was a long time ago. Back in the days when my big brown eyes were filled with innocence and worries were present for fleeting moments if at all. Do you remember that, Body? It was so long ago that I can’t see it clearly anymore. For the rest of our time together we’ve been at war. Dirty, bloody, fingernails scraping the sides of muddy trenches war. I am tired of trying to climb out of the trenches, Body. I am tired of fighting. I am completely exhausted. I am ready to stop.

I’ve spent a lot of time and energy hating you. Decades. I’ve spent hours in the gym and deprived you of nourishment in an effort to change you. I’ve dwelled on what I felt you haven’t given me — thin enough, tall enough, curvy enough, flat enough, fit enough, perfect enough. I’ve listened to what everyone else told me you should be, and I’ve been perplexed, sometimes maddened, as to why you haven’t stepped up to the plate. I’ve compared you to other bodies, deeming you as coming up short every time. I’ve visualized loving you if only you’d given me a little more of this, or a little less of that. I knew you just needed to be a tiny bit different and I could love you. I fantasized about looking in the mirror, seeing the right you staring back at me, and falling head over heels in love. I just wanted you to be the way you were supposed to be, Body. I just wanted you to be perfect.

Waiting for you to change has made me frustrated. It has made me mad. Sometimes it has made me want to scream. But most of all, waiting for you to change has left me feeling empty, Body. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t try to mold you into what you are supposed to be.

And here’s the thing — I am starting to wonder if I’ve been wrong all along. What if you are exactly how you are supposed to be? I realize that I haven’t appreciated you, Body. I have focused on what you haven’t given me rather than on what you have. When I take a deep breath and step back, the picture becomes more clear. I see that you have given me a vessel in which to navigate this life, Body. That is a gift. I see that you have given me two beautiful babies, Body. That is a gift. I see that you have given me a brain, a heart, a soul, with which to feel ALIVE, Body. Those are gifts. You work, Body. You get me from place to place. You get me through the day. You get me through this life.

I am sorry, Body. I am sorry that I haven’t seen you. I am sorry that I’ve asked you to be something different. I want to make peace, Body. I want to work together. I want to reclaim you, to reclaim us. I know it won’t be easy. But I am ready, Body. I am ready.

Love, Me