Let’s talk about our bodies. Specifically, the foolproof way to adore your body.
My parents try to deny this, but I am absolutely sure that my feet are some love child of The Hobbit and a giant Canadian Goose. To add, I abuse them regularly, withholding proper upkeep, so they look like I drive Fred Flintstone’s car. My husband has kindly started referring to them as “The Dead Things.” I feel that this is a compliment.
But, this is a story about how to LOVE your body.
In the world of females, we are often apt to talk about how to “increase self-esteem” and “improve self confidence” or “boost your self-efficacy.” Well, I say tra-la-la and farewell to all that non-sense. Because what we are essentially saying is, “you aren’t good enough as you are, so you will need to improve your self-esteem in order to be good enough as you are.” I’m no philosopher, but this seems like circular reasoning to me. And when it comes to loving what the good Lord gave you, I prefer a straight road to self-love, no circles or detours thank you very much.
So love what you have. End of story. No earning. No improving. No boosting. Nothing. Love what ya got, how it is. Right now. Because it is perfect. In psychobabble, this is called “self-compassion” and it is all the rage. You don’t require your children to earn your love. God doesn’t require you to earn Her love. So why in the world would you require your body to earn your love? Your littles are who they are, weird and wonderful. And you LOVE them deeply. You are who you are. Weird and wonderful. And God loves you, deeply! Your body is who it is. Weird and wonderful, Hobbit feet and everything. And you can love it deeply.
But Celeste, how? HOW do I love my (fill in the blank, because we all have that one thing).
You do it just like you do it with your kids or pets or friends or parents. You find the stuff you love about them and forget the rest. I have often found myself having a silent proud moment when I am able to easily walk on gravel in bare feet while camping and everyone around me is tiptoeing to get their flip flops. Barefoot running? Sure! Walking on hot coals? Try me. The skin on my feet is so thick it’s like I was born with shoes.
They may not make the top 3000 in a foot modeling contest, but my feet carried the weight of my twins from pregnancy and beyond. (Granted they grew from a petite size 10 to a barbarian size 11 during pregnancy.) They also allow me to embarrass my kids with dance moves only previously attempted by cartoon characters. They have also walked me down the aisle. Held me upright while I hugged an old friend. They help me run. Outside and on treadmills for the sole purpose of keeping my brain sane. They wait patiently on the floor while I write and move quickly when a child needs to pee. They tap right on the beat of good music and they look great in cowgirl boots.
Okay. Enough about my Hobbit feet. Your turn! Go ahead. Try this.
Your beautiful hips. They hold your babies and his grip. They sway to your favorite Usher slow jam and they are the absolute strongest part of your body, without question.
Your lovely skin. That skin! It has the memory of his every delicate touch and it helps you feel the passing of seasons. The skin on your face shows others you are so, so elated to see them and the skin on your hands can feel your baby’s fever before any thermometer.
Your belly. Can you even imagine all of the good food that your belly has seen? Can you imagine life without the tinge of pain that comes from laughing so hard your belly hurts? Your sweet belly has carried babies (oft of the food variety) and hula skirts and favorite jeans and even that belly-button ring you were so proud of in 1996.
Your arms. Strong and adept. They do most of the physical work in your life. Waving wildly when you see him at baggage claim, picking up a crying little and side-hugging a shy coworker. They (along with your hands) add so much more to the life story you are telling. They are perfect.
You are perfect. Every part of you. Your body is a Wonderland (thank you John Mayer). Why? Because you were created that way and all you have to do is decide that you accept your perfection. Then all the love will fall into the right spaces and you will slowly start to forget the rest.