Society says that you will never be thin enough, pretty enough, wealthy enough, or busy enough. In short, no matter what you do, you will never be enough. So, loving yourself exactly as you are is radical self-care.
Today, I stood naked before the mirror and looked at myself. I told my image, “I love you,” three times. By the third time, I had tears running down my face.
Pulling myself together, I sat down to put on lotion. As my hands moved over my feet, I noticed that the cracks in the bottoms of feet are healing. The swelling in my left ankle is down. Moving to my lower leg, I look at the permanent petechiae. This is the reason I always wear pants or maxi-dresses. I am feeling anything but loved by the time I get to my cottage cheesy thighs. My round, stretch-marked, and scarred stomach reminds me of the many health scares I survived. My flabby arms and huge, sagging breasts remind me of the nasty comments some girls made about our overweight home ec teacher in middle school. I wonder how anyone can love me, including myself.
I put on my comfy PJs and sip my coffee. I think about the experience of really looking at my body and the feelings that came up. Then the little voice says, “Yes, this your body. But this is the body that carries you through your every day.” It is, and it is more than that.
This is body holds the memories of every physical and mental struggle and victory in my life. Despite my neglect and abuse, my feet and legs have carried me miles. My arms held lovers close, comforted friends, and embraced my family. My body survived death. And while it is hard to see past the imperfections, my body is worthy of my love. This journey that I am on to get healthy is my love letter and apology to my body, mind, and spirit.
Be kind–especially to yourself.
LLC & Hazel