a love letter to my body

[i’m a little late at jumping on the “love letter to my body” train that’s been taking the internet by storm lately. but better late than never, right? so here it is. and ps: more info about this project can be found on SheLoves magazine’s syncroblog.]

to the body that belongs to elena teresa ann:: this is my love letter. for you. {yes, you.}

i know, i know. why the sudden kindness?, you ask. you’re certainly not used to it. we’ve spent many, many years together, and i’ve hidden you away for most of them. i’ve covered you up–because i was ashamed. i’ve compared you to every other woman i have met–and despised you because you didn’t measure up. i’ve whispered ugly, hateful things about you–sometimes even to you.

i am sorry. it’s taken me nearly twenty-nine years to get it, but now that i do, i am so, so sorry.

i’m sorry i treated you like a curse instead of a blessing.
i’m sorry that i’ve only seen your faults and never once praised you for your beauty.
i’m sorry for feeling like you’ve let me down.
i’m sorry for wishing i could trade you in.
i’m sorry that i have never been thankful for the miracle that you are.

really. you’re extraordinary, and i love you.

eyes::
i used to be disappointed by you because you’re weak. but you are not defined by your weakness. you are so much more; you have seen so much more. you have grown wide in amazement at the sight of indescribable beauty. and you’ve wept countless tears that have healed the soul from the inside out.
eyes, you are beautiful.

nose::
i used to be angry with you because you’re big. i see now it’s because i was listening to a society that tells me something is beautiful only if it doesn’t take up much space. that is not true. yes, you’re big–but you’re also pretty cute. and i like your freckles, by the way.
nose, you are beautiful.

hair::
i used to stare at you in the mirror and wish you were different. more…plain. easy. not the unruly mane of wild curls that you are. i’ll be honest:: i still wish that most days. but i am learning to appreciate you for the fierce beauty that you possess.
hair, you are beautiful.

arms::
i used to pinch you in all the places that seemed just. too. much. i treated you as the enemy instead of being thankful for all the ways you have been my friend. you have held children:: sick children. crying children. hungry children. you have rocked them and loved them and comforted them. you have done beautiful things, arms.
you are beautiful.

hips::
i used to loathe you because you’re wide. i hated you because you never let me fit into those skinny jeans, no matter how much weight i lost. but now i see that your curves are one of the most beautiful things about me. i know that you will help me give birth to my babies one day, and i will be grateful for your width.
hips, you are beautiful.

tummy::
i used to cry over you because you would never become what i wanted you to be, instead of accepting you for who you are. you give the world’s best belly laughs, and you know how to appreciate a good meal shared with good friends. i love that about you. and one day, there will be a child growing inside you. and you will love him and nourish him and help him grow. thank you.
tummy, you are beautiful.

legs::
i used to hide you because i didn’t like the way you dimpled in certain places, and i was embarrassed of how you looked in certain outfits. that was unkind of me, and i am sorry. you are so important to me, legs. you have enabled me to walk down roads that many others have not, and to do it with strength and grace.
legs, you are beautiful.

all of you, every single piece of you, is beautiful.
because you were knit together by a wonderful Creator who doesn’t make mistakes.
and yes, you will grow old and one day return to the dust.

but i am determined that, when you do, it will have been after a life of living in peace with the soul that inhabited you.

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