Learning to love my body wasn’t easy work when I had the smooth lines and tight skin of a twenty year old.
Now after I’ve grown two babies in my belly and spent all of the last 6 years breastfeeding, finding ways to honor and cherish the contours and valleys of this body is, well, rather interesting. In some ways it is bloody hard, knowing that core strength and push ups won’t change the soft shelf of skin that held my babies. That the criss-crossed map of stretch marks will endure (I had mistakenly thought that the second baby would use the stretch marks made by the first, since I had more than plenty to spare… ha!
In other ways, time is helping me down the road of self love. Some of those thorny edges of myself demanding perfection have been sawn off by the passage of time, and so very many sleepless nights, and a drawer of mismatched socks, and deciding that brushing my hair and my teeth before I leave the house is plenty, most of the time. My most grounded & accepting moments occur when I find the strength I grew more than twenty years ago, when a major surgery for scoliosis left me with a large, red scar down the whole back of me, and my body in a metal and plastic body brace for a long time after. Somehow in those days and months after the surgery I found my way to loving myself, welcoming my scar and never letting it get in my way. I wore strapless dresses, swimsuits with abandon and, most of the time, I forgot about it.
In the intervening years, I seem to have forgotten that strength. Now I must find it again.
I have been thinking about all of this for a good long time now, as I’m sure many of you have too. Because I want my two littles (especially my big little one, whose eyes and ears are so very huge these days…) to have an easier time than I have at respecting and revelling in their bodies as they move through their lives.
Finding the quiet place of peace and acceptance is tricky but rewarding when you find it. When I find it, it seems as though a million tons of weight have been lifted off my shoulders, and I smell freedom.
If you haven’t already seen this wonderful piece These are the lines of a story, you might want to check it out… it’s an inspiring & delightful read.