Thoughts On a Higher-Mileage Body

I am not fat. I have fat. And I have fat because, like an unfailingly faithful, loyal and forceful warrior, my body never bought the lies. Not one of them. My body held the truth for me when I needed it buried in the abyss to survive it.

My body has retained truth I tried to discard. Faithfully, gently, sometimes desperately and even violently, my body has always been trying to help me remember. To be honest  – first, and foremost, with myself.

My body has endured so much, carried so much, hidden so much, buried so much, tolerated so much …..

lotus-flower-nymphaea-caerulea-aquatic-plant-62681.jpegThis fiercely loyal friend has been a repository for everything I couldn’t tell, couldn’t bear, and wouldn’t believe. It has been denied food, drink, warmth, comfort, medicine, relief, strengthening, love, compassion – sometimes by me. It has been hit, burned, pinched, smacked, beaten, starved, and violated …. again, at times by me.

My body has given millions of hugs, snuggled countless little ones countless times, sung lullabies, heard symphonies, seen sunrises, walked cobblestone streets, ladled soup for the poor, danced at parties, carried me through funerals …

It has run, jumped, skipped, rolled, cartwheeled, swam, sat, stood, walked, clapped, held, loved, cheered, climbed, repelled, skated, skied, baked, twisted, healed …..

It has grown babies, and given birth to babies. It has miscarried. It has held hands, rubbed backs, wiped noses, braided hair, sang songs, played instruments, watched ballet, catalogued precious moments, belly-laughed …..

It has taken me to remote villages in El Salvador, beaches in Hawaii, little towns in Mexico, kids’ camps in Arizona, stages around the country, deep into the woods, high in the Swiss Alps, to my son in Trastevere, through the rolling green hills of Scotland, to the poor in New York City, and by the thundering waters of Niagara Falls.

It has helped me enjoy many adventures, experiences, tastes, sounds, sights, smells, textures, animals, people, and places.

My body has housed Me, and the spirit of God inside Me. It is where I live, and where God lives in me.

It has forgiven, and been forgiven.

I have abused, neglected and even abdicated from my body at times. But it has stayed true to me, and never gave up the hope that I’d return, nor that I would learn how to love it someday.

And now, I am home. Here we are together, my body and I, learning the dance of giving, receiving, listening, hearing and speaking up. We are practicing the skills required to live in harmony, and I am realizing that I need nothing but gratitude for this vessel that’s seen so many miles. It has endured all things for my sake, and I am learning it’s okay to love, trust, and value us both.

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