Now that we are good friends
Now that we have been
To the edge of life and death and back together
I want you to know
I am sorry I ever called you names
That I didn’t appreciate your beauty
That instead of calling you a miracle
I called you weak
I was wrong
You are the gift I get to keep my whole life
And I would not trade you for anything
Earlier today a 6 year old looked at me and said, “Do you have a baby in your tummy?”
This is the kind of comment that would have crushed me in the past, and any sensible and self-compassionate self-talk about being only three months postpartum would be a moot point, and I would have spent the rest of my day moping about. But today I simply smiled and replied, “No I don’t. He already came out.”
Why doesn’t it crush me any more?
Perhaps because I am more body positive in my thirties than in my twenties, and time heals old wounds.
Perhaps because I am proud of my postpartum, strong body, for having survived two pregnancies, births and breast-feeding periods.
Perhaps because kid’s innocent comments based on observations are nowhere near as painful as the judgmental looks I have received from women at the gym or in yoga class which are based on painful societal expectations and standards (not to mention their own pains and internal struggles).
Perhaps because after years of body-shaming from myself and others, and fighting the good fight against a negative self-image, I have come to a place in my life where I am simply in awe of the amazing things my body has done and continue to do on any given day.
Perhaps because one of the things I love most about parenting my four year old daughter at the moment, is the joy of speaking with her from the place of empowerment in my body. Speaking from the voice of my highest-self, not my stingy, self-critical, childish voice. I get to say things like: I love my strong body; I did some exercise and it was really hard and I wanted to give up but I did it anyways and I am proud; I know if I focus and try hard, I can do it; My body is a miracle, and so is yours!
So, here is my wish for us all:
May we remember that we are not defined by our bodies. That our bodies are these beautiful and unique houses for our souls, and that with good care and appreciation, we can live joyously and abundantly within them. And one day, when they are worn down, or broken, we can hug our bodies tightly and say a prayer of gratitude for the time they afforded us to experience this messy, magnificent world.