I attended a class this year where an assignment was given to write a letter to your own body, and then a letter back to you from your body. What? Ya. It sounds strange.
The following day many people publicly shared their letters, which frankly surprised me. It seems so personal, yet I’m so glad people shared. It was powerful!
Every single letter to their body that was shared included some frustrations and wishes that something was different. Some were angry or resentful or even mean toward their bodies. I can totally relate:
I remember as a young teen, wondering if anyone would ever want to be intimate with me because I thought my body wasn’t “good” enough. Even though I was a dancer all through high school and I had confidence in my ability to dance in college, I chose not to try out for the university dance team because I thought my body wasn’t “good” enough.
I know what it’s like to carry extra weight and feel uncomfortable in most clothes because of it. I know what it’s like to desire pregnancy and not be able to get pregnant. I know what it’s like to have (minor) injuries that prohibit exercising like I would have liked to. I know what it’s like to have cravings for comfort foods that ultimately don’t serve my highest good and I know what it’s like to have severe acne and wanting to avoid people because of it. I understand many negative feelings about bodies.
I found that the letters of response from a body to it’s person to be quite insightful and created new thoughts that are much more empowering and compassionate.
Our bodies do the best they can with what they are given. They generally respond well when given things they need and they know exactly what to do. They need time to heal when injured or after birthing etc. and if we are impatient, it might take longer. If they are permanently disabled, they grieve too. They want to serve us. They want to dance and move and be healthy. They want to have fun and breathe and experience good feelings. They know how to process negative feelings and how to improve if given the chance. They are so beautifully complex and they are our personal home and temple to our spirits. They allow us to do all the things we do and they can sometimes provide new bodies to spirits, who then become some of our dearest loved ones.
Bodies are ultimately GOOD. Being a friend to my body and knowing it’s devotion to me brings me peace and ownership and a happy stewardship over this mind-blowing creation that God has entrusted me with.
My body is unbelievably amazing.
Below are my letters (transcribed from rambling scribbles).
Dear sweet, wonderful body,
I am so grateful that you are healthy and functioning well and are able to exercise regularly. I am also grateful for the things you have taught me about how to be healthy and I’m excited to be able to teach and share what I have learned with others. I love the fact that I feel comfortable wearing the clothes I want to wear because I remember not always feeling that way. I love that you created beautiful and healthy children and allowed me that experience of becoming a mother, and that you provided all the nourishment for my babies; it’s amazing! I have often wished that you would have created more of them, but I am grateful for the two I have. I like my eyes and hair and skin and teeth. I love my health. I love my mind, housed inside my head and it’s ability to learn and process and understand. I love that you know how to “take out the trash.” I am utterly grateful that all the parts and pieces of you are functioning properly and allow me to do all the things I want to do. I am completely able because of you! Thank you for working well, supporting me, allowing me to experience intimacy with my husband, experience the joy of dance and the accomplishments of physical goals. You are wonderful!
Letter from my body to me:
I’m glad that you have found ways to take care of me because I feel loved and I want to do so much more for you. I hope you will continue to pay attention to me because I know our relationship can be so good if you pay attention to me. We are still young and healthy and able to do so much. Don’t forget where we have come from; others can benefit from our journey. Share it. Be real. Love me and don’t obsess. I work best when loved and cared for without extra pressure. Thank you for keeping me covered and warm. Find more touch because I love touch. Give more hugs. To everyone. Be mindful of danger (driving or in the kitchen or wherever) because you have lots of power to keep me safe and working well. Please let me sleep when I’m tired. It will serve us both better. Let’s keep in touch!
Love, your body