Me & My Body: I Heart My "Home"
- 2012 Dec 17
I've moved around a lot in my 32 years. I was born in Brazil, then moved to San Diego County at the age of two. Three homes in San Diego before 1st grade. Then back and forth, Los Angeles to San Diego to Los Angeles then San Diego again. After high school, I moved out, moved back home, moved out, then back home again. When I got married, we never imagined we would move, but we did, to Los Angeles then Peoria then back to San Diego. Grand total: 16 homes in 32 years.
Each one has memories, both good and bad. When I look back, especially where we lived in more recent years, I cherish my memories. Even the crappy parts of each home make me laugh in retrospect.
My first apartment with my husband was so hot. We had a pathetic A/C unit that only chilled one corner of the living room. And there were always, always spiders to be found somewhere. And we had to drag (or drive) our laundry about 5 buildings over, plus up and down the stairs. I could go on... but I love that apartment... now. It makes me laugh to think of how we used to sweat and kill spiders and drag our laundry for miles.
I look back and wish I appreciated these homes more fully at the time. I wish I hadn't criticized but embraced the adventure and let each crack or imperfection sink in, changing me, teaching me. I wish I hadn't spent time comparing, wishing for another home, a better one, something more grand or stylish or spacious. I realize this now, but at the time I'm sure I just complained. If not out loud, in my heart.
Despite all the moves, I've only really had one home for the last 32 years. This body of mine. I am not this body. I'm a soul living in it. This body is my (temporary) home, and I'm sad to say I criticize and compare this home when I should embrace it.
This body has been good to me.
My legs have brought me the joy of dance and performance. They carried me strong and steady as I walked up to my father's casket when I was 12, and when I walked down the aisle to the arms of my best friend 12 years later.
My hands have written and typed countless words and conversations to loved ones. They've turned the pages of books that have moved me to tears and one Book that has changed my soul. They have touched my husband's amazing auburn hair and tickled my child's belly.
My arms have carried bags, boxes, and packages that are evidence of this wonderful life. Bags of groceries, moving boxes, Christmas gifts, and so much more that remind me how blessed I am to have been given so very much. These arms have hugged other bodies, temporary homes for the most fantastic souls.
This body has helped me to know and express love. To be held by another when I'm overcome with grief. To be kissed in front of God and the world as we were pronounced man and wife. To experience the miracle of building another body within my own, of growing a new life, then wrapping him in these arms, covering him in kisses from these lips, and amusing him with the "dancing" of my toes and fingers.
This body has been good to me. But I have been cruel.
I haven't been thankful, but critical. I've compared and scrutinized. I've stared at it in the mirror, so much time wasted over the years, studying the "imperfections" and groaning in disgust. I've longed for a different body, a better one, something less spacious, more desirable. I've ignored that this body is a gift. A gift chosen for me, designed for me, on purpose, by One who knew what He was doing and why He was doing it when He created the "1980 Marie Osborne." That my hair is neither straight nor curly by design. That the bags under my eyes, bulging of my tummy, and circumference of my thighs all exist by design.
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And, just like with my previous brick and mortar homes, I know I will look back and wish that I had let each flaw and imperfection in this home sink in, changing me, teaching me. My body can teach me to find beauty and contentment in God's creation. To be thankful for His provision. To base my idea of beauty, usefulness, desirability, on His definition and not popular opinion.
This body can teach me to trust in Him. Because I can't control it, I just live in it. It has served me well, very well at times (special thanks for the super easy pregnancy and lack of any contractions during childbirth). But I don't know what is going on deep inside. I don't know what's happening in my deepest parts, what grows in the tiniest cells, and I need to trust that no matter what is happening in there, He knows.
This body is a gift. It is my home (for now), and I need to love it. In years to come, there will be more signs of wear and tear, and I hope I see them as signs of a life well lived, rather than just evidence of my lack of youth. Love is an action, not just a feeling, and though, I don't always feel like I love my body, I hope I can learn to act like it. To stop thinking and talking about it with degrading and demeaning words, but to celebrate it, flaws and all. To stop comparing it to this generation's ideals, but recognize my body as the purposeful, wonderful work of a flawless Creator who does not make mistakes.
This is my body, and for it I am thankful. Every scar, every wrinkle, every crack, every bulge, they all have a story, and that is what I love. In her song, "The Story," Brandi Carlile sings... "All of these lines across my face, Tell you the story of who I am, So many stories of where I've been, And how I got to where I am..."
My lines tell of my laughter. My scars tell of my adventures. My eyes, my hair, my smile, my shape all tell of my Creator.
This body is reflection of my God, a living recording of my journey, and I love it.
(Inspired by a post at SheLovesMagazine)