A Love Letter to My Body
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit...?" 1 Corinthians 6:19
"How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves." Song of Solomon 1:15
On July 18th 2012, SheLoves Magazine organized a syncroblog project, inviting women to write a love letter to their bodies. This project inspired and encouraged women everywhere to remember their worth and the beauty which God created. Below is one of the many letters that was submitted. Let her words encourage you to remember that your loving Creator has made you beautiful, and does not make mistakes.
To the body that belongs to Lauren Nicole: I do call this a love letter, and it is one of love. The problem is, I’m not even at the place where I can tell you why I love you so much yet. I have too much to say I’m sorry for. So, as love requires, an apology:
I need to apologize.
If you were a friend, you would have left this relationship long ago. And honestly? I would have understood. I never say my thanks, I never say I love you, and every gift I’ve given you was just because I wanted to make me to look better. Not because I cared about you. I’ve been so unforgivably selfish.
If you were a lover, even the truest of the true, you would have given up on me. I can’t remember the last time I valued you for who you are. On my bad days – and there have been lots of them, you know – I assaulted you. I told you how disappointed I was in you. I listed all the things I hated about you. I made sure to hide you from certain people, because I was embarrassed to be seen with you. I judged you. I stood in front of the mirror and made sure you knew exactly why I hated you so much. And on my good days? Our good days? I was content to tell you I wished that I had better – but that you would have to do for now.
Now that I think about it, I’ve never treated anyone worse than I have you.
Now that I think about it, I’m sorry doesn’t seem to cut it. But I’m going to try. I’m going to finally say everything I should have said long ago.
I’m sorry I’ve treated you like a burden, instead of a gift.
I’m sorry I’ve verbalized every single flaw, instead of finding joy in all of your perfection.
I’m sorry I’ve compared you to every woman I’ve seen, instead of making sure you knew you were loved.
I’m sorry for never thinking you were good enough.
I'm sorry for not defending you to others, and talking bad about you to my closest friends.
I’m sorry for hushing what you’ve wanted, and silencing every valuable thing you’ve wanted me to know.
I’m sorry that I made you an enemy, instead of an ally.
But most of all, I’m sorry that it’s taken me twenty four years to realize that we’re stuck together forever. Twenty four years to ever realize I need to say I’m sorry.
Maybe I need to apologize to each tiny piece of you. You’re so intricate and delicate, you know? I know. I know you so well. and I know every tiny piece has been so badly hurt by me.
I’m sorry, feet, for hiding you. It’s been embarrassing how you turn purple sometimes. The kids used to make fun of you, and it hurt my feelings.
I’m sorry, legs, for always telling you that you’re the only thing i’ve got going for me. That’s a lot of weight to carry, and I know I’m setting us up for failure.
I’m sorry, butt, for all the jokes that my parents made about you, and that I accepted them as the truth. I did learn to like you for the last couple years, but this year, it’s been really difficult again. I twist and try to see you in the mirror every day, and I’m sorry for wishing that one morning you’d just be less.
I’m sorry, tummy, for comparing you to photoshop every single day. It’s just so hard, you know? Maybe you don’t. It really gets me down every morning. But I promise, I’m trying. I try to remember that one day, you’ll make a baby in there, all by yourself. That’s so beautiful. I’m trying to remember it.
I'm sorry, breasts, for all the things i’ve thought about you, that I won’t repeat again.
I’m sorry, back, for wishing you were better so that I could show you off in those sexy dresses.
I’m sorry, arms, for never getting all those beautiful tattoos I wanted years ago because I thought you were fat, and didn’t want to draw extra attention to you.
I’m sorry, lips, for spending so much money on lip gloss with chemicals that would change you. My husband tells me now that he thinks you’re perfect, and I promise to agree from now on. You really are.
I’m sorry, nose, for despising you since I was so little. I read once that every single woman hates her nose, and it must really suck to be you. I’m really going to work on it.
I’m sorry, eyes, for wishing you were brown my entire life. I don’t know where I got the idea that women with brown eyes are prettier, but you’re so beautiful. I want to let you be that.
Dear Everything. I’m so sorry that I have never been grateful.
You’ve done every single thing I’ve ever asked of you – except that one awful 10 mile hike – and I’ve never once said thank you. I only looked at you with disdain and asked why you couldn’t have looked better doing it.
And so, dear everything. Dear body. Dear self. Dear cells that are more countless than the stars in the sky, who give flesh and bone to my soul, I love you.
Even now, while I’m sad, while I sit here judging you, hating you, being disappointed by you – know that I’ve finally realized it isn’t you. It’s me.
And I promise to begin to change that.
Promise. Cross my heart, hope to die.
Because we will one day, together, and I want to have lived having loved you.
Lauren Nicole Dubinsky loves art, writing, photography, and her husband. She has made it a personal goal to encourage, inspire, and provide resources for women. She founded and maintains the good women project and writes & creates here, at her own site. Follow her on twitter or facebook.
Publication date: July 20, 2012