Always it is with me. It is the strength that pushes me through my day. It is the ability to run and push my children on the swings. It is the heaviness when I am tired. It is the sway from my hips when the music awakens my soul. It is the sun on my face. It is the physical. It is the warmth my children seek first thing in the morning, it is what you reach for at the end of a long day. It is what I frown at in the mirror when I'm getting ready. It is what I curse when my pants are too tight. It is a belly I am embarrassed by. It is hips that go in where they should go out. It is what houses my spirit. It is what gives me breath and life. It is what aroused my husband's interest when he first saw my face. It is a jungle gym for my children to swing from. It is what holds and bounces my baby. It is silly faces and wild noises.
This Physical Body. This BEING. Without it, I would not exist. Yet in it, I curse and rail and push against it.
I want it to be perfectly thin. If not thin, then very toned. I want it to be beautiful. I want it to be attractive. I want it to be what everyone around me says is well and good. I strive to change it and mold it to be what I want. But, oh this body - how it kicks against my plans and my will.
Because, you see. This body of mine is like a tree. I am an oak tree, Tall and wide. With arms that stretch high, roots that dig deep. I am not a birch or a willow. I am not the strength of a redwood. I am a common tree here in California. I look like many others, but there are some who come to rest in my shade and burrow in my trunk. I am a favorite resting place for them. They do not look at me and wish I were different, they come to sit and be. They enjoy all that I am. They have chosen me over all of the other beautiful oak trees, and pine trees, and maple trees. There is something about me that they love.
This life, this body, this living can get caught up in confusion and misguided belief. You see, we often look at those around us and think we should be like them. We believe that they are right or better and it would be good for us to mimic them. And we rob the world of all of our unique abilities. We miss out on sharing our truths and our thoughts, because we are so caught up in sounding right, looking right.
This life is not about our perfections or our great accomplishments, though many would argue that. It is about leaving a mark on the lives that grow around us. It is embracing and loving the strengths and differences of others. It is being so secure in our version of who we are created to be that we create the same safety for everyone around us to live. It is not competing or striving, but loving and growing.
So, here we are in these bodies. These bodies that come in all shapes and sizes. These bodies that do what we want and these bodies that betray us. These bodies that die before their time or live beyond their prime. And we think in our great minds that we have some control. That we can eat a perfect diet and exercise and make them what society has deemed appropriate or beautiful. That we can change and conform them to be what we believe in our minds is correct. They may for a little while be what we want, but if we are untrue to ourselves and our needs - they will rebel.
A beautiful body is a loved body.
It does not matter your size, your body will be it's best and most beautiful when you love it exactly the way it is.
Your body will let go of all the weight it is holding onto when you love it gently.
It will fill with oxygen and health when you treat it like the treasure it is.
This amazing physical self that we have been given craves nurture and care. It craves love and acceptance at every size. It craves your kindness. It craves your hands running over the mountains and valleys and whispering gentle words of value.
Eat healthy, because it is good.
Drink water because it refreshes your mind.
Run because it strengthens your legs.
Lift your children high in the air because it conveys love.
Be wildly free in this life. Be the beautiful version of you in every way. You are wanted and loved, you are accepted exactly the way that you are.
And this body of yours, it is wonderful exactly the way that it is.
Our beautiful, glorious, mighty physical self is simply the expression of life. Let it give love and shade to everyone who comes to rest beside.