I know I haven’t always been nice to you. I’ve promised to treat you better, love you harder, be more loyal and less judgemental. Empty promises spilling out through my lips daily and filling the air around me with shame and guilt.
Enter sadness stage right, perpetuated by the cycle of punishment and apology for existing in a world where I’ve made you believe you were undeserving of kindness, light and love.
A lifelong battle of misunderstanding what you need from me and in turn punishing you for my inability to follow through with goals.
So I give you this; I give myself this… A love letter to all the parts of me I’ve struggled to love. Let me proudly and without apology count the ways I love this vessel of truth in an attempt to remember that living authentically, is nothing short of love affair with your true self.
Every bump, line and scar on my body tells a story. My story. It speaks honestly of how my body has grown, endured, braved and adventured throughout my life.
That scar on my left ankle from the day I broke into an abandoned building and cut it as I ran out scared because I was afraid of being caught.
The weird big toe nail I grew after the old one fell off following the devastating watermelon cutting incident of 2001.
The scar through my left eyebrow after I fell off a barstool, half cut in Darwin – face first into a Karaoke speaker.
The double chin I’ve acquired from eating far too many donuts.
Today, I going to try to stop apologising for my body and start thanking her instead.
I say thank you to my prematurely bingo winged arms for allowing me to hold lovers, family, friends and fur babies. For being a warm and inviting embrace for those lucky enough to find themselves there. I love you.
I say thank you to my thick, bumpy, cellulite blessed thighs and legs for getting me where I’m going since the early 90’s. For helping my feet kick their way through water adventures in swimming pools, oceans, rivers and lakes, for being strong as hell and for being a safe place for my puppy to curl up in the nook of every night. I love you.
I say thank you to my stupidly large and ever so slightly lopsided boobs for warming my hands when it’s cold and finally figuring out how to not strangle me when I sleep. For being fun to press up against frosted shower doors, being great to look at and also nourishing my future babies. I love you.
I say thank you to my small but perky ass for looking great in jeans when I wear heels and for giving lovers something to smack, to hold onto and to perve on. For always being there to sit on, for catching every single hair that falls from my head when I’m in the shower and for never ever farting – remember, girls don’t do that. I love you.
I say thank you to my often chapped and sassy looking mouth for being hot as fuck while wearing red lipstick. For being the passage way that opens to release my voice, my opinions and my vision. For protecting my cute overlapped front tooth and for being so fucking great to kiss – or so I’ve been told. I love you.
I say thank you to my striped, wobbly tummy for protecting my future babies and for being super clicked into my intuition. For always reminding me when to eat, when to let go and for teaching me to learn to accept and love my flaws. I love you.
I say thank you to my incredibly small but chubby hands for having a mind of their own in selfies. For giving pleasure, helping me apply my war paint daily and bringing nourishment to my lips every time I eat or drink and for the treasured memory of holding my Dad’s hand in mine as he left this life. I love you.
Why then, even with all these positive affirmations of love for my own body do I continue to feel the need to shrink myself to fit any other ideal?
We are more than our bodies and stronger than we let ourselves believe. There is beauty to be found in every hair, stretch mark, bump of cellulite and imperfection. We are more than a collection of socially scrutinised and personally apologetic body parts, more than a beautiful face, eyes as deep as the ocean or a great set of abs. So much more than the unfair expectations we put on ourselves to be ‘perfect’.
I am strong.
I am brave.
I am a ‘nasty woman’.
I am stubborn.
I am resourceful.
I am kind.
I am messy.
I am flawed.
I am scarred.
I am bold.
I am extraordinary.
I am special.
I am intuitive.
I am a contradiction.
I am a work in progress.
I am more than my body…
I am also in awe of my body because it is beautiful and so am I.
PS. I’d love to read your own love letters to parts of yourself you’ve had trouble accepting or finding beauty in. Let’s be a part of a body positive revolution together.
PPS. The artist responsible for the cover image is Frances Cannon who is incredible, talented and encouging women (and all beings) to find the beauty in themselves and others with her art, vision and Self Love Club movement. Please check her out on IG @frances_cannon and help share the love.