A Letter to My Body

Close up photograph of blooming peach coloured roses

Today’s article was written by Change Coach Missy Maiorano

 

Dear Body,

 

Right now, as I type this, there are five distinct, beautiful blue bruises on your left leg from where a vein procedure was performed last week. In addition, there is a rather large pinkish-red prickly rash where the medical tape was left on a little too long.

 

Your fingernails are naked and clipped down to the quick following an unfortunate choice in nail salons. The white horizontal lines across each exposed nail reveal a lengthy, somewhat obsessive gel-manicure habit. Sorry about that.

 

Your belly is resting comfortably over the worn-out elastic waist of a pair of old, comfortable grey-and-white cotton pajama bottoms. Like many other bellies, yours is softer and rounder than this time last month, having been fed all the delights of the holiday season without restraint. I am pausing to simply feel the perfection of your expansion with each deep inhale. In through the nose to the count of four and out through the lips to the count of eight. Again. Inhale. Exhale. It’s brilliant, really, how you move and stretch and expand the way you do. It’s almost hard to remember a time when I wasn’t filled with gratitude for your innate intelligence.

 

Your toes are cold right now as they rest on the chilly metal bars supporting the cushion of my office chair. They are the same shade of pale purple as my dad’s toes when they get cold—the same shade that my grandmother’s used to be when they, too, got chilly. Sometimes, people act all curious and shocked by your purply-colored toes, but I just smile. I know they’re perfect. Just like my dad’s—and my grandmother’s.

 

Body, you want to know something crazy? When I was younger, I thought you were a mess. I really did. I wondered why you couldn’t just get your shit together and be normal—just fly low under the radar like all the other kids. Just be cool, I used to think. Just STOP having stomach aches and weird anxiety-fevers. For once, just don’t have a racing heart and sweaty palms during a piano recital. Body, I thought you needed a stern talking-to; some good old-fashioned shame and guilt to get you back on track. I was young, and I had no idea you were working so hard on my behalf.

 

I wish I could say I outgrew my distrust and distaste for you by the time I reached adulthood, body. But, the truth is, my conditioned judgments only grew harsher. At one point, I believed whole-heartedly that you were the source of all my suffering. In this upside-down world where we are taught to attach our worth, our wellbeing, and our ability to be loved to the appearance and performance of our body, I became utterly lost in confusion. To be completely truthful, body—I hated you.

 

I felt like I couldn’t trust you. You did such bizarre things that made no sense to me. In moments of stress and anxiety, your skin broke out in fiery red hives and your lips and face swelled up like balloons. It seemed as though I was not safe anywhere because everywhere I went—you went, too. I never knew when you were going to turn bright red or puff up like a puffer fish. You were like a walking, ticking time bomb—an open field full of land mines. Would I trigger you in the midst of a work meeting? A dinner out with friends? My daughter’s soccer game? Nowhere was I safe from your unpredictable barrage of mysterious symptoms.

 

Here’s the thing, body—all I knew was what I had learned during my nearly-five decades on this planet. I couldn’t have possibly known any different…until I did. So, I offer myself so much grace and love for not knowing any better for all that time. I know you are so grateful that I have learned to be kinder and gentler with myself, and with you. This whole being-human thing is a learning curve, ya know.

 

So, now, my brilliant, wise, miraculous body—I want to say THANK YOU.

 

All along, from the moment I identified you as “mine,” you were teaching me, guiding me, and pointing me toward a much greater truth, a more expansive reality. With each so-called symptom, you were showing me where my true worth, peace, and freedom are found. With each stomach ache, pre-recital fever, hive, and swollen lip or jaw line, you were lovingly pointing me home—away from the conditioned stories and attachments of my mind—back to the deeper, kinder truths of the heart.

 

Body, you were never “mine” to manage and control; never “mine” to manipulate and put demands on. In a much greater sense, you were always the Light, brilliantly illuminating the old programs and beliefs that were still being taken as truth.

 

Thank you, body. Thank you for always being there for me, even when I was lost in complete confusion, hating you; not trusting you. With metaphorical open arms, I gladly welcome all of you…whatever that may look like. Pinkish-red prickly rash, pale purply toes, fingernails cut to the quick…even stomach aches, fevers, or hives, should they decide to make a return visit.

 

You are perfection. You are Love and Light in the temporary form of this fantastic human costume. You are trustworthy far beyond my mind’s ability to comprehend. Thank you for letting me call you “mine” for this brief blink of an eye we call life. It’s truly an honor.

 

Oh, and, body— those people who still like to be all up-in-arms about pale-purply toes or white wavy marks in fingernails or bellies that hang delightfully over the top of worn-out elastic waistbands—they’re still learning. Let’s you and me just kick back and smile their way.

 

Love,
Me

 

You can learn more about Missy here: https://www.missymaioranocoaching.com/

 

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