I woke up this morning thinking about a conversation that I had with a friend yesterday. He is a really good guy, with a smile and attitude that goes on forever. He was complaining about his body. We’re both part of the not-likely-to-make-the-cover-of-Vanity-Fair-crew. We will likely never-ever be swimsuit models, but we’re freaking awesome people.
What I woke up wanting to say to the world today is not to let your comparison with the bodies of others ruin your one and only precious life. What I wanted to say to my stressed-out-over-his-belly friend is that he is beautiful, and nobody cares about his body, we just care about whether he’s a good person; and he is. The best kind of person.
Oh, and his blood pressure and other health indicators are top notch. In other words, the body that he’s frustrated with is healthy. Seriously, that’s what it’s all about. Yes, life is not about the people who try to make us self-conscious about our bodies so that they can feel better about their shitty personality.
Let me tell you a tragic story; I grew up on the lake with a mother who always hated the way her body looked in a swimsuit, never wanted to get her hair wet, and let her own anxiety over comparing her appearance with that of others essentially cripple her ability to savor the moment. It made her miserable from the inside out.
As a little (tomboy) girl, I vowed no matter how big my belly was, jiggly my thighs, or wild my hair, I was going to dive right into life, and enjoy it all. And I’ve mostly been able to do that, although at times, I admit, my anxiety does get a grip. After all, we all want to be attractive, feel special, and even get our sexy on.
All too often I have conversations with people who are unhappy with their bodies; I’m too fat. My ass is flat. My ass is huge. My belly is big. My hair is unruly. My thighs are ugly…
The list goes on and on, and it’s starting to bother me more than just a little.
As a mortician, I marvel at the human body in it’s living form. What a miracle! What a beautiful, delightful, unique miracle. Mwah! I love it all!
Our bodies do so much of the work for us in this life, while our minds groove reckless, like wild horses. Start giving praise where praise is due; thank you, you bad-ass jiggle monster thighs for getting me where I need to go; thank you arms for carrying everything that I drag around with me every day; thank you abundant ass for giving me a nice place to sit; thank you for housing my awesome, kind, dynamic and charismatic spirit!
Take your body to the beach. Give it some fresh air. Wrap it in that wild shirt, the bright shorts and celebrate it. It’s not just a thing, it’s part of who you are, and mostly, you are awesome.
I spent years counselling people who had their bodies ravaged by disease, just waiting for the day when their bodies finally failed them completely and they had to say good-bye to everyone they loved. There was a lot of regret. I witnessed this thousands of times. Trust me, there will come a day when you would love to have a chance to live with that fat belly, or jiggly thighs, or unruly hair.
So love it all now while you can. Adorn your one and only body with colour, go everywhere and don’t try to make yourself small. Love your body and maybe, just maybe, it will love you back.