I think we know each other well enough by now to skip the formalities. See, I think people might expect you and I to hate each other. I mean, you don’t fit the magazine-cover-runway bill. Come to think of it, there’s a lot you don’t fit.
And I’d be lying if I said that I love every square inch of you, that I don’t blame you for things sometimes, or that I don’t hem and haw about your jeans size. And I know that every time you get sick, I am wildly angry and impatient. I want you to work by my timeline, forgetting that those times are rather few, and I’m the one who deprived you of sleep or floss or something. But no, I don’t hate you.
I like the way you look in a great dress. I like that we decided to get serious about yoga last fall, discovering muscles and bends and twists we didn’t know we had in us. I like that your hips slope out at a great angle for carting kids around. (For now just kids on loan, but someday, I pray, yours too.) I am fascinated by the way you have healed since our silly little trip to the ER for stitches. On consideration, I even like that you have your own response when someone you love is hurting or happy. In those moments of truest empathy, you remind me tangibly to intercede, to praise.
So, I guess this isn’t so much a love letter, but (excuse the bad analogy) a chance to initiate a DTR, body of mine.
What are we doing here?
I know, I know. It’s a boomerang question. You’re the one who should be doing the asking. Because, well, you and I both know that I’m not the best at showing you love. We haven’t seen that yoga business in months. And it’s been even longer since we’ve done any cardio.
And let’s face it–last night’s dinner of salmon filet with a side of Nutella wasn’t the best thing I could do for you. Neither was today’s lunch of soda and half a bag of sour cream & onion chips, come to think of it.
[But at least they were baked chips, am I right?]
I’ll ask you to hang in there with me, please, as I try to make a routine out of my life. But this isn’t the first time I’ve neglected you, is it? We’ve been on one or a dozen diets, per doctor’s orders, and I’m pretty sure the puny free weights have been in separate locations for at least three years.
In part, I think it’s because the two of us are just OK. If I hated you, I’d probably have more drive to edit away the bits I don’t like, by any means necessary.
But then, if I loved you, really loved you, I would want you to be the best you could be… or some other cliché. Let’s “reach for the stars,” bod.
When it gets down to it, I forget to treat you as a temple, as the healthful gift you are, as a kind of incarnation, as sharing in the humanity of Christ. I say you matter, you matter a lot, in this life of faith we are doing here. I am quick to point out that cleaning the kitchen sink or baking cupcakes or folding laundry can all be spiritual practices, but I really really like to play the gnostic “just an Earthsuit” trump card when it comes to treating you well.
But you and me, dear? We are in it for the long haul, and I know I will learn a lot from you in the years to come. And if I believe that motions can be a way of prayer, that the Incarnation should change the way we live in this flesh, then I better take care of you, who does the moving.
Not gonna lie, totally eating chocolate right now, as I wind down this rambling letter (we both know this is not my strong suit).
But I propose that we face each other again, and start anew.
I have so been enjoying the “Love Letter to my Body” synchroblog with SheLoves magazine that I decided to add my voice to the chorus, though perhaps with a different tone than even I expected.