I hate to say it out loud -- but for most of my life, I haven't liked you. Oh, there was a time, back when I was a little child, that I thought you were the greatest. I can remember, dimly, when you ran like the wind, and you were pretty, and strong, and I felt free. But then I got a little older, and people began calling you names:
Never will find a husband
And I believed them.
I'm sorry. I should have closed my ears to all the hurts and insults. But I was just a child, and I thought they knew what they were talking about. After all, they were the adults. They were gods.
I grew up believing this as Truth. Then I met a man who loved me. We married, and we had four children, but you had six miscarriages too. I hated you for those deep and basic betrayals. It is so simple for so many women -- you couldn't carry a child for me?? What was wrong with you?
I aged. My youth passed, and you started to wrinkle, get flabby, and sag. For heavens' sake, could you not hold out a little longer? I'd never been beautiful, so didn't you owe me? You'd think you at least could have waited a little longer before you started giving out on me.
I got sick. The doctors couldn't find out what was wrong. I was practically bedridden for a year. I thought you were dying. Then one day, I could feel you getting a little stronger. Each day you got a little better.
Not long after that, our daughter told me about a running program she was doing. You'd never exercised before in your life; I don't know why she thought we'd like it. But on New Year's Day 2011, at the age of 52, I decided you could do it.
You surprised me. In fact, you amazed me. You did everything I asked you to do. Oh, you complained about it. You wanted to give up. I put you through a lot, and you groaned, hurt, were weak, and sweated a lot. But...you did it.
And you got better at it. With every punishment I meted out, you got stronger. I began to treat you better. I fed you healthier meals, and gave you more water, and stopped eating things that were bad for you. I began to give you more exercise. I began to push you to your limits.
You blossomed. Now to my admiration, you are strong and healthy. You have taken me places I never thought you could. You have done things I never believed you would. And --
I see you for who you are.
Really see you.
And here are the names I call you now:
And now I love you with the love you have always deserved.
Thank you for sticking it out and believing in me, even when I didn't believe in you. You taught me well.
With all my love~
(This was written as participation in the syncroblog SheLoves: A Love Letter To My Body.)