This is your body. I must thank you from every inch, every limb, every curve. For so long you starved us from nourishment. You starved us from joy, from experience, from connection. You were consumed in self- hatred. You chose to see what you were lacking rather than what you were packing. Others would turn their heads, but not for what you envisioned. They saw your sadness with every pound lost, every inch shrunk, with every shade of color you would lighten. Your beauty was lost among the goal of perfection and what you were unable to see was you were perfection; you are perfection.
And one day you saw a gleam of light. This light grew and before we knew it you were shining. You fed not only your soul, but you fed your body; us. You allowed us to grow not only in size, but power and strength. Each day you continue is another day of life. And we know that each day presents its own temptations to slip back. Keep fighting back as we will always be here fighting with you.
I had never written myself a letter until I was prompted to do so as a homework assignment for my PhD program. We were instructed to write to ourselves, the “owner”, from our body. We could choose a specific body part or the body in its entirety, whatever felt right for us. For me it was important to speak from my entire body as I never discriminated in my self-hatred of it, I had hated it all.
As I sat down to write, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I anticipated a lot of emotions to be stirred. I gave myself ample time and space to feel and remember. I must admit I cried through it as I reflected on all that I have endured. In this, I grew more grateful for my process and my body. I have put it through hell and back more times than I would like to admit and to have come out on the other side is truly incredible; recognizing this was cathartic.
Often times, we create this disconnect from our bodies because we don’t think it is sexy, or perhaps we have had an injury that pains us which causes resentment towards that part, or maybe our mind doesn’t work quite like we want it to which causes frustration. Whatever it may be, allow yourself to connect to your body as it is such a sensational piece of you. Offer it forgiveness. Give it gratitude for what it is, what it has done, and what it can do.
So I wonder, if you wrote yourself a letter from your body, what would it say? Is there a particular area or part of you that needs some gratitude and attention that you could give it through writing? Can you slowly begin to [re-]connect to your body?
Until next time,
Ps: feel free to share your letter, your process, or the feelings that came up for you in this experience in the comments!
Dr. Lily A. Zehner, MFT-C is a therapist who specializes in sex, intimacy, and relationships. Her private practice is located in Denver where she helps others reach their fullest relational and sexual potential. To learn more about her and her services, please feel free to take a look around her website.