Love letter to my body

These days
I walk past the mirror and my eyes
like magnets
are drawn to stomach first, then ass, thighs, arms
all the thoughts
every single one
critical
hateful
shaming.

I pray for wisdom that would trickle down this flesh
pool in my stretch marks
and chase out the hate
with love. love. love.

Lord, hear my prayer.

Because this beautiful (yes, beautiful) shell, she is
my spirit’s twin.
She has endured the pull of this life,
To the earth rooted down, then inches and feet up.
Babies grown like a miracle and stretching out
Bearing down and giving life
Filling with milk and sustaining,
filled and poured, filled and poured.

Then ignored, despised, hated.
She who brought life, she endures jabs like
failure.
She, who bore the burden of creation hears
undesirable.
She, who has carried me across the world and back, sees
the withering looks of comparison
And she crumples again
Under the weight of the mind, heavier
than all the world.
She gives up again in sacrifice (always sacrificing)
but not without more bruises.
Hate always marks its territory.

Lord, hear my prayer.

She, like my mother nurtures
She, like my sister stands beside, helps and heals
She, like my daughter, needs love
She, like myself, returns respect for respect

Because the love I long to give
is held back if hatred consumes the center
Like a drain plug pulled, a black hole and
it’s gone.
To pour out love, I must first
drink it in, hold it,
accept it.

And so I will strip naked
Stand before the mirror again
and look her in the eye. I will look from knobby forehead mole
to chipped polish on toes
Until my gaze softens.
I will massage criticism into compassion
I will admire all of her, not just
The juiciest bits
I will grow to believe (Lord, hear my prayer)

that one day I’ll be in love with her
again, for the first time.

 

Linking up with Megan’s letter at SheLoves Magazine.

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20 comments on “Love letter to my body

  1. What a beautiful poem poem, Kim. I feel honoured to have read it. Thanks for joining our synchroblog!
    Claire xo

  2. Meg says:

    ‘Because the love I long to give
    is held back if hatred consumes the center
    Like a drain plug pulled, a black hole and
    itโ€™s gone.
    To pour our love, I must first
    drink it in, hold it,
    accept it.’

    Kim, I held my breath reading that portion. Such an incredible picture. Thank you for joining me today. Much love

    • You were a wonderful inspiration, Megan. Your post was so lovely — full of compassion, gentleness, love. I’m learning so much about self-love this year and never thought to focus on my body as deserving of my love, too. Thank you.

  3. idelette says:

    I have tears … Beautiful! Thank you.

    • Thanks for visiting, Idelette! Isn’t it powerful when we turn our gaze on ourselves? Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Sarah Bessey says:

    Beautiful, Kim. Lord, hear our prayer.

  5. mother-sister-daughter-self I love that stanza.
    All of this – such a beautiful prayer.

    • Thank you, Amanda. I’d never thought to embody my own body before — that is, give her a character, see her as a separate entity. Separate, yet entwined. Focusing on her alone helped me see how I’d been treating her. It helped me soften.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Oh, Kim, wow. So beautiful.

  7. Lisa says:

    Absolutely wonderful…thank you.

  8. Gretchen Schiller says:

    Wow. Absolutely beautiful…

  9. Alise says:

    Stunning.

  10. Heather says:

    Beautiful words. “To pour out love, I must first drink it in, hold it, accept it.” This will stick with me. Thank you.

  11. Oh Kim… I am in tears here..how this ministers to me and many woman I know! I am SO thankful to have found you through twitter.

  12. I loved this. ๐Ÿ™‚