An Open Letter to My Body
To anyone struggling to love their body
And Open letter to my body. I want to share something with you all, that is beyond hard for me to admit. I have hated myself since I was a child, I can’t even remember a time that I felt comfortable in my own skin. In the past months, I’ve been working hard to change how I feel about my body. I’ve learned that you can’t change what you hate. Change only comes through acceptance and love. Hatred only leaves you stuck in pain. Lately, it’s been on my mind that I have been so rough on myself.
I decided it was time to take some accountability for the damage and self-sabotage I have committed. I did so in the form of a letter to my body. Before I share it, I want to say this is probably the most vulnerable piece of writing I have ever done in my life. It hurt, really hurt, to put these words out into the universe. Yet at the same time, it was completely cathartic. I feel lighter and more full of hope than I have felt in years. Without further rambling, I present to you An Open Letter to My Body.
My Dear Body,
I think it’s time we sat down and had a conversation. Well, more like me telling you how sorry I am. How sorry and how grateful I am for all that you’ve done for me in the past 40 years. In
First I want to tell you how deeply sorry I am for the way I’ve treated you. I’ve hated you for as long as I can remember. Viewing you as my enemy, not the most giving and overworked part of my life that you truly are.
I’ve avoided staring at you in the mirror. Barely able to glance at the sight of you in a passing reflection. What’s worse is how much energy I have spent trying to hide you. Hide what you are, from myself and from others. I have judged you more than any perceived judgment from others.
You have lived with my fierce hatred and disgust for you for the past 40 years, and yet you carry on, pushing forward hoping for the day that I truly see you for the beautiful thing that you have always been.
I’m sorry for the dark, negative and abusive things I have said, on repeat, when looking at you. The way I have used my hands to pull, scratch, and bruise the parts of you that I wanted so desperately to get rid of.
I am ever so sorry for not protecting you the way you have always protected me. Letting others use you, hurt you, mock you. See, I truly believed you deserved it. I am so ashamed to admit this to you, but in making amends it needed to be said. I didn’t believe a body that looked like you deserved to be loved, cherished, and respected. I have been so blindly stupid.
I see you now though. Looking back through pictures of us together, I have seen how much pain I have caused you. The smile in each photograph not quite reaching our eyes. It’s in those eyes that I see what I have truly done to you. The pain, the fear, the despair you feel, waiting for the constant mantra of horrible things I say to you when I point out every flaw that I can see. No wonder there is no joy in our beautiful eyes. You wait, shaking from the anxiety and the fear, knowing that what I see will only be berated, judged, and crucified under my own insecurity.
I am so sorry for treating you this way. For hating you instead of seeing the amazingly strong and beautiful thing that you are.
Secondly, I know I don’t say it often, but thank you! I am so very grateful for the things you’ve done for me throughout my life.
When I was younger, you protected me. Allowing me to put weight on you as a way to protect myself from abandonment, future pain and so many other things my young mind couldn’t process. All I wanted was to be protected and you did that.
You always carried me, despite what others said about you, with dignity. Letting me push your limits in sports. You never minded the feelings of shame that would wash over me if I felt rejected or embarrassed. You took the brunt of the blame and gave me an excuse to hide when I needed too.
My dear body, you carry scars on you like badges of the greatest honors. A line on my knee from my childhood days riding bikes, one on my chin from a slippery patch of ice. Stretch marks of puberty hitting too fast and too hard. Scar tissue etched into my hips and stomach from a gift you tried so hard to bear for me. One I also blamed you for, when that gift ended up returning to the heavens that she came from.
I see the scars on my arm from when the pain was too much, a reminder of a darker time. A time that I couldn’t hold it together and I found silence and peace in your pain. I see each and every single mark on your skin and remember where it came from.
Truth be told, we’ve been through so much together. So much of it with me hating you for everything you were. Not small enough, not pretty enough, too big, way too clumsy. I owe you so much more than an apology. I owe you a promise. A vow that from here on out I will never treat you with such hatred, neglect, and abuse again.
I promise you that for the next 40 years, I will love you unconditionally. I will give thanks every day that I wake up for all that you do for me. You will hear words of loving embrace and acceptance from me from now on. When those dark thoughts and words rear their ugly head I will work to change those thought patterns.
No longer will you be treated as something to be hidden. Something not worthy of love and respect. Never again will I let someone unworthy of your greatness come near you, even if that person is me. I will work every minute of every day to be worthy of all that you have given me in the past 40 years, and all that you WILL give me in the next.
My dearest body, I cherish you, and I’m so sorry for not realizing it sooner. We may have bumpy roads and many challenges ahead of us, but it’s ok. I know now that I can’t find change through hatred. Only by loving and accepting you for all that you are, and all that you have done for me will we ever be able to reach our greatest dreams and goals.
Together you and I will set an example for anyone else who feels lost in that despair. I promise you that we will shine a light for anyone lost in the darkness of self-hatred.
Once again thank you my dear body, I am so very proud that you are mine
With all my love,
The Bottom Line
As I said before friends, this was probably the most vulnerable I have ever been with myself. It’s not a comfortable feeling at first, but having written this open letter to my body, and truly seeing what I have done over the past years, the feeling of release and acceptance is overwhelming. I look at myself now in the mirror with pride, kindness, and love. No, I still don’t love everything I see, but I am grateful for what and who I am. When I see myself in pictures now, I don’t cringe or want to hide them desperately. I see pure joy on my face captured in those moments. I am worthy of pure love, from myself and from others. Guess what, so are you!
If you’re struggling to find forgiveness within yourself, I would suggest something like this. When you decide “I’m going to write an open letter to my body” (past self, inner-child, or whatever it may be that you really need to speak to) be prepared for an emotional moment or ten! Be open, honest, and most importantly, let yourself be vulnerable. You don’t need to share it, but if you choose to I would love to read them and share in your journey of self-discovery and love as well. As I always say, you are never alone! Stay safe, and stay sane my friends, until next time!
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