This body of mine has been my most precious asset for as long as I can remember but it’s also something I’ve never been wholly comfortable with.
I began harnessing its strength and beauty before I could sign my own name. I’ve been watching this body of mine in the mirror since I was 5 years old.
As this body of mine grew and matured, I learned how to pick it apart. I used the mirror that was constantly in front of me to analyze every movement, position, and shape, constantly seeking perfection.
As a young woman, I realized the power of my body and all it could achieve. I learned to create pure lines and use this body of mine to emit emotion through movement.
Nothing in the world ever brought me as much joy and fulfillment as moving this body of mine through space and time, expertly controlling its every movement.
Until this body of mine began growing life.
Through four pregnancies, it created life, formed newness. This body of mine created new spaces and reality and changed to accommodate my children.
After pregnancy, this body of mine sustained new life. It worked harmoniously with the bodies and souls of my babies to provide them everything they could ever need.
And after so much time sharing and growing and nurturing, this body of mine has been returned to my sole possession. But it is nearly unrecognizable.
The body that was given back to me does not feel like the same one that used to dance across the stage. It has nearly forgotten the feeling of holding life inside. It no longer provides my children with more than basic comfort and cuddles.
This body of mine does not feel like the one others envy. Because while others voice twinges of jealousy over the slim figure I’ve been left with even after carrying four babies, I know the truth.
I see what’s underneath the clothes that hide all my secrets.
This body of mine is covered in skin which was stretched to its limits one too many times and doesn’t fit just right anymore. Skin that droops and wrinkles in places that I worked so intently on smoothing out and making just right through the first 25 years of my life.
Others don’t see the emptiness that fills this body of mine. They don’t see the places that used to be full which now hang in forgotten loneliness. Longing to again feel the familiarity that once filled it and gave it purpose.
This body of mine is in the middle of a journey. It is on the road to newness, to find a new usefulness.
I am struggling every day to find new strength within it. Days are spent trying not to pick it apart as I’ve always done but rather to realize its current state of power and beauty.
I am seeking a renewed purpose for this body of mine, to fill it up with love and caring for those and from those who surround me.
I spend my quiet moments wrapped in or around those I love. I’m working to allow this body of mine to be filled with the warmth of caring from the people who don’t see my imperfections or emptiness.
I struggle every day to see this body of mine through the eyes of those that only see my beauty rather than as the reflection in the mirror or the view looking down when I hurriedly change.
This body of mine isn’t what it used to be. It’s been changed in unimaginable ways throughout my life’s journey
And despite its imperfections, I am doing my best to carry this body of mine through the world with my head held high and smile on my face.
Because I know in life it really doesn’t matter what’s under the clothes, what matters most is what’s behind the smile.