Thank you, body (3)
It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves as we really are. Our perception is like a fun house mirror exaggerating one feature or another. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing, alive with the story unfolding in our head. We don’t see ourselves looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There’s no mirror to reflect what you look like when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly yourself.
In honor of Valentine's Day this week, and in honor of building up all women around us, I am going to list the 10 things I truly appreciate about my body, call it a Valentine’s Day to myself. I would love for you to gift yourself the same. You are welcome to share yours here, or wherever you feel most comfortable. Don't just think these wonderful things about yourself; write your thoughts of appreciation down and save them in a place you can read them, again and again.
10 Things I Love About My Body
1. I have pretty feet that are long and nicely shaped, and I often have them nicely pedicured (DIY, because I do not have the patience to sit through a salon-version). I live in places where I get to wear sandals most days, so I enjoy showing off those painted toes. I got the feet and the love of painted toes from my mom. Thank you, Anyu!
2. My eyes are surrounded by a web of crinkles that remind me how much and how often I’ve enjoyed laughing, and I know my dimple is becoming a slice, but it too, flashes often.
3. I like how tall I am; at 5,9", I can reach things on the top shelf in most kitchens, and have long arms and legs. Being tall felt awkward when I was younger (especially tween and teen years) but now I like that I fall above the 'average height' window.
4. My legs can do anything. Like my dad, I have big calves, but I don't mind. I can run, bike, swim, not always well, but I can do it. I am not the least bit flexible but I can muscle my way through a yoga class.
5. My eyes are a nice almond-y shape, and interesting color -- not quite green, not quite brown -- with lashes long enough that they give a lot of oomph, especially when I use mascara. I love a good mascara. Eyes are a window to one’s thoughts and emotions, and I love that mine have a pleasant brown-green-gold hue.
6. My curly hair gives a surprise every day. It may or may not be fabulous, but it’s never boring. It weathers a bad cut fairly well, and luckily, I have learned to accept what it wants to do (which take 5 minutes tops to ‘do’ every morning, and that includes washing the product off my hands after applying); the time spent fighting to get it to do anything else is better used elsewhere. I didn't grow up with curly hair, but rather, it was gifted to me when I had my kiddos, some sort of hormonal nudge on my hair glands. I embrace this gift, and embrace my curls in all their glory.
7. I’m deeply grateful that when we decided to have babies, my body got pregnant without difficulty, and I carried all three babies without too many difficulties. I am profoundly aware that this is not the case for everyone and I absolutely do not take it for granted. I did not at all appreciate being pregnant, but the end results are nothing short of sheer magic.
8. My shoulders are strong, and I love how they contribute to the best things like swimming.
9. My legs are strong from years of running and moving. I love that I can (mostly) keep up with the boys, and that I can try any new sport and do at least somewhat admirably. I have an enthusiasm of movement that I try to share with others through teaching workouts.
10. I love my curious brain, and how it thinks, jumping from one topic to the next. I love to ask questions, to learn more, to discover something new, every day.
Now you: Take a deep breath, look in the mirror and tell me. What do you love about your body?