Thursday, 14 March 2013

A letter

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13-14

Dear body,

We've not always got on too well, you and I.  Over our years together, there have been shots taken by both sides.

I've felt let down by you, when dizziness strikes, seemingly from nowhere; when adrenaline races and I crumple in panic; when food is not digested well; when I struggle to find energy and stamina; when tall heights make me sway; when my eyesight gets that bit poorer.  Over time, all of things things have led me to seek control, or to hold back - ultimately, to have little trust in you.

But I am not blameless.  I have not always treated you kindly.  I have spoken ill of you.  I have compared you unfavourably with others - forgetting that there can be no comparison in all of our uniqueness.  I have harmed you, physically, in my desire to control.  I have placed unfair expectations on you, all kinds of pressures.  And then I've criticised and scorned and backed away when you've failed to meet them.

My dear body, I am sorry.  In all your so called 'weakness', you have helped me develop strength of character.  You have helped me persevere.  You have helped me appreciate the wonderful good health that I experience for the majority of the time.  And even in hard moments, dizzy moments or anxious moments, we find a way through.  Sometimes I feel like you hold me back - but really, when I look at my life and the things I've been able to accomplish, the things I've been able to enjoy, nothing could be further from the truth.  Sure, some things have been a little tougher than they might have been - but really, there are few things that I've longed to do that you've kept me from.

My dear body, I am sorry.  For all the times I have spoken or thought ill of you.  For all of the times I placed unreasonable expectations on you, and then detached myself even more when you failed to measure up.  For all the times I hurt you, whether it be by mistrust, or control, or harm.  For all the times I fail to appreciate all the wonderful things you do each day without me even realising.

My dear body, I am so thankful for you.  I really am.  I am thankful for you as you are - and of course I still seek healing for those areas of 'weakness'.  But even if they were never to heal or mend or lessen, I could still rejoice and be thankful.  You are a gift to me.  You enable me to experience so much good!  Whether in the day to day actions of living, to bigger adventures, I have so little to complain about!

My dear body, I am particularly thankful for this pregnancy.  For what it has done for our relationship.  I've done so little - you have stepped up and grown and developed and carried this little person.  And all I've been able to do is sit back and watch in awe.  Sure, there have been tricky moments, but we've weathered them together, and I've been learning to give you as much grace as I can muster - and found that we meet each other in the gracious places.  And, my eyes have opened to how beautiful you are!  How ironic, that when I'm at my heaviest, my curviest, bursting at the seams of my regular wardrobe, I feel so comfortable in my own skin, so free, so unapologetic for how you look, so proud in fact, of what you have become.

My dear body, as I await for you to deliver my little boy, I've noticed some of the old patterns emerge.  The expectations.  The mistrust.  The fear.  Because there is little I can do to make this next bit happen - I have to wait, to be patient, to trust that you know what you're doing.  And that frightens me - I want to know!!  And when I can't, my mind goes to those dark places that say that you'll fail me, that you'll let me down, that you won't cope.  Well, my dear body, those are lies.  Because no matter how this next bit goes - whether you spring into action on your own or whether you need a little (or a lot of) help, you cannot let me down. We're in this together, and I am determined to be your cheering squad rather than your enemy.

My dear body, please bear with me.  I am still learning, and years estrangement are tricky to overcome.  There will be times when I react in fear, or when I seek to control, or when I think or speak ill of you.  Please be patient, because I am trying, I truly am.

With love and thankfulness and hope.