A reader named Jen sent me a wonderful letter to her body that she has given me permission to share with you. Last week was particularly grueling for me, and I was not kind to my body during that time. I need to follow Jen’s example and seek forgiveness from my body for the ways that I tend to take out my emotional pain on my body. I also need to forgive my body for acting and reacting in the ways that it was designed to do.
I am sorry for not listening to you, and I am sorry for hurting you when you needed me most. I let you down, because I thought you had let me down.
But really you were just doing what you have been programmed to do. It was not your fault, like it wasn’t my fault.
They tortured you, and they made my mind split from you leaving you to endure it alone. So I am sorry for being absent from you for so very long.
Today I forgive you, and I will allow you to feel your memories and I will hold them and I will accept them, and I will not cover them up by harming you.
Maybe you can forgive me too, for never listening to you, for putting you in that situation, for not being able to get away, and for hating you for so long.
My mind left when you could not. You had to endure the things that were done to you, and for that I am sorry. ~ Jen
Throughout my years of healing, I have learned that I actually have a relationship with my body, and I have not always been kind. In many ways, I have been my own body’s abuser, from banging its head into pillows to overstuffing it with food that it did not need. I have hated my body for having orgasms during sex, and I have hated my body for not having orgasms during sex. I have taken a lot of my anger out on my body even though my body did nothing to deserve it.
In fact, I have a pretty amazing body. I am in my forties and have a body that feels like it is in its twenties. My body looks younger than it is. It can endure 45 minutes on the elliptical machine followed by 20 minutes of weight training. My body can walk three or four miles without trouble. My body is quite resilient and able to adjust to the feasts and famines that I have put it through over the years.
Through therapy, I learned that I need to treat my body as my child. Why do I permit my body to live on junk food while insisting that my son’s body be fueled with healthy foods? I vacillate between caring for my body and abusing it, but my body continues to serve me well. I have spent 2010 trying to make caring for my body a priority, and I am making progress. Part of this progress has come from forgiving my body for the abuse it endured, even though I recognize that there truly is nothing to forgive.
Photo credit: Hekatekris