When was the last time you stood in front of a mirror and gazed at yourself? If you are cringing at the very thought then I bet it has been awhile.
I realized some time ago that I disliked my body, I did not necessarily hate it, I just did not love it either…Especially after babies.
When I was young, I had a nice, hourglass shape, flat tummy, smooth skin…You know, all the beautiful amenities that come with youth. Now, I suddenly find myself older, and I have brought two human beings into this world, a feat, I know, but a journey for my body also. My body has been stretched, and changed over time, and it has morphed into a shape that is foreign to me.
So here I find myself, in the rosy glow of the night light, standing in front of my bathroom mirror examining this body; the one I once knew so well and felt so much pride in. Is it really that different? Yes, it is. But it is also still beautiful.
Beautiful because it has loved my husband. Beautiful because it has brought babies into this world. Beautiful because it has shown kindness through hugs. Beautiful because it has held many in comfort. Beautiful because it’s still me, it will always be me.
As I look at this new body that has emerged over time, I can see the beauty in the stretch marks that tell the story of self sacrifice, when I gave my body over to the wonders of bringing new life into this world. I can see the beauty of that well placed mole that my husband loves to kiss. I can see the beauty in the strong arms that are capable of hugging tightly and bringing correction if needed. I can see the beauty in the breasts that have fed and nourished the little ones that my heart loves so deeply.
It has taken me years to develope this body and it may take me years to appreciate it fully again, but I am going to try. At the very least I will respect this living piece of art that has given so much to this world.
My challenge to you today Lovely, is have you looked? Have you stared? Have you studied that body of yours? Have you spent time appreciating the beautiful complexities of the body that God bestowed upon you? Have you exulted in the triumphs it has seen and yes, mourned some of the losses that fade with youthful beauty?
No matter how your body has changed over the years, for good or bad, it is beautiful and worthy; because it is the temple that houses your exquisite spirit.
So instead of rushing from one outfit to the next covering up the unique beauty that is you, stop, pause, take a moment to study.
And if you’re scared like I was, start with small steps. Take your first gander in the soft forgiving light of a candle or a night light. If you want to, start in your favorite bra and a cute pair of panties. Look from the front, look from the side, look over your shoulder at the back. See the beauty your husband sees every day. Gaze at that body and face that your children adore.
Find that freckle, that mole, or beauty mark that you love. Find the curve of your breast or the bend in your knee that is sexy. Look at yourself and openly admire the handiwork that God created.
For you Friend, are beautiful; your body is beautiful.
Cheers to Beauty,
PS) It’s just, so, hard…I know. But beauty and self worth start on the inside, it starts with accepting who we are and the body we’ve been given. Changing the culture of negative body image will only come with time and with women who are willing to stand up and say “I love my body, flaws and all”. Women who are willing to flaunt the perfectly imperfect and raise the standard for coming generations. How Friends, will we ever be able to teach our daughters that they are beautiful, if we ourselves hide our bodies in shame? No. Self worth, self acceptance, positive body image, starts right here, right now with me. I will love myself and the body I have been given, and I hope you do too.