I subscribe to Psychologies magazine and love receiving it in the post every month. In the viewpoint section near the beginning of the magazine they have a column called “I’d like to thank…” which is submitted by a reader each month. This months letter struck a chord with me- the reader would like to thank her BODY.
The body is something that regularly lucks out on the gratitude front. People, particularly women, spend so much time hating or thinking negatively about their bodies that gratitude doesn’t even register. We worry about how we could be thinner, or have smoother skin, or be taller/shorter/curvier….fill in your own blank. Rarely do we get chance to celebrate and cherish our own bodies which without- no matter what form they take- we would not be here. I think this is particularly poignant for me as a mother of a child with CF. Having Joe makes me realise how lucky I am to be healthy, how lucky I am that all my organs currently work correctly and continue to do so no matter how many times I criticize my body. And I hope that Joe can grow up being thankful for all the amazing things his body can do rather than focusing on the things that are more difficult or not possible because of his CF.
So I hope you can join me today in taking a few moments to be thankful for your body. Whether you are tall or short, fat or thin, able bodied or disabled.
Here is the letter from the column in Psychologies:
Firstly I want to apologise for treating you so badly, with so little respect. I have punished you, hated you and taken you for granted for so many years when all you ever wanted was the best for me.
You are miraculous, and yet I have abused you for most of my life, through drink and drugs, relentless dieting, binging and starvation, slimming pills and junk food. How is it that you are still here? How have you survived everything that I have put you through? You are so strong. Most days I have told you that you’re ugly, or too fat, or not good enough, and yet stoically you support me despite my vitriol and name calling. I have often been embarrassed of you and hidden you away, and I have rarely considered your needs. I have failed to nurture you. It’s a tragedy that only recently I have begun to see your immense beauty. Only now that your once toned flesh has become padded and dimpled, and there are wrinkles in place of once soft creaseless flesh. Why did I never notice how beautiful you were-and still are?
I am trying so hard to love you, my darling body. I am thankful for every cell, every tissue, every fibre, every bone. I promise to look after you. To feed you nourishing foods, to whisper kind words to you, to stop the abuse. We can be friends now. I hope that you will grow old with me.
I love you. Thank you.”