― Simone de Beauvoir
I find myself marveling at you year after year. As I gaze into the mirror I see myself staring back, and I can't believe how much time we have under our belts. I see my brown eyes staring back at me and I feel overcome with emotion. My eyes have witnessed so many tender moments of life. I have watched babies come into the world and I have held the hands of those so dear to me leave this world. I look down at my hands and I find myself chuckling. My fingers a bit crooked like my grandmother's and mom's. These hands have touched so many emotions, they have held many hands, they have created so many moments of remembrance. I remember holding my grandmother's hands as she went through her deathing process. I recall memorizing the veins, the lines, the spaces that life had decorated, and I can still recall wanting those brown 'dots' to decorate the tops of my hands. (I'm now retracting my last desire, no brown spots just yet.)
It still amazes me how many forces of love conspired for me to find this particular form. I spent years of my life wanting my body to be other than it was. I extended a lot of self judgement, comparison and loathing for this vessel that has agreed to partner with me for this experience called life. I beat my body up with exercise, punished it with food, and hated it at times because it wasn't like everyone else's. But body, I get it- we are all beautifully and perfectly made. All those years I could have been loving you. I take in a deep breathe. I gently whisper, "I love you and am so grateful for you!"
I look down at my skin. It has wrinkles and freckles it didn't used to, but those new decorations remind me of my time basking in the sun, feeling life warm my spirits. I rest my gaze on my heart center. There have been intense emotions in this region of my body...loving lovers, loving life, and then in the next breath feeling such intensity that I thought for sure my heart would crack under these pressures. I place my hand over my heart and I can feel the beat of my heart. God, I am so grateful. Thank you for each experience that has brought me to this place. Thank you for each teaching, each opportunity to choose love rather than fear.
I take inventory of my body and instead of ridiculing it, I find my spirit extending love. There is such honesty and authenticity in being kind.
I gaze at my smile, and I smile even wider. I love smiling! I love life, and body I just wanted you to know how much I love and appreciate you. I totally commit to working with you for the rest of our journey! It feels good to love you. I feel good to love me. Thanks for all of the adventures. So looking forward to so many more!