So, I literally ran out of the shower to write this down—that’s how fleeting gratitude to my body can be.
It was a lazy Sunday type of shower, with no time limit.
I was going through the rare process of pampering my body, using the “good soap,” the fluffy sponge and extra conditioner. Hell, I even shaved my legs—a rare occurrence in my world!
Then, I became aware of the fact that I was smiling.
Who smiles in the shower?
I thought to myself, “Wow—what’s going on here?”
A quick inventory of my thoughts, and what my body felt like, took me by surprise.
I realized, “Holy crap, this is gratitude. Like, intense, overwhelming gratitude.”
It was such a strange, peaceful sensation of love for my body.
My usual outlook, regarding my body in the shower, is not so pleasant. I’m usually trying to ignore the parts I’m insecure about—actually, I typically ignore my whole body in general and focus on getting clean as fast as possible.
I’m also often distracted, going through my usual mental check list of everything else I have to do. It sounds a lot like a version of this:
Did I feed the dog? Did my husband remember to pick up the groceries—does he even know what groceries we need this week? Do I have time to vacuum? Is that shirt I need to wear clean? What time do I need to be there on Monday?
You see how weird it was to find myself smiling?
But I was smiling alright—in fact, I almost giggled. Seriously.
Then bam! Images of my body started flashing through my mind—nice images, appreciative images, beautiful images—like a hurricane, fast and furious.
I thought, “I’d better get this down asap—making it permanent, so that I can find this gratitude more often.”
I kid you not—lathered and sopping wet from the shower—I scrambled to find a way to get these thoughts of gratitude out as fast as possible, before I lost them.
This is my thank you to my body:
I know that I don’t thank my body nearly enough. You know what I do?
I criticize it, I put it down. I tell it where it could be better, smaller, firmer, darker, lighter, softer, stronger and smoother. You know what I’m talking about, right?
But today I tell it none of those things.
Today I tell my body a big, fat, stinking thank you.
I’m telling my body thank you, for being exactly as you are. Thank you for being strong when you need to be, thank you for being functional when you need to be and thank you for being a vessel for who I am on the inside.
Thank you for being a vehicle for my soul. Literally, you take me from point A, to point B, so I can share who I am and what I have to offer with the world. That alone deserves a really big thank you.
To all those little parts (and maybe not so little parts) that are really difficult to thank—I want to give you an extra big thank you.
To my thighs that jiggle when I walk—thank you for being strong enough, and able enough, to walk me to the bathroom every morning when I wake up.
Thank you to my skin—with all its freckles, scars, stretch marks, hair, paleness and dark spots. I love you for all of that. Thank you for protecting me against an external world that can do me harm. Thank you for encasing my muscles, my organs and my soul. Thank you for being smooth and soft, sturdy and rough, in exactly the ways you are.
To my arms, that may or may not flap when I’m excited—thank you for being strong enough to pull me, push me and swing by my side every day.
To my delicious, curvaceous, bootylicious booty—thank you for bearing my weight whenever I decide to rest. Thank you for being my locomotion when I run, sprint, jump and rise. And an extra thank you for enticing my husband to show his affections—you know what I mean.
Thank you to my chest, that may or may not be large enough, soft enough or firm enough, to meet the expectations placed upon me and the expectations I place upon myself. Today you are exactly enough. I thank you today for being a strong place to keep my heart beating and for being a soft place to cradle my loved ones.
Here comes my hardest thank you—thank you to my stomach.
Oh yeah, I went there.
You and I have had our good days and bad days, and today I wish to grant you and myself a big thank you.
Thank you for being my core, my strength. For helping me rise when I get knocked down, and for helping me sit up when I’m falling. Thank you for twisting and shouting when my body needs sustenance. And thank you for being a little bit extra soft, because when little ones run up to me, embracing me, screaming, “Auntie!”—I know their heads have a soft place to rest. When they bury their little faces into my not-so-little-pouch, it must be pretty comfy.
Thank you to my entire body for functioning, and being, exactly how it should be.
This is my ode to you—my body, as you are.
And not as I think you should be.
Or as I may want you to be—but just as you are, right now.
You’re exactly right.
Today—and I hope every day—I thank you.
I love you a little bit extra.
In case I forget, this is here as a reminder.
Now, let’s go dance the day away together—after I finish this shower.
Author: Taylor Oomen
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Rikard Elofsson