Our Bodies, Aging and Love
The first two words I imagine one has seen a lot, but when you add the last word into that equation a mountain of emotions and feelings come reluctantly attached. Most people can’t imagine love connected to those first two words: bodies and aging. It is often a raging battle throughout their lifetime.
Why is that?
Where did it become so mixed up along the way that our bodies were not something to love?
Who was the first to decide that aging should always have negative connotations?
These two words are life.
These two words are journey.
These words dance together and should bring stories of love, light and joy, not sadness, fear, regret, hatred, or self-loathing. I marvel every day at my age. It seems like yesterday I was a child in the school yard thinking how old the adults all seemed. It was something I could not grasp that it too would be my reality one day.
Then there comes a point where all we want to do is grow up as fast as we can. We reluctantly understand that it comes with responsibilities; but we desperately think it will make us happy to be anywhere other than where we are when we are young.
Until we get there. Then we realize that happy is the furthest emotion from the hardcore truth of responsibility at times. Furthermore, at that point we find ourselves in a body we sit in that seems foreign to us.
I remember vividly watching people in my life as they physically changed. Personally, I have had a love hate relationship with my body since I was a young child as a survivor. I came from a relationship with my body that was wounded and scarred. I came from a background where there was not a lot of support around my body or the story it told. I grew up figuring out my own way in terms of my body, all alone; that was not always a good thing. I don’t think I am unique in that reality. Early on when women can’t find peace within their body journey, it is nearly impossible to guide anyone else down that path.
Out of fear of understanding the changes and the stories my body was trying to speak early on, I jumped into the attack of my being through disorder body image for fourteen years. Somewhere along the pathway of that healing journey I introduced the healthy body to the fearful body, and we began to learn a dance within its beauty that never had been defined before. A welcome rarity, albeit slow. Some days are harder than others, but the continued gift in listening and exploring the wisdom my body speaks never tires.
Some may never learn this dance.
Some may lay in the darkness of fear and shame never understanding the gift within their body.
Some will only ever abuse their body by hiding away or by disguising their true body through the endless forms of dieting and cultural anti-body norms that will have them never taking a true and deep breath of acceptance in their truth that they were born into beauty.
Which are you today?
Which do you want to be tomorrow?
Our bodies are our intimate and personal story. No one can speak to them but you.
Our bodies are speaking to us every day.
Our bodies are carrying us through this life stepping courageously into the unknown of each day. I want to look in the mirror and stare lovingly into my eyes seeing the wrinkles on either side, remembering that the endless moments of laughter, joy, tears of sadness and pain that eventually brought healing peace were the foundation of those wrinkles.
Our stomachs will never be what they were from the beginning to the end of life. They will have stretch marks that will tell an abundance of stories, of bringing life into this world, of enjoying life to its fullest.
I want to be able celebrate the curves that have come over time as I healed and lovingly grew into my body. The dimples that have appeared in the most loving and living of ways.
Those wrinkles, the scars, my skin, my loving pillows are my journey, my story. I don’t want to hide them anymore in oversized clothing or masked in cultural pressures to change their immeasurable beauty.
Let me tell you all of the stories that are engraved into my face, my hands, my arms, my legs and my stomach.
I am not ashamed.
Let me remember how I lived fully in this body.
Let me remember lovingly and gratefully!
Our bodies are not covered in flaws, they are aged in an endless beautiful story.
I am real.
I am beautiful.
Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.