The map of my body is not airbrushed. The landscape shows evidence of growth and occasional clumsiness.
The careful gaze from a scrupulous eye would notice my bruises, stretch marks and scars. Some of these findings seem to come and go. Others are landmarks which have been there since puberty or before.
The truth is that it took me years to love my body. There was a long road of harsh judgment and shame before I arrived at self acceptance.
Growing up, I had a hard time appreciating the visual proof of weight gain around my hips and breasts. I’d moisturize my stretch marks with cocoa butter and hoped that one day, they’d magically disappear.
On my road of self discovery, I’ve fallen off of bikes and bumped into rocks along the way. I’d be left with permanent scars to remind me of my accidents but I’d keep exploring. I wanted to experience the world and everything it had to offer.
While a bump or a bruise might seem unsightly, these elements of my body tell a story. They reflect the life of a brave woman who has navigated through adventure, hardships and change.
I realized that in order to really love myself, I needed to love all of myself. That includes my bruises, stretch marks and scars.
For you, your sore spot might be something else. I know people who don’t like their nose, their ears, or their feet. But guess what, the body is a gift. Your nose helps you smell, your ears allow you to hear, and your feet keep you standing tall. So try to appreciate it.
Your body is the vehicle for which you get to experience the world. This is your chance to live a wonderful life. Can you let go of judgment and learn to love your scars?
Even with cellulite on my thighs, I can still run and dance. I give great high fives and hugs with scars on my hands. Plus I can do downward dog with bruises on my legs and balance in headstand with stretch marks on my hips.
I choose to release the shame and accept all of myself. All of my “imperfections” are evidence of a life well lived. This is the only body that I’ve got so I’m going to love it while I can.
This is an excerpt from MindBodyGreen