Updated: May 23, 2019
“Apologize to your body,
That's where the healing begins.”
When I was preparing for my 10 year wedding anniversary trip I realized that I would be walking around half naked as you do in a swimming suit when you're at the beach. Being fully aware of this brought me to a place of standing in front of the mirror where I could knit pick all the ways I wasn't "beach body ready." As a mom who hadn't done a great job of taking care of myself or paying attention to my needs, I felt tired before I even began to "get back in shape."
But I also felt an invitation of a new kind rise up in me. An invitation to bless my body into being rather than curse it. I felt like God was etching a new path for me. Preparing for my anniversary trip was in fact an opportunity to see how far I had come. It was an opportunity to practice doing things a new way.
You see, I had years of memories of devaluing and cursing my body. Years of shame for not being a certain way. Memories of pointing out what was wrong, comparing and shaming myself. I realized that all of the ways I had rejected my own body was disconnecting me from the very body God gave me. A sorrow rose up in me- I began to see how my cursing and negative self talk had damaged me and how I was carrying it around with me.
"If this body is not good and holy in and of itself, then God should never have made it in the first place. It's the flower hating its vibrant petals, the beautiful tree sprouting from the earth only to grow and be ashamed of it's bark." -Lisa Gungor
I began journaling an apology to myself, an apology to my own body for how I had mistreated it. I allowed my mind to flood with memories of times I rejected my body. I began the process of forgiving myself and offering grace.
Sometimes it takes looking back so that we can make amends to the places we need to. Allowing God to illuminate our memories while filling them with His light through forgiveness brings enormous amounts of healing. This is taking back holy ground where we have cursed ourselves, and can now breathe life into it. And God is faithful to “restore the years the locust have eaten.” -Joel 2:25
Forgiveness was the gift that wiped my slate clean. God’s forgiveness of me and my own for myself was the gift that brought healing. Reconciliation gave me a new way of seeing. I could now see that my body had served me in amazing ways, and was in fact beautiful. So my "getting into shape" came out of a place of deep respect for her, it was out of blessing instead of cursing.
This process was so transformative I knew I had to share it. So if you're on this same journey, learning to love your body and desire for her to be healthy, this is for you.