Friday, January 14, 2011

I Love My Body

I love my body.  Not the way you might think.  I don't mean that I love the way my body looks.  At this point in my life especially, I don't.  I'm carrying much more weight than I had, and I don't care for that.  And I've lost some, but not nearly what I need to to feel healthy and good.  But I mean something different than that.

I mean that I love my body - I love the collection of atoms that have collected in various cells, to become various organs and structures and fluids giving me physical life.  They give me a physical, tangible, 3D reality with which to interact with the rest of the 3 dimensional world.  Without them, and the way they form into my body, I'm just a soul, a spirit, unable to participate in life.

We each get one.  A body that is.  And these bodies are our responsibility for as long as we inhabit them.  Which can be such a pain.  Feeding and clothing them takes a lot of time and money and fashion sense.  And getting it from place to place and taking care of it along the way - ugh.  Can you imagine how much easier travel would be if we never had to find a bathroom or worry about an upset stomach or jet lag?

But the upside of all of it is pretty far up.  The upside is the chance to participate in life in 10,000 different ways, to experience and express and invent and create and enjoy and behold and...(fill in your own verb here).  So when I say I love my body I don't mean in the Dove commercial self-affirming all-women-are-beautiful kind of way.  Seriously.

Our bodies are amazing, but they are continually degrading collections of cells designed for a specific purpose for a limited period of time.  I'm not too romantic about that.  But I still love my body for all the things it allows me to do through it, this magnificent instrument through which I get to play the music of my life. 

Just spend maybe one hour noticing all the ways your fingers are such incredible tools.  How magnificently your lungs breathe in and out without any thought on your part.  How your eyes take in so much information and your brain processes it.  How your heart just keeps beating and beating and beating.  How your network of veins and arteries keep your blood oxygenated.  How your toes help keep you balanced and your knees bend just so and your arms rotate in all sorts of directions, and your nails grow just exactly in the places you need them most.  And your skin covers it all and keeps your blood from leaking all over the place and ruining your carpet.  I know it might not all work perfectly.  Mine doesn't either.

But I'm delighted to have one at all, and I'll make do with this one for now.  And if I have any resolution for 2011, it's to work lovingly with this amazing collection of cells that comprise my body, for this lifetime, to be a better reflection of the best qualities of its current occupant - me.