My Body Has Been Hurt, But It Will Heal

To The Body That's Been Through A Lot, Let's Heal Together

You have gotten me through the worst; you have loved me when I didn't love you. You are home.

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Dear body,

Undoubtedly, you have been through a lot. You have been invaded multiple times, your wants being ignored. You have clenched up out of fear and been violated and scared. You have been treated like an object belonging to someone other than you.

You have been hurt by disordered eating behaviors. You have been fed too much and too little. You have lost yourself in these actions. You have been criticized and not appreciated for your true purpose: to allow me to live, to go see friends, to enjoy ice cream.

Overall, you have been mistreated. You have not been treated like a friend, and for all that you do, you deserve better. For these things, I am so sorry.

I want you to remember that you and I are autonomous beings. You are not anyone else's. You have a say over what happens to you, even when you feel powerless. You are so able and strong and you will be respected. You deserve that; it is (or should be) a right instead of a privilege. I read one time that skin cells live about two to three weeks, meaning the skin that was damaged and disrespected is long gone.

Thank you for all you've done despite what I have done to you. You work so hard to keep me alive and keep my body functioning at its best. You love me so much and I have not loved you back in the way you deserve.

To the mind that's inside the body, thank you for getting me through the worst. You have survived chemical imbalances and mental health challenges. You have found a way out of the dark every single time. You weren't alone in this — friends and family definitely helped — but ultimately, you had the choice, and you made the right one. You deserve credit, too. At the end of the day, you're what I have, you're what makes the final decision.

Here's to better days with you; here's to being your friend. Here's to going to Zumba classes because they're fun, not because I want you to work off calories. Here's to knowing I have the power to try to stand up for you as best I can when people try to take what's yours. Here's to your favorites, like bubble baths and a cup of fudge brownie with chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Here's to hugs and warm showers and whatever food you're craving. Here's to sleep and relaxation.

Engaging in these activities and behaviors won't be easy. It's hard for me to ignore the calculator in my head when I eat because it's been with me for so long. Beating revictimization and self-worth issues will take time. Body, you are constantly going places to do homework and get involved with the campus community and see friends, which doesn't leave much time for sleep in a short 24 hour day.

But I will try. When you're happy, so am I. I know that I won't regret making strides for my well-being. I know that I'm stronger than I used to be and that I'm trying to make up for what we've lost and to work on improving. This is not the beginning, nor is it the end. This is knowing that I can and deserve to heal. This is for us.

Like Mary Lambert sang in her song "Body Love": "Our bodies deserve more than to be war-torn and collateral... my body is home."

With all of the love and appreciation you've deserved for so long,

Ashley

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I Know My Face Looks Like A Tomato, Thank You For Reminding Me Of My Insecurity

People are already aware of the blemishes they have on their bodies... trust me.

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Throughout my entire life, I have struggled with having a face-flushing problem. I turn beet red at practically anything. Am I embarrassed? Too hot? Exercising? Having a simple one on one conversation with my best friend about a completely mundane topic? Yes, any and all of these things make my face flush. My family and closest friends are all used to this phenomena by now, but nonetheless, it is still my biggest insecurity, no matter how many times I'm told, "it isn't even that bad."

The reason why it docks my self-confidence so much is because everyone loves to always comment on it, without fail, every time I get hot in the cheeks.

"You look so red, are you feeling OK?"

"Wow, looks like you got some sunburn today."

"Aw look, you're blushing. Are you embarrassed?"

Whether you're asking out of concern, or just saying something purely observational, it does not need to be said. I can 110% guarantee you that I am already aware my face looks like it's on fire, for the heat radiating under my skin is enough evidence for me. But...thanks for letting me know that yes, it really is that noticeable.

I have come to dread people pointing it out so much that I have gotten into this unhealthy, self-hating habit of commenting on it before others can. I now tend to grab my cheeks and say "my face is so red," just so others don't do it for me. However, this only makes me more aware of it.

Granted, there is a good chance that no one is judging me for it, but it still makes me self-conscious, and I'm pretty sure it always will. However, this would not be an issue if others did not feel the need to make a verbal observation about someone else's physical appearance.

There is a quote that I am absolutely in love with, that needs to be promoted everywhere. It reads, "If it is not something that can be fixed within five seconds, do not comment about it." Thus, if you're pointing out another person's physical attributes, more than likely they're already aware of it, so don't remind them.

Is someone's tag sticking out? Tell them!

Does your friend have toilet paper stuck to their shoe? Pull it off!

However, if your friend got absolutely fried at the beach and has skin peeling on their nose, don't remind them of it! There is absolutely nothing they can do in the moment to fix it, so why do you want to hurt their self-esteem?

These are the types of comments that are truly detrimental to people's body image. Even if you don't mean your remarks in a negative way, they still aren't worth the risk of making someone feel bad about themselves.

So, next time you want to point out how bony someone is, how much acne they have, or how bright their cheeks look...don't.

I cannot emphasize it enough, but if it isn't something that can be changed within five seconds, don't say a word. Be there to compliment others, not accidentally insult them.

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The Life Of A Curvy Girl Is Very Exciting

To every curvy girl out there, share your curves as a positive outcome to your circumstances

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Have you ever noticed in all the magazines, blogs, and TV it shows a thin size woman? In all the entertainment I take in, there was always a skinny woman. It brought down my self-esteem, and I would try to starve myself, yet it doesn't help. However, what if I was meant to be a curvy girl?

Before I go any further, I know that God gave me this body to take of it. But what if I was meant to be this size so, I can touch others who feel negative towards their bodies? For every curvy woman, you are so beautiful!!

Throughout my life, I wasn't thin. I had a gut. I had thighs. I was very unhappy with myself. Yet, I look at the expectations and what people will be happy with. But if there is one thing I realized, its that people are temporary. The naysayers in your life are not set in gold. They will push you to make sure that you're happy with yourself. I truly believe if people look at me weird, that means I'm doing an amazing job with not conforming in the world but transforming in the renewing of the mind. By the way, that's Romans 12:2 in the bible!

When it comes to the curves, I'm truly grateful for them. There are some positives to having a curvy body. For one, when it comes to wearing jeans, it shapes you well. The curves pop and the haters bow down! Other than that, I truly love how I look in jeans! Another positive thing about curves, its that there are amazing clothes for us! I was on Facebook the other day, and I saw a company called Dia&Co.; Dia&Co; is a customized clothing company for plus sized women which has all the styles. When I saw the clothes, I was truly amazed. The colors and the material of the clothes were truly special.

What defines beauty? Is it makeup or having a model's body? Is it buying the most expensive clothes as a statement? I'm here to tell you those are not the definitions of beauty. The true definition of beauty is acceptance. Accepting the circumstances, even if other people say so. True beauty is waking up with a smile on your face for living another day and finding your purpose in life. Beauty is being you!

To all of you curvy women out there in the world, you are truly a blessing. Thank you for standing out of the normal and taking a step to give others the courage to becoming their selves. I learned to treat my body with the utmost respect. I must learn to take care of it and embrace it at the same time. Psalms 139:14 says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well." So, Instead of me being a worried progress, God made me a working progress, because all things work together for good.

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