Forgiving Our Body
I hereby declare, by the power vested in me, that today, March 22, 2011, is Forgive Your Body Day. (FUBD-pronounced ‘fubbed’) (By the same power mentioned above, I hereby declare that I am allowed to take liberties with spelling for acronym purposes, and I hereby twitterize “your” to “ur” so as to obtain a more pleasing acronym.)
It doesn’t so much matter why we are ticked off at our bodies. Maybe we are disappointed that our bodies failed the basic evolutionary task of all organisms—procreation. Maybe we are furious that once we are able to get pregnant, our body can’t seem to do the second most elementary evolutionary job of staying pregnant. Maybe we are suffering from a serious illness, or even a not so serious illness that still interferes with what we want to do. Maybe some part of our body isn’t working the way it should and won’t let us do the things we used to do or want to do. Or maybe we just tried on a bathing suit in preparation for summer and have decided to move to the Middle East and endorse the burkha. Like I said, it doesn’t so much matter for the purposes of FUBD.
Most of us had the luxury of a perfect body when we were kids. By perfect, I mean we didn’t think about our bodies. It did what we wanted. Until we hit the teen years, most of us didn’t care about how our bodies look. If it ran, jumped, and crawled it was pretty much perfect. Then sometime along around middle school, things began to change. We started comparing ourselves to others and most often came up lacking.
Then as we moved into adulthood, some of us have had even more reason to hate our bodies. The silly thing can let us down in so many ways— infertility, pregnancy loss, slipped discs, migraines, depression, and chronic or even sporadic illnesses. It is so easy to focus on what it can’t do that it is easy to overlook all the wonderful things our bodies can do. Enter FUBD—the day to appreciate and forgive our bodies.
Maybe our bodies aren’t perfect; maybe it hasn’t been able to give us a baby, run 5 miles a day without breaking down, let us be outside in the spring without drugs and lots of tissues, or stay out till the wee hours of the morning and still function the next day. But look at all it has done for us. We can taste and smell. We can see and hear. We can walk and run and jump to some extent. We can hug and tickle. We can learn, love and laugh. All is this is a gift.
Our bodies are not perfect. No one’s is. Even the most beautiful person may be infertile or have a chronic illness. But perfect or not, this body is all we’ve got, and it deserves some appreciation. One of the things I try to remember is that the body I’m frustrated with today is probably the body I’m going to be wishing for in 10 years. I also try to remember that this body is just the vessel. Sure, I’d prefer that my vessel not be cracked, but this is the only one I’ve got, and if I’m lucky, it’s going to be with me for a long time. So, in honor of FUBD, do something kind for your body today. At the very least, thank it for what it has done for you this week.
Image credit: Pietro Izzo