Today's picture came to me inside last week's birthday card from my aunt, who had come across it while cleaning out my grandmother's purse. That's grandma in the picture, alongside (from right) my cousin Lynne, my cousin Michael, and me, circa 1976. I look at the picture sitting on my desk and I'm overwhelmed by the potential she had, the clean slate sitting in front of her just waiting to be written on, the sense of wonder with each new experience.
Look how strong her legs were, too. You'd never know that everyone told her she was "the fat one" because her cousin was so much thinner, would you? And yet, even today, I can hear their voices in my head and I nod along with them because yes, I am the fat one.
But you know what? That poor little girl wasn't fat...she had some extra inches around her waist, but if people had told her that it was OK not to have a flat stomach like everyone around her, she probably would never have become obsessed with hatred and a desire to destroy her protruding stomach. Who does that to a little girl?
So today and every day from now on, I will look into her hopeful little face and send love and gratitude down to my stomach for surviving the years of abuse, both physical and emotional. It's not a coincidence, I think, that my belly is where the crappy food that I eat goes...I have abused that poor organ so many times a day that it's a wonder it still functions. As a matter of fact, I've noticed that more and more of my "normal" meals are making my stomach upset and in turn making me nauseated. Stop the abuse, stop the hatred, send love and peace and joy and acceptance instead and feeling crappy will stop, too.
For all of you reading right now, stop where you are, think about the part of your body that you wish were smaller, tighter, a different shape, whatever, and mentally send love to it. Send it love and know that "it" is part of you and ostracizing it will not make it go away. Integrating your whole body, loving every part...celebrating every part even, that's the road that you need to take toward a healthy life.