Saturday, April 11, 2009

letter to my body

In Body Image group, I was asked to write a letter to my body. At first, I didn't want to. I know how I feel about my body, and I didn't want to write it a damn letter. But, what came out on paper was not at all what I expected. I'm sharing this letter with you, because I think it is a worthwhile exercise for anyone who feels a separation between mind and body.

Dear Body,

I hate you. I'm sorry I hate you, because it's really not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. You're so good to me - you let me do everything I want to do and almost never get mad. I'm always trying to change you, to make you better. But nothing you could ever be would be good enough. I know it's not fair to you, but I don't know how to stop. I wish I could appreciate you for what you are and what you do for me, but the world around me tells me that that's not enough. It tells me that it doesn't matter if you're getting what you need; it doesn't matter if you work right. It just matters what you look like. I've never appreciated what you do; I've only ever cared about how you look. I'm really sorry. I don't know how to change.

Love, Lily


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think my letter would be the exact same. I only see what is wrong with my body instead of what is good about my body.

    Interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Dear Lily - I appreciate your blunt honesty. I believe that acknowledgment is one of the first steps to healing and you are firmly on the path.

    In my writing class in NJ we were once asked to find something that we liked or even loved about our bodies - most of the women being over 60, it wasn't an easy assignment. When I reflected I realized I could appreciate my body for its health. Recently,inspired by an e-mail you forwarded to me, I asked my body to push hard and bike ride 100 miles. It was a lot to ask. And we trained and tried and I went further physically than I had ever before. I'm amazed at what our bodies can do when we ask.

    You recently wrote about dance and movement - a gift you are giving to your body. While we fret about how our bodies look (doesn't every woman? - even the wise Maya Angelou recently wrote that her breast are having a race to see which one gets to her knees first), we can also enjoy our bodies' abilities and possibilities and well being. And maybe, like Maya, laugh at our shared feminine predicament once in a while.

    Healing is natural and change will come. Keep on writing, expressing, discovering, reaching, thinking, dancing, loving, moving. You are wonderful.


  4. I don't know how to change either, and it hurts to hate the body that you reside in. You are brave to share your letter:)

  5. Julie, Mom, Angela -

    Thank you all for your support. As someone who is not usually open about my vulnerability and emotions, it is definitely scary to share something this personal. But, your comments make me glad I did. Thank you!!!

  6. Hi Lily~ Me again:) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I was also at the Renfrew in Fl. in 2007. I tried writing the letter to my body last night, and was really emotional. Great exercise! I may post mine on my blog and also link to your blog if you don't mind. Thanks again for sharing your struggles and success.
    Take care

  7. Hey Lily,
    I read your blog today and your letter to your body just seemed to hit me between the eyes. I almost cried. Your honesty is so touching, and even more, so incredibly brave. I second what Katharine said about expression being a precursor to healing. These discoveries will heal you AND those around you. I'm so glad you are using this blog, as it sheds much needed light on the wounds so many women keep in the dark. We can all relate to this in some way at some time. And its crucial that this be expressed, as too many people are suffering in isolation. It's one of our tasks as women at this time to rewrite and repossess the standards shoved at us from society. I completely support you in your progress, and I hold the intent for you that you that you heal in every way. I'm rooting for ya! You go!

  8. That was by me, Emily, who got so emotional at the end that she forgot to sign her name. {: