a grateful letter to my body

Dear Body,

So, the last few days have been pretty rough on all of us. After we went on our Super Fun Big City Adventure last week, you basically crashed. Friday to Sunday was a non-stop disaster of exhaustion, poor sleep at night and constant inability to stay awake during the day, bone-deep physical weariness, emotional and mental fog, and delirious stumbling around the house unable to really think, hold things, eat real food, or drink more than water. It was a pretty miserable experience all around.

I guess I should probably apologize. I put you through a hell of a ringer last week–we did a lot of travel in a seriously short amount of time, and you don’t tend to do super well with travel, late nights, lots of walking, and huge amounts of physical/mental engagement and stimuli happening all at once. That’s my bad, and you were a champ for putting up with all that craziness. I knew your limits, and I pushed you past them. I’m sorry for that.

We’re on the mend now, or getting there. We had another rough night’s sleep last night, but I think we broke five hours, which is pretty great. And we even managed to get a cup of coffee into our system today, and had the mental energy to see our clients and even do some writing when we got home. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for decent sleep tonight!

Body, I want to express some gratitude to you. I don’t do that very often because I’m often so frustrated with you. We’re in our mid-twenties, what feels like it’s supposed to be the healthiest time of our life, and instead I often feel overwhelmed with irritation and frustration at my inability to travel, to run, to keep plans with friends, to tolerate certain fabrics and temperatures. But you are my body, the only one that I have, and even though you are often exhausted and in pain, I owe you my thanks.

Thank you, body, for the ability you give me to experience the world. You are the gateway of my senses, and without you I would not be able to see the smiles of my friends and family, to hear music or laughter, to touch my dog’s soft fur, to smell freshly brewed coffee in the morning, to taste cool, sweet water. Thank you for being the conduit through which I feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.

Thank you, body, for carrying me through my life. Sometimes our steps are slow, sometimes they are halting, sometimes we feel like we are not moving at all, but nonetheless we are taking steps. Thank you for the press of my feet to the ground, holding me to the earth and keeping me moving.

Thank you, body, for helping me to learn my limits. Your warnings let me know when I am pushing myself too hard, and you tell me, clearly, when I have crossed a line. I don’t listen to you like I should, and I owe you better.

Thank you, body, for being my ally in this adventure of health and illness. We have changed so very much together, and have sometimes fought against one another, angry and frustrated and sad and frightened, but I think that we are learning, slowly, to find a peace. Thank you for continuing to teach me and guide me, even when I don’t listen to your lessons.

Thank you, body, for holding my heart, that has received so much love. Thank you for my hands, for helping me to write stories into existence from nothing more than dreams, for allowing me to craft the narrative of my life in pen and ink. Thank you for my toes, which have wiggled in sand and mud and grass and water. Thank you for my arms, which for all their aches have nonetheless held so many embraces. Thank you for my back, which for all its pain allows me to carry my head and my mind. Thank you for my head, where my migraines and fogs and confusions still make room for thoughts and dreams and questions and goals.

Thank you, body, for growing with me. Thank you for your ability to change and heal and endure.

Thank you for being mine.

Love,

Shelly

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3 thoughts on “a grateful letter to my body

  1. Pingback: on reconnecting (happiness project, part 7) | Human Living Human[e]ly

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