Sarah Sapora, Mantra Columnist
Photo: Nichole Alex
One day you may wake up with a body that doesn’t look like yours. You may look down and see wrinkles like melted wax where it was once smooth. (Like, just yesterday, right?) Parts of you may have found gravity. Parts that were high and tight are now… slack. One day you may find yourself in the arms of a lover, wishing the lights were off. Where you once stood naked in the sun, you silently hope for shadows and darkness to conceal that body that no longer looks like yours. One day you may find yourself looking at another woman, a younger woman or a thinner woman, or one with less gray hair or “better” cheekbones, or larger breasts… you may find yourself looking at her, unable to see her beauty, only seeing what you lack. Each of those days is a day you make a choice. Each of those moments is an opportunity for you to do something so achingly simple, yet often so hard… to choose love.
Love yourself. Anyway. In spite of it. Because of it. Love yourself just the same. Because your body is YOURS and it is the only one you have. In that body, you make love. In that body, you laugh. In that body, you give life. In that body, you show up for a day that is yours. In that body, you have the potential to inspire others with your willingness to accept, to find peace with, to find gratitude for who you are. Love yourself. I know, you say, it’s not easy. In fact, sometimes it’s damn hard. And we live in a society that profits off vulnerability. But you gotta do it, because the alternative gets you nowhere. You can change that body. You can gain weight or lose weight, or tone up, or soften, or tattoo it, or pierce it... but that body is yours just the same. You cannot trade it in for another. So start loving right now. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent a month, or a year, or a lifetime at war with your body. With your muscles and skin and fat and shape. With the changes that happen. Because they are meant to happen. It doesn’t matter… because today you can choose again. Look, I understand, we naturally want to buck against time, against nature. That sh*t is hard… but THIS process has been happening for thousands of years before your body existed, and it will happen for thousands more after it is gone. This is not YOUR process and it’s not YOUR pain. It’s OUR process. It’s OUR pain. You think you’re alone? You think you’re the only woman who has ever quietly said “what the f*ck?” and wondered how in the hell she got here? Sister, I’ve got news for you. How many women do YOU know? Now multiply that by millions and millions. And then millions more. That’s how many feel exactly the same way you do right this very moment. Does that make it any easier? Maybe, maybe not. But it should make you realize that you aren’t alone. So exhale. Breathe, mama. This is your body. This is your life. This is your moment to shine. At any age, or weight, or shape. No matter what you did yesterday that you think was soooo bad, today you can choose to find a little peace with the skin you are in. So show up. Wear the tank top. Keep the lights on. It’s OK.