It’s been a while since we’ve talked. In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever really talked- I just ignore you most of the time. And, when I’m not ignoring you, I’m cutting you down.
But I’m not here to criticize you; I’ve done that enough. I’m not trying to change you- I’ve done enough of that, too.
I’m here to apologize.
I am so, so sorry.
So, this is my first love letter of what will be many more to come.
I’m sorry for all those days of staring in the mirror, letting my mind cut you to pieces about all the reasons why you weren’t all that you were supposed to be. For declaring that you weren’t enough, and too much, all at once. For the years of avoidance because I was afraid of admitting that you were really mine. It was just easier to pretend you didn’t exist.
I’m sorry for hating you because I thought you didn’t represent me in the way that you should. I’m sorry for believing that you were a lie, a shell falsely displaying who I was. I know now that the lie was what I believed.
I was never the kind of girl that blatantly criticized you, talked bad about you regularly to others, or even beat you. But the silent kind of abuse can be the worst.
I’m sorry for letting others convince me that you weren’t the way you should be: that you were too short, too fat, too plain. I understand that the words of others do not define you; only He has the final word.
I’m sorry for blaming you when boys whistled, cat-called or made comments I won’t repeat. I blamed you because I believed it was your fault for making them stumble. I was angry that there was no way to hide your hips, your skin, your smile. I was angry at how helpless we were. Both of us.
I’m sorry I believed that you are solely responsible for another man’s lust. I know now that your beauty is good and pure in God’s eyes, not something to push away or be ashamed of. Your purity is not determined by a man’s capability to sin.
Dear eyes, I’m sorry for telling you that you were too small.
Dear nose, I’m sorry for telling you that you had too many freckles.
Dear smile, I’m sorry for being embarrassed by you because I thought you were just too big- I was annoyed that you always took up my face. Now I understand that a smile is one of the most meaningful and joy-filled things I do.
Dear hair, I’m sorry for complaining that you were too straight and thin. I understand now that you are absolutely beautiful in your own, unique way.
Dear stomach, I owe you the biggest apology – for a while, I absolutely hated you. I loathed you. I wanted nothing to do with you. I wished you didn’t exist the way you did. I hid you daily for years under t-shirts and hoodies, afraid to let you be seen, and the church culture rewarded me for being “modest”. But every day I’m starting over, learning to love you, learning how to treat you well.
You do the gritty work of digesting all the food I eat without a complaint. You can grow a baby in your beautiful belly, and to me that is nothing short of miraculous. Thank you for all that you do.
Dear thighs, I’m sorry for being ashamed of you, and neglecting to take care of you the way you deserve.
Dear skin, I’m sorry that all I see are your flaws, your acne, your scars. I’m very lucky and grateful to have you, and your scars are a beautiful symbol of the work in my heart.
Dear, lovely body. Dear everything. I’m trying so hard to learn how to love you. I’m working so hard to learn how to treat you well. Every day I wake up and fight lies. But please, know this truth – you are absolutely beautiful.
And I love you.
“And God saw all that He made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a (ESV)