I’ve carried.

 I’ve held tight. 

I’ve been stretched. 

I’ve been pulled a million directions. 

I have been sore.

I’ve been turned inside out. 

I’ve been loved. 

I’ve been hated. 

I’ve been stared at. 

I’ve been scrutinized. 

I’ve worked. 

And I’ve rested. 

I’ve been bruised. 

I’ve sagged. 

I’ve been sunburned. 

I’m aging.

But I have been young. 

I wrinkle from too much water.

I sweat from too much heat. 

I’ve curled up and shook with grief. 

I’ve fallen back, and flailed on the ground with happiness. 

I’ve tensed from anger. 

I’ve relaxed from sleep. 

I have felt the heartbeat of another person growing inside of me. 

I have scars. 

I have lines and creases that identify me. 

I have curves.

I have angles. 

I have hollow places. 

I am smooth.

I am prickly. 

I am pierced.

I am plucked. 

I am full.

And tonight…

Tonight I stood under the hot water in the shower with my daughter. I washed her hair, and piled it with big soapy circles on the top of her head. I took my time rinsing through her hair as each strand was rinsed clean, as the shampoo rolled down her little girl shoulders…

And she placed her little hands with pink glitter polish on my stomach. She traced every stretch mark that lay across my belly, she held her cheek against my belly button. And then she sighed, “I love your tummy Mommy.” She said. “It is the perfect tummy for you. You are beautiful.” 

And I looked down, and for the first time in 30 years I loved my body. 

Not because it is perfect…but because it’s not. 

Not because it is young…but because it’s not. 

Every line, and crease, every wobbly bit, and every part that has been stretched and sagged has lived a full life. 

Today I loved my Body, not because I will wear a bikini or because I can post pictures of what I earned…but instead I loved my body because it tells a story. 

 Because it has history.

 Because it’s my story. 

Today I loved my Body, because it’s Mine. 

And it’s a part of my beautiful story.