You are more than your body, you are your body

This is a weird thing. Two dueling ideas that are not mutually exclusive. This is at least how Ive settled the matter for myself, that feels best for me.

You are more than your body.
I focused on this for a long time. I will be smart.. I will be generous I will try to be funny but behind that lurked If I cant be beautiful. There are a lot of reasons for this. Too much value is put in appearance. While I realize men struggle with this as well, I only speak to my experience as a woman. So as not to discount mens experience but to honor mine and speak to what I know. But I learned to hate my body and believe that my value lie in the same place. Nothing you do will matter unless you are beautiful and perfect in so many contradictory ways. Raise up to this standard woman, but watch out because it changes as quickly as you can blink. Youll never get there but keep trying. Devote yourself and make no excuses. Its exhausting. So when you hear you are more than your body you think Hell yes I am! Of course you are more than your body. The vast majority of the people whose lives you will touch in ways which they will never forget, will not remember the imperfections you see in the mirror, but how you made them feel. Your best moments of your whole life will have nothing to do with your weight. At all. Do the insides count? Hell yes they do. If you looked like the flyest woman you can image but werent courageous and smart and all of the things that make you who you are, if you were unfeeling, ungrateful and unkind? You probably wouldnt have an awesome life. Even with all the pretty.

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You are your body. What really made this hit home for me was having a child. I couldnt stop staring at her. I spent my entire maternity leave watching her breathe. Id wake in the middle of the night to see her. I loved every little thing about her. And it occurred to me that I love all of her. When we love people we dont excuse their outsides. We begin to have a fondness for all the details of it. When I began to exercise after she was 6 months old, I became very aware of how much more patient and calm I felt on the days I worked out. It relieved so much stress. It took care of my inside stuff. I felt for the first time what it feels like to be really healthy. I had energy. I felt focused. It was peaceful. There was a profound way in trying to discount my body that I disconnected from it. And insides and outsides? those bad boys go together. Partially because you HAVE to listen to your body when you work out (as to avoid injury, not over-exert as well as dig in somewhere and pull out something you didnt know you could do) and partially just because I was moving it, I started listening. I began to trust myself with the care of my body and stop detaching myself from it in an effort to avoid feeling bad about it. I made the controversial and to some shocking/delusional or unfair judgement that my body was good and beautiful. Yes, beautiful. Because when you love someone you dont pick which parts to love but accept the whole. I decided that in spite of everything Im not and because of all that I am, I am beautiful. I think it of every woman Ive ever had the honor of calling my friend. And strangers, daily.

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I tried the you are more than you body from the perspective of so its okay if your body is something you feel absolutely horrible about and disconnected from. Ive found a place in the middle that allows me to respect my body as the physical part of who I am. A part that I can decide is beautiful and not unimportant or worthy of disregard. From there, taking care of it has felt like a gift and not a punishment.

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