I intentionally look at myself in the mirror, nude – or almost entirely – every single day. I look and I see all that there is to my body. I fill myself with the experience of all that my body is, standing before that mirror. And I love myself. Through and through, from the tiniest hair to the German skin to the inherited bowels that are all too sensitive – I love my body for all that it is and for all that it is not. This is my vessel, my space, my temple, my power, my source in this life. And I am ever grateful for and in love with it.
That does not mean that I do not want to improve upon it. One can love something and still want better for it. Indeed, I believe part of loving something means always wanting better for it. Such is the case with my body. Every day, as I see the improvements from only a week ago or days ago, I am grateful that I have blessed it with such love… such love as it takes to get out of bed when I want to snuggle in deeper to the cozy covers, to get myself ready for bed early enough to have enough sleep, to choose these foods over those, to deny the casual pressure of those who do not have the same intentions with their food and drink and schedule, not to take the easy route, and just to accept the current and temporary convenience of eating this standard meal that I find before me, possibly even for free.
They mean no harm to me, I am sure, but such a meal is not free for me. It has its costs. Yes, it is utterly convenient, and significantly less socially odd and, sometimes, less embarrassing. But, it is not blessing my body when I consume it. Often, it causes my body actual pain, in some small way or other. And, occasionally, it causes pain in some not-so-small ways… things I never noticed until I began to pay close attention. I always thought eating meant one would feel ever so slightly ill afterward. But that is only with certain foods, with the ones that do not serve my body, that I feel that way. I have learned.
My food is my medicine – I take no other – and it is my daily blessing that gives me the energy for tomorrow. It gives me my strength to exercise at 5:15 most mornings, as though it were a normal hour of the day. It gives me the nutrition I need for my deep slumbers at night to restore and improve my strength and energy.
And it is not always easy. Indeed, it often is difficult to manage getting myself the food I need, whenever I am doing things away from home, with others or alone. Even at home, it takes effort. And yet, after all this time, the effort seems like almost nothing. Why? Because it is so incredibly worth it. I don’t even have to think about giving myself the right foods to serve me best, let alone thinking twice about it. All because I love and want to take loving care of my body.
My body is merely the starting place. If I am comfortable in my body, and it is ready and able for anything, then my spirit, too, with my body’s support, can take on whatever comes my way, and with a ready heart. So, as I gaze at myself in the mirror each day, easily noticing the room for improvement, I also marvel at the beauty of all that I am, of all that I have become, and of all that I see I can become… all because I love myself for exactly who and how I am. I once was afraid to see myself naked – I couldn’t stand it. Now, I look forward to that time of intimacy and being attuned to and connected in all ways with my physical self. It is one of the most beloved times of my day, and it fills me always with love, joy, and gratitude for this life and for this current step within it.