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Dear Body

Dear Body,

As your only and most faithful tenant these many years, I must say, you’re the bomb. Lest you think me a common mid-Atlantic masher, I assure you, I don’t say that to all the bodies. You’re really something special.

As I consider our time together these past 44 years, I hear a voice coming from somewhere insisting that I have taken you for granted. This doesn’t capture the truth of it though.

I’m sure I’ve done some run-of-the-mill mindless stuff, assuming that you’d take care of me even when I didn’t take care of you. I am deeply sorry about that. And what’s true is that it’s simply not possible for me to comprehend and appreciate you in your fullness. You are a miracle of ineffable, ungraspable proportion. That thing you do with the oxygen and the blood and all that? Mind. Blown. The hormone thing with the levels and the cycles? So nuts. And don’t get me started on the 60+ species of bacteria in our belly button. I mean, gross, but super cool anyway.

I am writing to you today because I have scheduled some renovations for us. (On a practical note, if at all possible, I humbly request that you limit blood flow to the boob area between like 8 and 10am on Wednesday and then, ya know, let ‘er rip again just after that.) The thing is, these renovations aren’t about you, per se. You’re actually perfect. I couldn’t possibly improve on you in any material way that would augment your basic magnificence.

These renovations are about pressure. Pressure inside. Pressure outside. Gravity, society, healed shame, all of it. I know you’re totally down with complexity. I’m probably over-explaining. The truth is that I want you to tell me this is ok. I feel a little guilty. I wish with every ounce of us this could happen without causing us pain, but I think you’ll agree that this temporary pain will be nothing when compared with the pain we’ve been through leading up to this moment.

When you were making me in my mom’s womb, you did the amazing stuff you were programmed to do. You totally killed it. Truth is, you’ve been killing it my whole life. I will never be able to thank you adequately. You folded into yourself over and over making all of the loops and tubes and bags and sacs that became this thing we call a “body"...”us." You made it seem effortless. You followed all of the coding. Nailed it 100%. You have done everything I have asked throughout our relationship.

I am hopeful that you can forgive me for what may feel like an assault. I am hopeful that the gift of a 96% decrease in our chance of developing breast cancer will help to soften the blow. I would never presume to tell you your business, but I also wonder if we can think of this in the way so many minimalists do. It will not be about living with less. It will be about having more. Being more.

I know you roll your eyes when I do visualizations, but just humor me for a minute. Imagine what it will feel like to walk with our shoulders square and high. These renovations will bring an end to years of rounding and collapsing inspired by all of that pressure I mentioned before. I mean, the gravity thing is still a thing, but I think it’ll be different. Imagine how it will feel to have the cotton of a t-shirt brush directly against the skin of our chest. Oh and?... no more mammograms! High five! Ahem. Ok. But you see where I’m going here.

I’m not sure if I owe you an apology or if this is one of those places where we just accept that you do better when you know better, but it’s only now as I imagine removing one of the most obvious, public and visible signs of our “girlness” that I am feeling able to truly welcome and embrace our femaleness. After the renovations, you and me?... we’re gonna girl in our own way. I know you think we’ve kind of always done that, but it feels different this time. I don’t know what it’s gonna mean, but I’m not too worried about it. I know you’ll be there with me. I also know that the idea that becoming physically “less female” by social standards is opening a door to something more female inside us will make sense to exactly 3% of people. As usual, we won’t bother ourselves with that. They can do what they want with their bodies. If their brains jam up about what you and I are doing in here, that’s on them.

I know. I know. I like to process. You feel me. I’ll wrap it up, but let me just say one more thing and then I’ll leave you to it.

I don’t know if you remember all of that stuff we’ve read by that guy, Adyashanti, but remember when he said that we should prepare for the “[Universe] to fling [us] into such breathtaking poverty that all that would be left of [us] is a tendency to shine?” Remember that? Well, it’s time to get flung into broke-ass amazingness. We’re gonna run naked down the middle of this world holding what’s left of this chrysalis high over our heads, tattered bits flapping triumphantly behind us.

Time to be new and still so much us. Thanks body. You’re seriously the best.

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