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Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Belly...A Love Song

I've spent years and years in a hateful, scornful relationship with my own body. This is not a revelation. It is just reality. The media barrage tells me, many times a day, that I'm not beautiful because I don't have a flat or concave set of washboard abs. It tells me that the lack of toned muscle around my middle means that I'm lazy, ugly, and -- truth be told, in light of my stretch marks -- deformed and hideous. Infomercials show me thin, ripped 50 year old women who've clearly been surgically (and otherwise) enhanced. They hold them up as the epitome of normalcy, making me the outcast.

I've had negative feelings about nearly every body part --
1. My eyes are not shaped the same, and one sits higher in the socket than the other, making me truly unphotogenic from every angle
2. There is cellulite on my thighs
3. My rear has become less perky and more of a long back
4. I have Fred Flintstone feet
5. My hands are gigantic and wide for a woman's -- paws, really
6. My breasts have run south faster than an Alabama felon
7. The backs of my upper arms wiggle and wave

I could go on and on and on, but no other body part received my disgust like my belly. It was never flat, even when I was quite thin. Its striped raggedly from one end to the other -- more closely resembling a sharp-clawed animal attack than a natural occurrence. I have hated it with a fury that caused me to hide it, cover it, strangle it in boning, and wrap it in spandex with a frenzy of determination to have an hourglass form.

As I've grown older, an understanding has been slowly, slowly creeping into my awareness. It began as a tiny whisper in the corner of my chest...the slight cringe whenever my husband rolled over at night, tucking in behind me and molding his body to mine, then slipping his hand around me, to rest on my not-flat stomach. And, his hand would just gently brush my belly, a gesture of love, and that tiny voice would be heard. That voice would grow when he would stand outside the bathroom door, watching me put on lotion or makeup, or drying my hair...a smile on his face. I could look in the mirror and smile at myself.

For, the voice didn't start from was whispered to me from a dozen different sources...women friends who complimented me on how sexy I looked, admiring glances from strangers, the way my body feels in the strong wind with the trees dancing in jubilation.

And, still it grows....when I see the lovely celebration of the feminine power of transformation and nurture all around me -- my grandchildren laughing and spinning with no self-criticism, pure joy in their eyes. Flowers and bees and creatures of all kinds engaged in daily life with no regard to their own appearance. One rose does not compare itself to another...instead, it just blooms.

And, as I age, my body changes more -- softening and easing, adjusting to the pull of gravity -- that little voice has turned into a song. This is what it sings to me:

Love me, woman, for I have made you what you are.
You have felt the spill of blood, teaching you to release that which no longer serves you. 
Ecstasy has been in the clenching of your center, displaying pleasure and its possibilities. 
I have blessed you with co-creation, where you alone maturated and brought forth life from your womb.
That growth of tiny feet kicking to be free stretched your skin in the most amazing fashion, an artist painting a pattern all your own. 
And, again, this miracle occurred...with new feet and tiny hands, pushing, moving, sleeping, and playing before bursting into this world from its safety within you. 
You hold the cauldron, the source and origin of all life within your very body. 
Your blood flows like the waters of the sea, cleansing and renewing in turn. 
You can mark your days by the phases of the close to you She is. 
Love me, woman, for I have made you what you are. 
And, you are magick. 

And, the song is in my ears. It seeps into my soul. And, I know its truth.

For, I am woman. 

And, I am magical.  

Further more...

...I am unashamed. 


  1. I think you are beautiful and I love this post o) Big Hugs ;o)

  2. Chi Miigwetch- your belly-heart must know mine... your words bring healing.