Clara Ngo

Dear Body: Starting Today, I Vow To Love You

Dear body, 

I’m making a vow now—right hand on my belly, left hand on my heart—that every night you lay my head down on the pillow, I will silently whisper thank you. 

Thank you. 

Thank you. 

Thank you for holding me. For dancing with me. For carrying me when my heart felt like it could not. You have always been there for me and it seems you always will. I hope I have been kind to you, and in the times I have not, I hope you forgave me. 

I used to look down and see a belly that I wished was a little bit flatter and blemishes on my back I told myself were ugly. As I looked in the mirror, I saw tired dark bags under my eyes staring back, my thin arms and freckled legs. Then I wondered, When did I start to think of these? Why did they ever start to bother me? Because my body is tiny, a little miracle in this huge world. So why would I want to make myself smaller and perfect? I want a body that has shown my grandkids the right way to live and the secret is to live without worrying about any of those things.  

As the years go by, I see you as the divine being that you are. This remarkable being that so graciously holds me through the world. Because of you, I have climbed mountains. I have swam in the Mediterranean Sea. I have danced and danced and danced. Because of you, I can live my life fearlessly. You are a beautiful place to live. No matter the imperfections they try to shout at us, I promise you, you are perfect as you are. 

I love you. 

I have always loved you. 

I love all of you, and my gentle rebellion against the world is that I won’t ever stop.