Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 15

Having a chronic illness, I possess a complicated relationship with my body.

It is literally out to get me.

But I'm not alone in feeling that way.

While I, as a general rule, strongly dislike the line of thinking that over-identifies your state of mind with your health (your attitude, for example, has no impact on your actual state of health or illness, cancer patients with crappy attitudes survive at the same rate as those who 'stay positive', and thyroid problems have nothing to do with self-repression), I am also struck by the fact that women are so often afflicted with auto-immune disorders in a culture that constantly tells them to loathe their bodies. American culture encourages an antagonistic relationship between the self and the body: whether it's a fixation with skin or weight or hair or teeth, there is an entire industry dedicated to making certain we are unhappy with ourselves.

Contented people don't shop.

But if I am going to live in this body, and heal it to the extent that I can, I have to change the relationship I have with it. After all, this body, with all its problems, has also conceived, given birth to, and nursed two beautiful girls. So today, and from this day forward, I am cultivating gratitude for this body, with all its flaws. I will seek not to change it but to really communicate with it, to nourish it, strengthen it, and cherish it for precisely what it is.

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