It seems I am forever just behind the culture curve… just outside the conversation. But when this invitation from SheLoves and Megan Gahan came across my field of vision yesterday, through this blog of fellow Patheos blogger Enuma Okoro, I knew I wanted to attempt to include it here because it’s such a part of my current life struggle/growing edge.
A love letter to my body
Clearly, I need to begin with an apology.
I have not loved you well.
I have treated you like a machine
Rather than honored you
As the sacred space that you are.
Please, forgive me.
I have abandoned you in your time of need and of pain.
No, not completely.
I have held other’s pain while refusing yours.
Please, forgive me.
I have not listened to your wisdom,
Tending instead the voices of intellect or impulse or others.
I am listening now.
I celebrate your beauty and complexity.
I celebrate your wonderfully woven goodness and interconnectedness.
I celebrate your softness and resilience.
I celebrate the whole of you and how graciously and tenderly you hostess my soul.
I love you, my body.
And I commit to live into that love in new ways.
I will listen to you.
I will live within your limits as the very wisdom of God.
I will hold your pain with the largeness of my soul and pray for your healing.
May you find new health and strength and wholeness in my love.
May my love find the same in you.
In celebration of all women from Song of Solomon:
You’re so beautiful, my darling, so beautiful, and your dove eyes are veiled By your hair as it flows and shimmers, like a flock of goats in the distance streaming down a hillside in the sunshine. Your smile is generous and full— expressive and strong and clean. Your lips are jewel red, your mouth elegant and inviting, your veiled cheeks soft and radiant. The smooth, lithe lines of your neck command notice—all heads turn in awe and admiration! Your breasts are like fawns, twins of a gazelle, grazing among the first spring flowers.
6-7 The sweet, fragrant curves of your body, the soft, spiced contours of your flesh Invite me, and I come. I stay until dawn breathes its light and night slips away. You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.
8-15 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride. Leave Lebanon behind, and come. Leave your high mountain hideaway. Abandon your wilderness seclusion, Where you keep company with lions and panthers guard your safety. You’ve captured my heart, dear friend. You looked at me, and I fell in love. One look my way and I was hopelessly in love! How beautiful your love, dear, dear friend— far more pleasing than a fine, rare wine, your fragrance more exotic than select spices. The kisses of your lips are honey, my love, every syllable you speak a delicacy to savor. Your clothes smell like the wild outdoors, the ozone scent of high mountains. Dear lover and friend, you’re a secret garden, a private and pure fountain. Body and soul, you are paradise, a whole orchard of succulent fruits— Ripe apricots and peaches, oranges and pears; Nut trees and cinnamon, and all scented woods; Mint and lavender, and all herbs aromatic; A garden fountain, sparkling and splashing, fed by spring waters from the Lebanon mountains.
I invite you to join the healing stream and write a love letter to your own body, too…