Do you know that feeling when if you haven’t reconciled you either want to throw up, run away or hide in the bathroom until someone drags you out by your feet?
When I reconcile, it’s generally with people I’m strung in a tension and imbalance with. My heart, my mind and even the places my body carries it, can’t move on until the process happens or the Lord releases it from my hands.
I have never considered that a process that my body could move through.
It terrifies me as I type it. Which I think is an affirmation that it might be the very thing that my body needs and my heart requires.
Yesterday I felt like I was physically breaking, for the millionth time, but also at the start of new healing in the very same minute.
Child’s pose after combat, I could smell so many bad things about myself. Head pressed, letting all of the tensions and imbalances spill on the floor, joining my sweat puddle.
And when I say all, I think I was just at the cusp.
These last few weeks, I’ve been disciplined to start peeling back layers, tensions and imbalances that my body carries, and there is a lot there.
Years stacked on years.
Lies built on lies.
Abuse for abuse.
Scar framed by scar.
Baby and more babies.
Loss turned to grief seeking whole.
Change, just so much change.
And it has laid a weight that I don’t think I’m meant to carry.
For the very first time in my adult life, I had this moment of believing–
maybe there could actually be freedom in this.
I’ve heard it… for years… I’ve gotten it, intellectually.
But my goodness, I have some pretty sturdy walls around the very hardened, very broken fortress that is my one, beautifully frayed body.
I have not honored, not as I’m made to honor it.
The world doesn’t help. The culture feeds the imbalance. Any air I breathe outside of my bubble has the chance to press into the tension.
But none of this owns me.
Which I know, but yesterday I experienced. And if you know me a little, you know I thrive off of the experiential.
What would it look like to reconcile with my body?
To reconcile with the times it was touched without asking, eyed up without permission, spoken to without kindness, viewed in assumption?
With the lies it was spoon fed? By men and context, by childhood and magazines?
By the idealistic nature of what constitutes beautiful?
How I’ve dressed it to match the temptation?
With the constant scroll, script and comparisons begging us to entertain them?
With when it was starved out of control, over-filled and emptied out, mocked with my own lips?
Scarred by sharp things and even sharper words?
With what it never was, for the things it couldn’t do, for all of the times it failed me and others?
For the sickness that it carried, the anxiety that it held and every time I couldn’t coax it out of bed?
To reconcile for the way I spoke to it after babies, during pregnancy and the bitterness during my miscarriage?
Or for every time I’ve cursed it while making love to my husband?
Can those things be reconciled?
One thousand percent, again and again.
And I have, in small moments, regained some of these.
But there is a problem, which my best friend eyed me up and spoke right into me last night. He’s said it before, but this time I heard him — not as my frustration — but as the Lord’s handpicked kindness & compassion to me.
I have made an idol of my body.
I have let all of the things I need to reconcile with, whether they were my “fault” or not; my choice or not; whether I intended to or not– I’ve let them carry a greater weight and say in who I am rather then the eternal weight of whose I am.
And that, I think, is the cusp.
I’ve let my earth life body matter more than my eternal home in waiting.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
If my eternal hope and aim rests there, I have to have to have to discipline myself to rest my peace here– in Him.
That includes my body with which I’ve been gifted as a vessel of holiness.
(Deep breaths, back to child’s pose)
Practically I have to spell out what this reconciling, this healing, can look like.
Discipline, training, a process.
I don’t know completely, but I know it will involve daily intention in the honoring, otherwise there’s no chance in the holiness shining.
It will be diligently choosing peace.
It will be saying softly,
“I forgive you”
for all of the things I never chose but carried, for all of the things I did choose and never buried.
It will be kindness and compassion towards all that my body is.
It is alive and breathing, it is active and doing.
It is full — of my heritage, of my choices, of my days and my donuts. Of the things that I’ve seen, the scars that I carry and the places I’ve tasted. Of the touch that I’ve given and the embrace I’ve received, of the memories that make it and the adventures that have graced it. Of the healing that I’ve chosen for it, and the husband that has chosen me through it. Of the things that it’s tried and the time that it’s known. Of the babies that it’s held, and the love it explodes with. Of the bringing of those babies and all that it’s become. Of shape and hips and curves and dimples. Of kisses and gut laughter and gut healing joy. Of strength and power and the growth that keeps spilling into it.
It will be honoring this fullness, but knowing this full isn’t all.
It will be understanding that very nature as a wholeness found in our Lord.
It will be accepting that whole as good and enough.
It will be making choices out of that truth.
How I carry it, how I clothe it, how I view it, how I speak about it, how I use it, how I care for it, how I breathe with it.
It will be choosing the balance, eating the carrots and also the treats. And not shaming the treats or speaking regret. Resting and combating. Smiling without a scale or an idealistic approval.
It will be stealing back the joy I let comparison rob me of. Perhaps this will be the slowest burn of all, but it will burn bright.
It will be seeing it as my children see me, which is through a God-lens irreplaceable.
It will be setting a different tone.
Rooting down in eternal truths.
My body is dying, so how will it live? How will it love? How will it thrive before it no longer is?
It will no longer be an idol, no longer my identity, but a thread in my story that speaks to the holiness being renewed in it day by day.
The kindness of a Potter who thought it beloved and fit to be.
Now I’ve spelled it, that’s the hope, will you help me walk in it?
Because I can tell you right now, sitting here in my baggy gray sweats that are showing off all kinds of mama bulge and extra; seeing my reflection and recognizing all the change, it will be a hard-pressed daily remembering and doing. Especially when I step out the door.