It was Anne Lammott who named her thighs "the aunties" when she grew weary of trying to change them. This more affectionate, gracious approach struck a chord with me, since I confess I have openly and secretly hated my thighs for way too long.
It doesn't take a whole lot of expensive therapy to figure out how we get ourselves into these culturally condoned relationships of hatred. The economy must remain viable. The magazines must sell. Every month, we want new ideas on how to pummel our bodies to better suit our impossible standards.
I'd like to change.
The truth is, its not easy. My mother hated her body. Her sisters hated theirs. I grew up learning about the value of loving your neighbor, loving your enemies, loving God. But, somehow, it was okay to hate yourself?
My fragmented, and often diametrically opposed trains of thought often collide or hold shouting matches inside my aching head. I believe that our bodies hold wisdom. That if we never read stupid articles about what to feed them, or how much, and just listened, recognized, and acknowledged our sensations, we would know how to take care of ourselves-- ALL BY OURSELVES!
But: I live in fear of becoming potluck lady.
I want to think of my body as more of a vessel, and less of a symbol.
I must tread gently. The aunties, and the colliding trains of thought upstairs, are all sending me signals that perhaps I have exposed enough of them for now. I must care for this complex vessel, learn to listen to its subtlties more closely, learn to treat my aunties with the respect that they deserve.