Oh, these words from Nayyirah Waheed… yes!
Over the weekend, a friend of mine shared this image from Matt McGorry’s Instagram. I screenshotted it and have since shared it in a few places as well. These words ring true as an experience, and perhaps also, they summon hope and an invitation to welcome.
An invitation to welcome your body… An invitation to love your body… An invitation to befriend your body…
“and I said to my body, softly. ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.‘” — Nayyrah Waheed
Our bodies are gifts.
They allow us to do and experience so very much.
We experience the world through our bodies.
Our bodies are particular.
They are a part of our unique identity.
We are always embodied.
Our bodies are vulnerable.
They change, they grow, they struggle, they carry challenges.
They carry the stories of loving, of entering the beauty, complexity, and messiness of relationships.
Surely, the journey of befriending our bodies involves all of these — recognizing our body’s gifts, particularities, and vulnerabilities, and embracing them. This is an act of embracing ourselves.
Some of of us have been socialized away from this. Befriending our bodies is then a counter-cultural, radically loving act, for sure!
Befriending my body has been a large part of my life journey, and I’ve been on that pathway long enough to share that an embrace toward our bodies is an experience of wholeness.
That invitation is always there for us.
No one can befriend our bodies for us. We make that embrace. But I don’t think any one of us can do this alone. For instance… Think about all the people who mirrored our worth to us… Think about the people who invited us — yes, in vulnerability — to try something physical or emotional that we’ve never done before… Think about doctors, therapists, and coaches who have helped us gain knowledge about ourselves… Think about the ones we’ve loved most deeply, and how they have expanded our body’s capacity to love.. Think of… Think of.. Think of…
This act of befriending is ours, but there is always a community behind it. We’ve been loved as embodied people.
And so we befriend our embodied selves.
“I have been waiting my whole life for this.”