My Body, Myself

The following essay appeared in Bi Women (Dec 2005 – Jan-Feb 2006).

By Robyn Ochs

In my 47 years of life, here’s the most important thing I’ve learned about my body: my body is mine. It’s the one I’ve been given, and the one I will spend the rest of my life with.

I can glare at it critically, amassing lists of all of the ways it fails to meet my ideal specifications. I can keep covered the parts of my body that I’m not satisfied with. I can buy creams and lotions to disguise my “flaws.” I can buy garments to flatten and shape. I can be like my college roommate who would never let others see her without makeup. I can get angry with it when it malfunctions.

Or I can remind myself that this is the body I have, and the only one I’ll ever have, and work toward being the best possible friend with my physical self. I can feed my body good food, keep it clean and well-cared for, make sure it gets rest and exercise, give it pleasure. I can care for it with love.

Every day I try to remember what a miracle my body is. Every body is amazing. How does my body know to breathe, to feel, to see, to smell, to hear? How amazing that I can reach, walk, run, dance? How do my fingers know to dance upon this keyboard? I’m amazed that my voice can make sounds to communicate, that I can hear – and interpret the sounds made by others. When I really think about this, I feel awe.

So thank you, my body. Thank you for everything you do. Without you I would be nothing.

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