Mary Oliver Wild Geese quote self acceptance

Dear Body,

I’m sorry for all the terrible things I’ve said and thought about you.

I’m sorry for not paying attention to what you really want and need, and for treating you as though I’m a busy, inattentive parent with a cranky toddler. “I don’t have time for this. Here, have this chocolate bar. We’ll get you something good later if you just hold on. STOP pestering.”

I’m sorry for treating you like a burden instead of a gift. You’ve carried me up mountains and across slippery, treacherous reefs. We’ve crossed the Golden Gate Bridge twice and danced for hours and hours, all sweat and breath and motion. We brought two children into the world, one of whom had a freakishly large (okay, 95th percentile) head and then we fed them. With milk from our boobs that we made out of salads and hamburgers and cold cereal. How crazy awesome is that?

I’m sorry for getting angry at you for breaking down. Panic attacks, searing back pain, chronic fatigue, bad hair days. Everything breaks down. It’s the nature of entropy. I’m sorry for expecting you to deliver more than I put in. I’m sorry for depriving you of sleep and nutritious food and for forgetting to take you out for walks.

I’m sorry for dressing you in acid washed jeans. The 80s were a dark time for fashion. I’m sorry for putting toxic sludge in your hair in order to make you look like a poodle.

I’m sorry for letting undeserving men touch you. I’m sorry for feeling guilty about enjoying simple human pleasures and for always making everything so damned complicated.

I’m sorry for letting what other people think color my judgment of you. Remember when we were little and we were friends? You weren’t good or bad or fat or thin or ugly or beautiful. You were just me. You were the vehicle I rode down grassy hills, screaming with laughter atop a piece of cardboard and you were the cocoon I crashed to sleep in at night.

I’m sorry for not covering you up with sunblock better.

I’m sorry for keeping you prisoner in dark rooms on the bad days, not letting you stretch or have fresh air.

Dear Body, I'm Sorry

And mostly, I’m sorry for leaving you so much. I’m sorry for going away into the phone or TV or the computer or other people or my own insidious imagination for hours at a time, and forgetting that you are here, anchoring me to the earth until you call me back with a dry mouth and splitting headache or a knot in my shoulder so tight that I find myself tilting, the world slightly askew.

I promise to be better. I will do my best to inhabit you more fully, and with grace and gratitude. I will tend to you with at least as much generosity and kindness as I would give to a beloved pet.

I’m sorry. Thank you. I love you.

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