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Body Talk

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After being abstinent for a few years and keeping off 75 pounds (34 kg), I have a special Eighth Step amends to make— an amends to my body.

I owe you amends for more than thirty-five years of stuffing and starving you; shaming and scolding you; shutting you up; shutting you down; disregarding your cries; and trying to cut myself off from having to deal with you, believing the physical didn’t matter. I was taught to avoid sins of the flesh, to avoid you. I was teased and humiliated about your size and shape. I took better care of my car than of you. I rejected you. I didn’t even want a body. Nothing felt right about you.

And yet, you never left me. You took the blows. You stayed. You tried to talk to me, warn me, and yell to me before you started to break down, but I didn’t listen. My relationship with you mirrored my relationships with my mother, men, church, and society. You were denied and disregarded and found somehow to be unacceptable.

It’s funny that I, someone so afraid of abandonment, never considered how you had stayed, all the while trying to talk to me, trying to point the way, trying to connect with me.

I am forever sorry and forever grateful for your loyalty.

You are the vehicle my soul will be driven around in for awhile. You like to be cuddled and carried and stretched and comforted. You like warm sand, lavender lotions, gentle winds, and soft cat fur— what else do you like?

I am sorry for not listening to you all these years. Today, I am listening. You are worth listening to.

Every body needs a good listening to.

— Courtney B., Palo Alto, California USA

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