Your body is constantly changing. It simply never stops. You may feel like you’ve grown into your final physical form – believe that the years of radical transformation have ended – but don’t kid yourself. In the coming months and years, your muscles will swell and shrink, and your skin will change its tone, and your hair will thicken and thin, and your weight will shift all over the damn place. Some of these changes will delight you and some of these changes will alarm you and many of them will surprise you. But whether you can see it or not, your body is changing right now.
And that’s good.
But it can set you up for a fall.
My dear friend KT told me that looking at old photographs of herself is often a bit painful. But not because she was previously awkward or acne-ridden or unstylish.
“I see those photos and I think, ‘My hair was so thick back then, and all I did was complain about it’,” she explained. “I was never, ever happy with how I looked, and yet I’d KILL to look now how I did back then.”
You may be sixteen and fixated on your zits and frizz, or seventy and fixated on your wrinkles and plummeting bustline. Believe me when I tell you that your body is STILL changing, and will shortly present you with a whole new set of quirks on which to fixate. What troubles you today may vanish without a trace tomorrow, and what you cherish now may fade in the future. If you aren’t careful, your body will have totally transformed itself by the next time you take stock of its attributes, and you’ll be left wondering how it all happened so quickly.
And this is not to say that aging is ghastly, or that you’ll hate yourself even more as you get older, or anything of the sort. This is just to say that your body is in constant motion, shifting and evolving, and that you should pause to enjoy and acknowledge your today-body before it transforms again. Like all living beings, we morph and fluctuate. And it is only when we practice awareness of our physicality – regularly and diligently – that we can access real gratitude for our physical gifts.
Appreciate yourself now. You are, in fact, beautiful TODAY. This very minute, exactly as you are. No matter how old or young, light or heavy, pimply or wrinkly or saggy or puffy. There is beauty in your body if you’ll only let yourself see it. Shifts in physical shape never happen overnight, yet the body you have today will be replaced by a new one before you know it. Acknowledge the amazing and recognize the remarkable in your current form, knowing that it is fleeting.
And when your new body arrives, welcome it with the same reverence and pay it the same respects.
Originally posted 2009-08-11 06:08:00.