23 February 2008

for my body {confession & reconciliation}

Dear Body,

I feel as though I owe you an apology; it is long overdue, but I’m here now, hoping that it’s not too late for a little forgiveness.

Even though you are what enables me to live and to move through the world, it seems only recently that I’ve been especially aware of you. I’ve harbored nasty feelings toward you, I’ve abused you both verbally and physically, I’ve shut you up and ignored you, chained you to a pipe in the basement and padlocked the door.

I remember the first time I was shocked into an awareness of you at the age of thirteen at summer camp, when I first passed through that bloody rite of womanhood. It was a sunny Sunday morning in July. I was wearing a polka-dotted bathing suit, on my way down to the lake to go swimming and had stopped by the restroom; that’s when I noticed. I had been educated on the matter as a fifth-grader, and I knew as much about it as a twelve-year-old could, but it still came as a terrific shock to my system. I cried and cried and cried that morning in my bunk bed, my face puffy and wet, words coming out in chokes and gasps. My counselor told me this was a beautiful gift from God, that it meant I was a woman now. But her saying that made me want to scream and rip out my hair. I didn’t know why, I just hated it.

And then things really started changing: my child’s body began to change shape without my willing it, malleable as Play-Doh without my consent. My straight, hipless form bloomed outward and pulled inward in places. My lithe form began to puff out, acquiring pounds that seemed to come from nowhere. I felt as though you had betrayed me. The child’s body was something I knew and could navigate, this new thing was foreign to me and I was trapped in it. You held me hostage.

With the added pounds came the teasing and taunts of others. I drew inward and loathed this mess of flesh I was trapped in. I was powerless to escape it and so I told you things like: you’re fat and nasty. People hate you and so do I. It would be better if you were skinnier. Lose weight, damnit!

And I continued to abuse you with my words and my thoughts. I would look in the mirror and point out all your flaws, tell you to shape up, that you were no good as you were.

Finally, I had had enough and the abuse turned physical. I started memorizing food labels and adopted a plan to get you to where I thought you needed to be. I’m in control now! I’m the boss! I restricted calories and nutrition, I put increased physical demands on you. As the puffiness diminished, as pounds evaporated, the compliments poured in and I was addicted to them. I ate them instead of food and exercised even more, feeling proud of myself for starving you. I had taught myself to love the growling in my stomach, and I chased after that emptiness more and more.

Even when others said you’re getting too skinny, I thought only of how to get skinnier, of how to make sure you really knew that I was the one in charge here. You would not hold me hostage again. The goal was always that I’d strip you of five pounds and when that was achieved, it would be five pounds yet again. And eventually my periods stopped and I could pull my tiniest pair of jeans up and down, up and down while they were fully buttoned and zipped. I felt so proud. I had tamed you.

And then came February 22, 1996, a day tattooed in my memory, a day that took us both by surprise. It was my senior year of high school and I had so much going for me. That car accident changed everything. I was only a passenger, but life changed for you in the instant that the brakes locked and that hunk of metal slid at fifty miles per hour across slick wet pavement, colliding into another car.

You hurt like you had never hurt before. I took you to the chiropractor, the massage therapist, the neurologist, the physical therapist. The pain would not stop. I lived in those doctors offices and the neck brace became a regular part of my attire until I forgot what I looked like without it. I adopted a new vocabulary, one that included phrases like soft tissue, nerve damage, and it would have been better if you had broken your neck. You and I hurt so much and we both learned to go numb.

In college the pounds came back on slowly and I let them return to you a few at a time, but begrudgingly. I was too worried about academics to concern myself with making sure I maintained a vigilant watch over you, to make sure you didn’t get out of line. But this is where I learned new ways to push you, like staying awake when you pulled me toward sleep, ingesting cup after cup of cheap black coffee heavily syruped with sugar.

I skipped meals, always reasoning that a few more minutes of study were more important than giving you those things the cafeteria attempted to pass off as food. I asked you to keep going, keep moving, keep running and denied you regular fuel. And then I’d get angry with you and call you names when you got sick or tired or achey or were sapped of energy. I berated you again and again, demanding health and energy and wellness even though I gave you nothing to work with.

Then one night my heart began to rebel, racing at several hundred beats per minute, startling me from a still sleep. The episodes continued for months and no one could find out what was going on inside you. The doctors pressed you, poked you, probed you, took blood. No charts or graphs or books could explain why you did this. Nothing changed until hands were joined in a circle around me, hands put on you, and healing called down from heaven. There were no more episodes after that, and you became a testimony of something divine reaching down to earth, touching flesh.

I began to feel differently about you then.

I felt like we got healthy after college was over when I was on my own, giving you lots of vegetables and fruits and lean proteins, exercising in a healthy way, giving you what you needed to assume a healthy shape. I felt really good, and was pleased that our relationship had improved. And then a few years ago, new things started happening that no one could explain. My stomach was stabbed with pain, and my chest burned. Several rounds with several different medicines didn’t help and we had no relief. Things escalated and got worse, and I took you to the emergency room more than once.

The ache moved down my gut. I grew sluggish and tired, fell asleep too early every night. Doctors wanted to give you vicodin and anti-depressants, but I refused. I was trying to help you and I knew innately that you did not need those things. I didn’t know what you needed, but I knew that vicodin and anti-depressants weren't the answer. I sometimes felt like you were a squealing infant and I was the parent, not knowing what you needed, not knowing how to understand where you were hurting and why. I felt so helpless. We were both trapped, chained to each other in the dark.

It took awhile, but I finally found someone who could teach me how to listen to you, who helped me learn to hear the things you were saying. In the process, I discovered other parts of you that suffered quietly: blood cells, bones, thyroid, adrenals. I learned what things were hurting you and I took them away; I got supplements to provide what you lacked, to aid in healing those places you suffered most. You had been hurting so long, and the healing is still happening. I can’t imagine that either of us will be quite the same again. But we are here now in a new normal that is healing and energized and as it should be.

So my body, I’m sorry I ignored you and said unkind things. I’m sorry for having neglected and abused you. I’m sorry I hurt you and starved you and asked impossible things of you. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve suffered, that we’ve suffered together.

We are married, you and I, and we are still learning to speak to one another, to listen with attentive ears, still learning how to move in this dance we do together. We were knit together inside my mother and we are inseparable, you and I. My mind and heart and soul are fused with you. You are how I hug my sister, talk to my friend, how I laugh and smile. You are how I dance with joy, cry out loud, and how I can write any of this down at all.

You are the first place to which I extend the most basic kindnesses and grace: food, water, rest, exercise. I marvel at your abilities to lift, stretch, bend, heal, and grow strong. You are good from your beginnings, and I am learning to honor the goodness that has been there since the moment you took form.

So I guess what I’m trying to say, body of mine, is that I’m not perfect. I wish I could promise you that I would be good to you always, that I would never transgress against you again. That I would never wish you were shaped differently, or that you weren’t sensitive to certain foods, or that you didn’t have the limits that you do. But you are the only body I have and I’m beginning to learn that you are utterly marvelous and within those limits, capable of so much.

And so I will continue on this path of learning to be good to you: to provide what you need, not demand what you cannot give, to cooperate with you; to listen to you and respond appropriately to the things you say; to give you compassion. And I’m learning that in return, you give me the ability to embody fully the life I’ve been given, to give my own unique shape to love, sadness, happiness, friendship, and faith.

I guess what I’m saying is that I have your back, good body of mine, and that I know you have mine; that we will learn this dance together, giving one another grace for the journey.

confession photo by kirsten.michelle
Linkage love {check out links to this post}:


  1. Wow... very good post.

    It is as I wrote about not to long ago, we all have a rhythm. Our bodies have a rhythm, our minds have a rhythm, our relationships have a rhythm. Our job is to discern the wisdom that comes in that rhythm and use it to God's glory.

    I am glad you are healthy. I am in the dregs of the flu. I re-read your post when you had the flu and boy am I sympathetic to how you felt. I never knew I could feel so cold, and so hot in the same few seconds.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. what good comments you had on your physical journey from childhood, through puberty and through your adulthood. That was good how you identified with your body's struggles in a dialogue with itself. And how you wrote from Psalm 139 that God knit you in your mother's womb. And how you survived your car accident and your struggles afterward. I can identify since i had a nasty tumble down a couple of steps one morning when I was about 21 years old. Had headaches and spasms and all kinds of suffering that followed. After several tests, no exact course of relief. In that time, I too learned to trust in God and to allow HIm to heal me.

    thanks for your wisdom and for inspiring me.
    Yeah our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Peace in HIm scott

  3. Just like a love letter, condolence, apology and get better card all rolled into one letter to tell the amazing journey you've been on. You've only been given one body and so many times we torture to satisfy something within ourselves and it reacts in accordance. How many times have any of us been there? But we should all be thankful for the body we were given, ailing, healthy, or otherwise. It's hard sometimes. But we do need to honor the body God gave us. Goodness knows your body and you have been a roller coaster ride and your recollection of events over the years is pretty incredible. But not suprising since you remember lyrics to songs in musicals that we haven't seen in a decade. Here's to a more balance relationship between you and body...a peaceful reconciliation! (:

  4. carl - yes, it's about learning that rhythm, learning what our bodies needs. and the crazy thing is that the specifics vary from body to body: no two are alike!

    that is one killer flu that is circulating. take care of yourself, & i hope you are well soon!

    scott - sometimes its so difficult to trust God with our bodies, especially when they're in so much pain & there's no escaping them. it seems to me that many people don't have a good relationship with their bodies in the first place, which probably makes matters worse. peace to you also, scott.

    kaari - it has been a pretty gnarly journey with this body, hasn't it? i didn't realize how much so until i started writing this. it really just hit me over the last couple days & weeks that if i'm called to extend kindness & grace to others, and i can't give to others what i don't possess myself ... and then i thought of all the things i've done, all the things that have happened, all the things i've thought & said of it ... and it's pretty extraordinary. and hey, remembering is my job! whether it's the lyrics to all the songs in "newsies" or the things written in my tissues & bones. i need to be nicer to her, that much i know.

  5. Kirsten- As I read this my abdomen ached. So much of your story is my own. It’s amazing how we treat our bodies. I have said things to myself that I would never dream of saying to another person. Like you, I’ve made amends and refuse to degrade this faithful vessel any longer. We won’t be perfect friends to our bodies, but we can be kind. And it’s never too late for forgiveness.

  6. Kirsten
    Parts of what you said here is so sad it made me cry. That whole weight thing is a very touchy thing with me....and anyone who knows me knows i have a huge no trespassing sign hanging around my neck.......as in don't even go there unless you are ready to meet the Lord for it is grounds for murder.

    It is a good thing that i strongly believe the book of Psalms, because David was constantly praying that the Lord strike his enemies.

    Anyway it sounds like you are making peace with yourself, that is commendable and brave. I say brave because i do not possess the willpower to do it. I am slowly killing myself with bad eating habits. Frankly i don't care enough to get off this fast train to an early grave.

    That whole health thing is a mountain that i don't care to climb, to be honest i want to ignore it and pretend it does not exist. I am miserable in my state of denial, but the other option of facing it is just too painful.

    Just wanted to say i love you and miss your voice on the phone.

  7. What a beautiful reckoning. Embracing every part of yourself as a brush stoke of a Mona Lisa. Loved "you are how I hug my sister" so poignant.

    The scene with Marlee Maitlin painting love all over her body after having berated it so in What the Bleep Do We Know comes to mind. While a bit odd to me then, your words give meaning to the visual.

    Loving the Lord with all your heart mind soul strength and loving your neighbor as yourself entails embracing the whole from which emerges a beautiful gestalt of one body~soul~spirit to many.

    thank you for sharing your beautiful mind and your inspiring "mine" with us.

  8. p.s. who took that glowing pic of you?

  9. chloe dear - i'm so sorry to hear your relationship with your body has had a similar history, but just things from you've said & shared, i had a sense that maybe you & i had another point of connection this topic. it hurts to admit it, & it is awful to see some of those self-destructive thought & habit patterns bubble to the surface at times ... it's almost an addiction.

    i love what you say about we can't be perfect to our bodies, but we can be kind ... that there's always forgiveness. thank you for saying that; i needed to hear that today.

    tammy - dear, sweet tammy. i'm sorry to hear that this is such a pain point for you too. it seems God is raising so many painful things to the surface for you these days, things you know are there but are afraid to tackle.

    and i know what you mean about someone else's mentioning of it being grounds for murder - you should have heard some of the responses i gave when people pressed in around me giving me those "too skinny" comments. ooh, i let 'em all have it if they really pressed the topic.

    i don't know what God is up to with you, tammy, but i know He has marked you. why else would He be working in you the way He has, raising all these things to the surface. i don't think He expects you to handle all these things at once or on your own; like i'm doing now, the path is slow, addressing one thing at a time, handing those things to him in a very specific way, pointing out where those things live in your heart ... & we will always be here tammy ... in e-mail, in the blogs, on the phone. we can't make it easier, but we can make sure you know darn well that you're not alone ... in fact, you'll probably want to beat us all off with a stick after awhile. :o)

    your body is a temple, tammy. know that we love you exactly where you're at & we know God desires SO MUCH good for you -- and so do we!!

    di - thanks again for your reflections here. i haven't seen the film, but now i feel compelled to go & rent it; just the way you describe painting love all over her body ... i think maybe that's what these words aim to do here.

    in my experience, there are many christians who tend to avoid the fact that we have bodies, that we need to treat them well, that they are an integral part of our spirituality & identity, that God really cares for them ... that honoring the physical bodies God gave us is part of how we respond in love to him.

    oh di, i could write you a novel. in fact, i think we might have done just that this weekend!! ;o) love to you today!!

    oh, & that is a self-timer picture i took in my backyard yesterday. the sun was hitting that space perfectly & i just had to take advantage!!

  10. beautiful kirsten,

    i love your spirit. the spirit that calls forth each and every instance of this life you've lived with your body and turns those moments over and over and talks to your body about it, having a conversation, and has come to a place of conversing with it with such love. in the same way i wrote about my own heart shouting her way into my consciousness recently, about how she'd learned certain rooms of my heart were safe enough for safe people but she was still learning to trust me with new hardlocked doors way back in there, i can just see your own body learning to trust you more and more with each step you've taken to care for her more, to listen to her more, to give her what she needs and to not hold herself against her. i love it so much. and love YOU so much in this place.

    you were so vulnerable with all of us in this post, from sharing that fateful day every woman never forgets to sharing about the way you starved your body and felt proud to do so, from sharing your disdain and anger toward your body and how you pushed its limits and asked more of her than she had resources to give in college. you are such a brave girl to step into the truths of yourself and go through the process of working it all out in words, and then to make them public here. i marvel at your amazingness and love you for it so much.

    as i read this post, i couldn't help but recall many posts that you have written that circle around similar themes. the posts you have written about your heart, especially on your Cloud blog, came to mind. the post about becoming more fiercely you, learning to love yourself. so much of your journey, i am coming to realize, has been circling around self-acceptance in all its various forms and areas of life. the body. the heart. the mind. the spirit. its relationship to God. its relationship to the rest of the body of Christ. (and truth be told, when i first began reading this post, i wondered if you meant "body" in this collective sense!) and of course, my mind naturally goes to the book you will soon begin writing . . . perhaps this work of uncovering the layers of your heart, of learning to love and know and trust your heart, and of doing the same with your body and your mind and any other part that makes you up . . . perhaps this is somewhere to start.

    i just want to thank you again for trusting us with all these layers of your relationship with your body. it really did feel like an onion being pulled back and back and back as you have moved closer and closer to greater healthful relationship with her.

    that photograph of you, by the way, is drop-dead gorgeous. i love the moment the camera captured, and i love the light that shines on you, just as God's light shines on you always.

  11. Kirsten, I'm lost for words...

    I'm actually starting to have a rough day reading different blogs from this community. The honesty that is expressed here is overwhelming.

    Being a man, I feel like I'm looking from the outside in at your post. But I have three daughters, two sisters, a mother and a wonderful wife. Thanks for sharing some of your interior world and helping me to see, and care better for, my beloved girls.

  12. i've been hinting all along that i only recently realized that i have a body, and you've articulated so well the animosity and neglect that i've inflicted on the only physical thing in this world that is truly mine. i am taking my first halting steps to a wiser relationship with my flesh-and-bloodness. it's so hard. i want to cultivate listening and kindness where there have previously been a deaf ear and violent harshness. thanks for trusting us with this story. it glows just like that picture.

  13. Phenomenal!!

    God created K. and saw that it was GOOD!!

    Blessings on you girl . . .

  14. Kirsten, I felt so many things when i read this that i don't think i can recount them all here. I love your vulnerability, because it helps us see your beauty in ways we wouldn't if you locked it all inside.

    This post calls to me, somehow. You speak here of some things i do know and of others that I don't, but the post as a whole touches me deeply.

    There's something awful and something heavenly about having a body, and it's been hard for me to reconcile the two, sometimes. This speaks to that in amazing ways. Thank you for sharing it.

    And that photo is spectacular.

  15. Kirsten
    Sarah made a statement here she said that she was touched by your vulnerability and if you were not vulnerable we would miss a beautiful part of you if you kept it locked inside. She said this so well. I must reaffirm her voice on that one. I am grateful to God to have you in my life, your humility and the beautiful things that come out of your mouth is very touching. The last comment that you left on my blog was so sincere, heartfelt, and genuine. I thank you for that sincerity because that is truly the only mirror that we carry in our hearts that reflects the heart of God in us and through us to other people. Your words are fueled with fire, the fire of sincerity and brokenness. I am thankful for you and love you much and will talk with you a little later this week.

  16. i just have to chime in here and say that our community is beautiful. all of you have such beautiful things to share that illuminate your beautiful hearts and souls.

    i know i use the words "beautiful" and "heart" a LOT, and perhaps they give the impression of being overused. but so far, for me, they cannot be used enough to express the greatness that expands inside of me when i behold each of you.

    thank you all for being you. simply you. which is anything but simple and everything lovely and amazing.

  17. christianne - when it all comes down to it, i just love you. i always find new insights into what i've written wheni read your own reflections on it.

    i can only be vulnerable & honest here because i know i'm surrounded by a community with whom i can trust these things, with whom i can strip myself bare, say this is who i am without glossing it over, knowing the people around me don't require a picture of perfection [which - let's be honest - is SO not where i'm at these days!!].

    i hadn't consciously thought of this post as one of those peeling layers, but it is. it so is. it is one of those unexpected place, a place i hope that God will use to love other people, to bring them to the truth of themselves, to learn a healthy and appropriate self-love & acceptance. just like God intended it.

    love to you, friend.

    dean - having made the blogging rounds today, i know what you mean. a lot of bare-bones honesty. so it means much to me that you'd share your reflections here.

    i can't begin to describe what your reflections mean to me here. now i am the one who is lost for words.

    while i can only speak from my own experience, i think i can safely say that any woman's relationship with her body is a delicate & complex one. if this provides you with a bit more understanding of that that when you read this, i count myself tremendously blessed. love to you & all your girls. they are blessed to have you.

    terri - i do remember you saying in an earlier post of only recently cultivating that body awareness. i think a lot of women have similar experiences, which is odd in a way since we carry it with us always and cannot escape it, yet not odd ... because so many women i know [myself included] can claim that experience as their own. it is a difficult path to walk & i certainly do not pretend to have "arrived" anywhere. but hopefully this is a start.

    glad to have you back!! we've missed you something serious!!

    oh dave! - inserting my name into the words spoken at the creation of all things ... WOW. i imagine God says that every single time He weaves together a new human being. a good thing for us all to remember. :o) these words mean so much to me, thank you.

    glad you're back!! ;o)

    dear dear sarah - thank you for your reflections. when i woke up yesterday morning, these words were already with me. i didn't expect to be writing anything like *this*, much less publishing it here [i had a bit of poster's remorse, i admit ... but seeing as i woke up with these words in my head & given the context of my journey, i think these words came from things God has been whispering to me].

    something you said reminded me of an anne lamott quote that i just love:
    "The business of having been issued a body is deeply confusing -- it's another thing I'd like to bring up with God. Bodies are so messy, and disappointing. Every time I see the bumper sticker that says, 'We think we're humans having spiritual experiences, but we're really spirits, having human experiences,' (a) I think it's true, and (b) I want to ram the car."

    i'm glad this spoke to you; i think that has been happening a lot in this sphere these days: things we say speaking to each other, turning our faces God-ward, pointing us to Him, to the things He desires for us. Lord knows you've done the same for me.

    tammy - sweet tammy, i love you so much. thank you for being a part of this community where i feel completely safe to share these kinds of things [even though, as dean recently reminded me, this is a very PUBLIC arena], to share my journey in real time, to share God working as He's doing it.

    vulnerability. brokenness. a fire burning. transparency. these are all things God uses i think - so we can know for sure that all the good things that happen through us happen ONLY through the working of HIS power in us.

    we have this treasure in jars of clay ...

    blessings, sister. take care & i hold you up always.

    christianne - i echo your thoughts, dear girl. our community is so, so beautiful. the love being passed around, emanating from everyone's words, love being sent back and forth, and all around is heaven sent & dripping with grace & acceptance for where every person is at.

    it is a lovely & beautiful thing to be in a place where we can trust that everyone is bringing themselves as broken & imperfect as they are, that it is okay for others to put the truth of themselves on display, as beautiful & honest & bare & stripped as they are, all seeking out the face of our Father in heaven. all giving one another glimpses of that face, all pulling each other & holding each other up.

    that was a run on, but i think that'll make sense to those who are in it. :o)

  18. totally makes sense, sister. i get you. i get it. because i am in it, too.

  19. Kirsten, sorry for being MIA. I so feel you on this post.

    My body and I are currently in litigation, so I will not be able to discuss details here. Hopefully, the suit will be settled before too long. There are just so many issues to deal with in addition to the charges of gross negligence.

    I'm glad you and your body have hammered out some kind of agreement. That precedent may just be the missing link in our mediation process. My body and I thank you.

  20. christianne - i knew you'd get it. there's some sense in which language seems to be losing its power these days; we're really experiencing how inadequate it is to describe our experiences here. :o)

    nathan - you have been missed, but not forgotten. we all have lives & things outside of blogging that demand our attention [wha?!].

    like anything, this relationship is a work in progress with occasional relapses & constant re-negotiations. i hope yours go well & that you & your body arrive at a mutually amicable agreement.

  21. kirsten... so raw and powerful. you have voiced what every woman has probably struggled with at some point or another. we all may dislike different aspects of our bodies, or abuse it in differnet ways, but i think it's a universal struggle.

    now, when people ask me what i love about my body, i answer, "that my husband loves it". it's imperfect, but loved. :)

  22. nate, you crack me up. you and your body in litigation, cannot disclose details publicly because of it, perhaps this is the missing link that will move the mediation forward. ha! such a great extension of metaphor. man, have we missed you around her, brotha!

  23. Ditto! brotha...the jury is in, the verdict: STAY.

  24. I remember so much of this - I remember that moment at camp, so many years ago. I remember being one of those people who said "you are too skinny", mainly because, at that time of my life, I had never struggled with weight/body issues. It wasn't until I went through my own struggles, and got feedback about how great I looked (when really I looked sick), did I come to see how it was such an issue of control, and how I desired/longed/needed to be in control of it. Even now - going on day to day - I still realize that there are the negative comments that come and go - fortunately, they are on the "go" phase.

    God has made our bodies, and he sees them as wonderful.

  25. In Ef. 1 verse 6 God says that He will finish the beauty that He has started in you...it will not be an easy road, but He promise that He will be right next to you along the road...holding your hand...

    This is a beautiful letter, Kirsten.

    Be kind to yourself and gentle with your heart.

    Thinking of you xx

  26. My throat is all closed up. My heart slowed down, to the beat of a sad rhythm that runs throughout this piece. And yet, there it is, the joy at the end that asks me to look up and nod a smile in your direction.

  27. blue - i think you're right. body image is a recurring theme in life with many women, especially in a world where we are bombarded with millions of images portraying impossible standards of what is considered beautiful.

    it's such a difficult thing to trust sometimes that God made our bodies good too, that He made them just as He should be. ;o)

    christianne & di - extended metaphor, yes. nathan is good at such things. ;o) and yes, he must stay!!

    ilse - you are so right. it boils down to issues of control - about feeling out of control, so you exert it in whatever areas you can control. what you put in your mouth & how much you exercise is definitely one of those things.

    i remember you being there, i think of the summer of 1995 when we were CITs @ firwood, that was probably the worst of it. i never thought i was skinny enough.

    i think now that every time God makes a new human being, he thinks it is "very good". i need to remember that. ;o)

    periwinkle - thank you for your beautiful reflections, for your kind thoughts. i am learning to be gentle with me.
    peace, sweet girl!

    laura - your response sounds so visceral, so powerful. there is joy & there is hope. i believe this is stepping in the direction of God's original design for us. truly. thank you.

  28. peace-making in the aftermath of warring parties is always tricky! grace and peace. making peace...with our bodies. hmmm...that is a good thing.

  29. Me, I'd like to make peace with the image the camera captures.

  30. Wow, quite a struggle that you have had through the years, Kirsten. Good to see you have made peace and know how truly kalos you really are!

    (hint: it's greek to me)


  31. suz - what beautiful words & what beautiful thoughts they convey ... peace between formerly warring parties.

    to be sure, peace-making can be a tricky & tenuous path. thank you for reminding me, beautiful friend!

    23 degrees - thank you & thank you again. we [the body & i] are headed toward that amicable & peaceful place. and thank God for online greek-english dictionaries!! ;o)

  32. psst . . . i've been meaning to tell you that i love that new pic in your sidebar of you walking along the path with your back to the camera, your feet stepped up at a little angle. it feels childlike to me. it makes me smile every time. love you, girl. you invade my heart.

  33. fortunate fool - thanks for visiting! i hope you'll be back ...

    sweet christianne - you do so invade my heart too. i was actually skipping & dancing along the path when kaari snapped that photo of me. i love it too ... dancing along the path. something that i love about that, too. ;o)

    love to you!!

  34. Hi Kirsten, check your mail when your time catches up with mine :)

  35. Kirsten,

    Today on our break, I told you I would come read your blog and I did. You are a wonderful writer and it is true that I know more about you now than I have in all our passing meetings.

    I do want you to know that now and even before, I have thought you are beautiful. I always look forward for our passing conversations and awkward smiles as we pass in the halls. These thoughts I tell you here, as our place of work does not feel like the proper environment. So, again, you are beautiful... not solely in a physical sense, but more of what I knew of your person and now what I know.

    If you ever need a friend, a shoulder, a song, or even someone to share a latte, I am more than willing... just let me know.



  36. kristin,
    your words settle deep. I can feel inside my own body from where these words come and you are brave for speaking them, offering them space.
    the fear, the control, the resentment, the pain, the thrashing against limitations, all of it, I hear you. And step by step, you move towards compassion and love.
    may your body respond in kind.

  37. Hello I been missing ya, I just called to say i love you, I am not Stevie Wonder so i just blogged to say i love you.

  38. So you see Kirsten, she's right, it is getting light.

  39. Kirsten, this is such a beautiful post, something every woman and girl should read. You are beautiful inside and out.

    Much love,

    PS - Wanna join me for a "Newsies" singalong? =)

  40. christin - ha!! i'm totally with you on the sing-along.

    and thank you for the compliment. this is implicit i think since all of this is posted on the internet, but please feel free to pass it on.

    blessings & love to you!!
    * k