The Love Dare (Link-Up): Writing a love letter to your body

It was something suggested to me by my therapist – something I never in a million years thought I’d be able to finish. ​
It was a post written in the middle of as opposed to after the fact.​ I did not see myself as I wrote, but I prayed to find beauty in the body God gave me through every word.
It was soul-shattering.​
My plea for acceptance ​echoed against the lies repeating inside :: don’t let anyone near, don’t let anyone touch, don’t let anyone love.
It was the proverbial ice-pick for the glacier of hurt I kept inside.
​ Perhaps it’s fitting these words were thrown on a page in faith a little over a year ago. I’ve grown a lot these past few months – understanding and accepting and fighting for the personality and skin and space my body possesses.

We spent some time at the coast this past summer.

Before we left for the beach, I surveyed the clothes in my suitcase. Cover-up? T-shirt and shorts? Both and? Nothing at all? I could feel the familiar fear creeping in, the words of warning and the disgust thrown my way. Closing my eyes, I breathed deep and grabbed the cover-up and flip flops. When I took off the piece of fabric leaving only my swimsuit, no one glanced my way. No one curled their lip. No one pointed and laughed. I walked into the waves, holding the hand of my husband and leaned in close for a salty kiss as he smiled.​
“You look amazing, love. Alive.” ​
And I glanced at the sun and giggled at the wave coming our way because I felt alive. Every cell in my body was waking up and taking notice.​

​I have a page in my art journal titled self-love 2013. 

There’s a list there - take naps ​and invest in haircuts ​and don’t be afraid to take those dance classes ​ among a few of the reminders. I started the spread at the beginning of the year when I felt myself fold over into a new stage of RISK – acting out on dreams He’s birthed in me. I knew the risk would produce vulnerability. I knew vulnerability would clash against the fear.
I knew in everything I would need to hold my body and spirit close, whispering and reminding the little girl inside just how much I love her and how thankful I am for her resiliency in getting me this far.​
So every day I stretch into yoga and listen for that whisper of a beginning in self-care. I remember the words that started it all, a love letter to this skin I’m in, a declaration of acceptance for the woman He’s made me to embrace.
Elora Nicole Ramirez seeks out the beauty in brokenness and aims to tell the Truth in all she does. She believes stories can change the world and every day prophets will help us get there. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook or read more on her blog.

Every Monday we’re Daring to Love Ourselves, leading up to the release of my (Emily’s) new book, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After PregnancyJoin us by linking up your own posts below, writing a LOVE LETTER to your body. Let’s create a beautiful revolution, friends!

**Please, if you link up, could you add the Love Dare Button (see right-hand column of blog) to your post? Thank you!

**ALSO: there will be NO Imperfect Prose on Thursdays this week, as Emily is on vacation.

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14 Comments

  1. This is so lovely. I also struggle with my self image. I am so glad that you are learning to love and accept yourself. That must be liberating.

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  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Elora. :) Might be one of the scariest things I’ve ever written, but also freeing.

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  3. This was and is very hard to do …But from what I have done so far …Very rewarding

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  4. I’m a day behind, but will try to do this with you. :)

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  5. Rejoicing with you :) So glad you were able to enjoy your time at the coast.

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  6. Sorry! Sometimes I just link and come to read afterwards when I have the time, and I just realized I linked a totally inappropriate post! I’ve never really had body issues- I say I cover up to save others’ pain!!! :^) Never thought to write to my body and now I am thinking what in the world would I say???? Maybe sorry for all the bad food I eat, and for all the sugar I ate as a kid!
    Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  7. Hello beautiful friend. I’m back. And what a beautiful post to return with. From someone who I “know”. Sweet Elora, I never get tired of reading your words. You inspire me. Emily, the break was needed for this searching and healing. I’ve been here, lurking in the corners, silently. You hold a special piece of my heart. You helped me begin telling those hard stories. I will forever be grateful. XO

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  8. I can’t bring myself to do this. I have such issues nowadays. Well, if you ask my husband, I’ve always had issues, but now they are magnified. Your words minister. Thank you for that.

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  9. Elora,

    Yes, this is truth. The Artist made beauty in you, I’m sure, and you have a good wise man beside you too. Good job to him as well.

    Thank you.

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    Reply
  10. Emily,

    regarding your comment on my linked post “Underneath the Mom Hat… It Stirs,” you are kind and encouraging to me — this coming from you, a writer who draws me in frequently to the beauty, the transparency of yourself. Thanks, friend.

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    Reply
  11. I have published part 2 of my love letter and I am so caught up in this now

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  12. Writing in long form requires an almost herculean ability to delay gratification. This was a good suggestion that you put up here…dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here.

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i'm so glad you're here, friend. how are you?