There is no space in that command. No push, no pull. No relationship between two entities. It is love heaped from one being onto another. It is a love that is finite and acute. It creates a wholeness not of resiliency but conditionality. We are whole, we are happy if we love our body.
But what happens when we don’t?
What happens in those moments of contention and resentment and confusion and disappointment. What happens then?
Do they mean that we’ve failed?
Do they mean the we don’t love ourselves?
And if we don’t love ourselves. If we can’t feel that deep, unwavering love rooted in our very being. If our most simple, our most basic relationship of love is based on one that is infallible in the fact that it is not stable, but rather static – how are we supposed to navigate loving the chaotic presence of someone else? How are we supposed to receive love when we see it so easily undermined in our own minds when we look in the mirror or enter a dressing room or sit down to a meal?
Our body is perhaps the best example of why one-directional, action-driven love – the kind where you dissolve into another, the kind doesn’t elevate you but completes you – doesn’t leave you whole, but hollow.
But what if we changed the vernacular?
What if instead of loving we are in love. A preposition that imbues love with autonomy. Love becomes not who we are, but what we do. It is not simply what we give, but also what we receive. Love becomes not a force to be wielded but a relationship to discover.
When we are in love we have the right to need space. We have the right to be disappointed. We have the right to be angry. We have the right to be all of those things without them negating the enduring presence of love. It is simply what happens when two entities collide. Why should it be so different, so oddly and unnaturally constant with our body?
I don’t know if I will ever love my body. If there will be some day of deliverance in which I will look at it and it will be simple, and pure, and bright. And I don’t think I would want that. It makes me anxious and claustrophobic.
I don’t know if I will ever love my body but I do know that I am already fiercely in love with my body. It isn’t a love that is constant. It isn’t shiny. Or neat. Or tame. Rather it is a love that is resilient. And messy. And expansive. And wild.
It still surprises me how you can change everything without changing anything. How a simple preposition can change it all.
To not love, but…
To fall in love.
To be in love.
To delight in LOVE.
By: Maddie Berky
Maddie is a writer, blogger, storyteller & holistic nutritionist. She is not a purveyor of answers, but an asker of questions. And she seeks not to construct the most perfect plate, but rather uncover the human siting down to that plate who is worthy and nourished and alive. Our relationship with food creates this beautiful opportunity to explore who we are and train who we want to become. It asks us to engage with these multifaceted drives of hunger and nourishment and pleasure. Can we receive? Can we trust ourselves? Can we connect - to our plate, to our body, to our partner? It is the answer to those questions that not only affects what is on our plate, but more importantly, the space we take up in this world.
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