Today is Thanksgiving.
I have spent the last 32 days focusing my writing and my awareness on gratitude. I have looked around me. I have watched my life in rewind, slow motion, and at full speed. I have paid attention to everything in my world. But there is one thing at the centre of it all that I have to acknowledge although it feels uncomfortable to do it publicly.
I am grateful for myself.
Writing those five words even felt strange to write. But for almost six months now, I have stopped fighting who I am. Not only did I stop fighting who I am and accept myself, I truly love myself and who I am becoming. Becoming isn’t even the word I would use for this process. It’s been a remembering of who I really am.
When I look in the mirror, I know my children are watching me, especially my girls. I don’t want them to see me scrutinize my body. I don’t want them to hear me criticize myself. I want them to hear words of acceptance and loving the body that my spirit happens to inhabit. I want them to look in the mirror and see past their changing external appearance and see the inextinguishable light within them. How can I tell them that they are perfect just as they are when I can’t do that for myself?
I am going to do something that definitely pushes my edges and my comfort zone. I am going to list all the things that I am grateful for about myself when I look in the mirror. It’s funny how we can list all the amazing things about our spouse, our children or other people close to us, but when it comes to ourselves, it is embarrassing and uncomfortable or can be perceived as arrogant and narcissistic.
I am grateful for my wavy and unruly hair. I used to want straight hair until one of my daughters taught me a lesson about accepting the hair we were born to have.
I am grateful for the wrinkles at the corner of my eyes and in between my eyebrows and especially for the wrinkles I am getting on the sides of my mouth. My kids say it’s because I am laughing too much.
I am grateful for my slightly lazy left eye. It makes me laugh because it is always the last body part to wake up.
I am grateful for the multitude of stretch marks all over my body, my stretched out belly skin, and my nursed-out sagging breasts – they remind me that this body was once a home to all my babies and as they grow up and out, sometimes it’s the only evidence I have that they were once these tiny little things that I delivered into this world.
I am grateful for my hands because they are identical to my mother’s hands.
I am grateful for my skin because it is a visible reminder of my culture.
I am grateful that my eyes smile instead of pierce.
I am grateful that my posture is better from making a conscious effort to fix it through yoga and pilates.
I am grateful for my height and my weight.
I am grateful for being 37 years old.
I am grateful for being a woman.
I am grateful for my sense of humour, my softened heart, my faith in goodness, and my creativity.
I am grateful for knowing I am more than this body that I see in the mirror.
Try this exercise. Stand in front of the mirror and list all the things that you are grateful for about yourself.
42 days of gratitude…giving thanks to it ALL.