I have been coaching and pastoring people working through some deep trauma in their past lately, and recognizing that psychologists will talk a lot about body love and body hate, but I am not convinced they are giving a well rounded recipe for taking healing steps.
It made me think about the powerful exercise we have engaged in as women’s movements across the years. It came from reading a blog called A Love Letter To My Body. Read it here
As I was reading again about these daughters of Zelophehad, I thought about how they physically had to come forward and show up. In today's post I want to talk about the power of showing up BODY, soul and spirit!
I used to feel so uncomfortable whenever anyone told me that who I was as a woman was beautiful, strong, powerful or captivating. I found myself among the masses of women who did not value their femininity even though my upbringing had taught me the kingdom story of worth, dignity and value. The revelation had not seeped into my feminine heart. So I joined the ranks of millions and millions of women that have gone before us and still remain today who have no sense of worth and value.
And I HID… in the shadows.. I stayed out of so many arenas … I wouldn’t SHOW UP because I didn’t like who I was. The arena I resisted longest positioning myself in was in fact the perceived big bad uncomfortable world of womanhood…
So here I was 16, 17, 18 years old wrestling internally a huge dynamic in my life – the evolution of who I was from girl to woman – wrestling internally what was happening to me externally.
You see every great internal negotiation has some expression externally. The BODY SPEAKS SO LOUDLY & OFTEN SO UNRESTRAINED.
I resisted anything from woman’s events, to talking about becoming a woman. I hid everything about my body emerging into womanhood. I shaved my head and was generally uncomfortable in my own skin.
I resented my womanhood and I couldn’t even tell you exactly why.
There are many girls reading this and you know exactly why you resent your womanhood. You know that had you not been born girl certain experiences would never have happened to you or certain opportunities would not have been withheld from you. But for me it was a general discomfort…. And we can physically WITHDRAW… we DRAW BACK
We pull ourselves out of the arena.. it just all gets a bit too much …
But we are going to sometime need to call on all that strength ….we get tired, weary, overwhelmed, physically exhausted.. but still there is an arena calling our name.
And today I want to highlight that these daughters ‘came forward’ one step at a time and SHOWED UP – even if we just position our bodies and show up with the strength of our bodies….even when we don’t feel ready, perfect, beautiful, happy....when everything comes crashing down around us, our internal world is falling part there is still such STRENGTH IN WHO YOU ARE AS GIRL!
Just you, as female, is ENOUGH.
Even just the strength of your female body is enough to celebrate and enough to call on when you have nothing left inside.
Sadly 90% of all women aged 15 to 64 worldwide want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest.
In fact 67% of all women withdraw from life-engaging activities due to feeling badly about their looks…. Just our body image can keep us out of the arena designed for us.
So we bleach, pluck, straighten, conceal, disguise, augment surgically..... we DESPISE our bodies.
But...our bodies are so amazing!
Our bodies give birth to life
They have the potential to give life to over 400 babies on our lifetime!
Our bodies are intuitive
Our heart beats 4000 times per hour
Our lungs breath 15,000 times per day
Our body cells renew 1 million times per minute
In fact you are a completely new person every 7 years
Our bodies are beautiful
Fact - there is no perfect body shape… dress sizes – one of the main ways we compare ourselves and measure our worth – weren’t even invented until the 1950s!
Maybe we can learn to appreciate, respect, take care of, value, enjoy...even LOVE our bodies…
So if you have read this far maybe it’s because you need this truth to overshadow your reality. And this exercise is the one exercise I have coached women to do as one of the ways that truth can be imparted over your body to heal and transform.
So what you do is read a love letter from heaven over you as a woman. If you are willing, then stand in front of a mirror and speak this over yourself...naked if you dare…..This is how God feels about ALL of you ..
Song of songs 4:1-5 You're so beautiful, my darling, so beautiful,
(HE LOVES YOUR HAIR)
and your dove eyes are veiled by your hair as it flows and shimmers,
like a flock of goats in the distance
streaming down a hillside in the sunshine.
(HE LOVES YOUR SMILE)
Your smile is generous and full—
expressive and strong and clean.
(HE LOVES YOUR LIPS)
Your lips are jewel red,
your mouth elegant and inviting,
your veiled cheeks soft and radiant.
The kisses of your lips are honey, my love,
every syllable you speak a delicacy to savor.
(HE LOVES THE WAY THE WAY YOU CARRY YOURSELF)
The smooth, lithe lines of your neck
command notice—all heads turn in awe and admiration!
Your breasts are like fawns,
twins of a gazelle, grazing among the first spring flowers.
(HE LOVES YOUR CURVES SO DON’T DESPISE THEM)
The sweet, fragrant curves of your body,
the soft, spiced contours of your flesh
You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love,
beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.
(HE INVITES YOU AWAY FROM YOUR WILDERNESS)
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride.
Leave Lebanon behind, and come.
Leave your high mountain hideaway.
Abandon your wilderness seclusion,
(HE INVITES YOU TO SHOW UP)
Move out of the shadows into the light
You've captured my heart, dear friend.
You looked at me, and I fell in love.
One look my way and I was hopelessly in love!
How beautiful your love, dear, dear friend—
far more pleasing than a fine, rare wine,
your fragrance more exotic than select spices.
Dear lover and friend, you're a secret garden,
a private and pure fountain.
Body and soul, you are paradise,
It was scripture like this that beckoned me towards the healthy embracing of my femininity…
It changed my life forever as I realised I was wanted, loved, delighted in, treasured and that who I was becoming as woman was a gift! God had created me perfectly as a woman and my SOUL was learning it full well. And today it is your turn.. He is inviting you ….
Maybe its time to celebrate our bodies, know how deeply loved we are, how close we are invited to the very Lover of our lives…. Draw close and see if it changes how we see ourselves.
I BEGAN TO SEE MY FEMININITY AS A GIFT and it did have an outward expression of changes I made. It was a life changing moment of liberation for me and honestly I was never the same again. I learnt how to love my body, become comfortable & confident in my own skin.
Then I wrote this as a love letter to my body
"I have loved with this body, I have nurtured with these arms. I have extended kindness with these hands. I have hurt many people with these lips and asked for forgiveness out of these same lips. I have since carried 5 beautiful babies in my body, and I have felt such deep physical grief in this body and I have made daily choices to SHOW UP, if only physically with nothing else inside me. I have made constant choices to connect with myself and others as a whole person… Thank you for housing who I am dear body"
I am absolutely convinced that our bodies are powerful, capable, resilient, captivating and I celebrate the STRENGTH OF OUR WOMANHOOD – Body, Soul & Spirit.
The end of the love letter in Song of Songs says
“Dance, dance, dear Shulammite, Angel-Princess!
Dance, and we'll feast our eyes on your grace!
Everyone wants to see her victory dances of love and peace”
Watching a woman SHOW UP is like feasting our eyes on grace!
So how can you BOLDLY LOVE YOUR BODY? Why don't you go write a love letter to your body or post below in our comments.
You, daughter, are captivating.