with thanks to the one who sent me this

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Perhaps one of the most discouraging struggles women endure is that never-ending battle with our own bodies ........

     A woman's attitude toward her own body is fraught with misconceptions fueled by a world that celebrates an almost prepubescent female body as the ideal norm.  For most of us, time moves on.  We are not seventeen, a number of children have made their way through our birth canals, and gravity is exerting its inexorable pull.  Whenever we  look in the mirror, we are reminded of what we are not.  Satan would have it just that way.....thus we enter into a war with our bodies, hating the very tabernacle our Father has given us.....If Satan can get us to fixate on our bodies, either in vanity or self-loathing, then he has caused us to misunderstand completely the role our bodies play in our salvation.....

     I cannot help but think, as I remember the births of each of my children, that this human body, also can make us most divine--that the peculiar pains of a woman's flesh reach her exquisitely, intimately.  What they teach she cannot know beforehand or even know that she needs to know.  But when the pain subsides or is grown accustomed to, she realizes that some time during the darkest of nights or mundanest of mornings, knowledge has descended like the dews from heaven and enlarged her soul.

   Unfortunately, the experience has also enlarged her hips and thighs.  Stretch marks ornament my breasts and hips like silver ribbons.  My hips are two sizes wider, my feet a size bigger than when I was married--my very bones have expanded in response to my mothering.  Some of the effects are temporary, just for the moments of pregnancy....these pass in their time, but the memory remains.

     In that memory lies the glory of this earthly body: though we may be resurrected in a perfect frame, the lessons taught me by my mother-body will rise with me.  The sacrifice, the pain, the fear and faith of my mothering will sink into my soul and remain with me in the eternities.  My spirit and this woman's body inseparably connected constitute my fullness of joy. Time writes its messages on all of us.  Our very bodies have become our book of life, "an account of our obedience or disobedience written in our bodies."   To what have we been obedient?  To the purpose for which we were made; to provide a body and a safe haven for the spirits entrusted to our care.  If we mother well, we wear out our lives bringing to pass the lives of others.  Of the physical fruits--our wider hips, our sagging breasts, our flatter feet, and rounder buttocks--we need not be so ashamed."

                   Tessa Meyer Santiago--Womens Conference 1998, Get Thee Behind Me:ThwartingLatter-Day Deceits, pg.208,211,212.

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