Mabel loves my breasts. Not the way you might enjoy a typical glass of milk. Not even in the same way you might really, really enjoy a tall, cold, perfectly refreshing glass of milk with a thick slice of rich chocolate cake. No, Mabel loves my breasts like they have names; like they have names that she knows, names that she knows because they told her. I think Mabel has a relationship with my breasts, she thinks they’re alive, she LOVES them.
Now that she’s 8 months old, she doesn’t just cozy up and nurse. She strokes the exposed skin with an open palm, showing a gentleness I’d wish she’d allow my hair. She stares at my breasts, covered or not, and babbles in their sweet and special language. She’ll pull away while nursing and murmur something softly right against my nipple, she’ll giggle and bury her face in them. At night she lays next to me, both of us on our sides, and nurses to sleep – but only if her hand is allowed to stroke and rest on my other breast. It’s serious, she’s in love.
Watching Mabel love on my breasts has started me thinking about love of self in general. Unlike Mabel, I don’t love my breasts, I don’t look at them with awe and admiration. I haven’t even thought to look on them, the sustainer and ultimate comforter of my firstborn, with gratitude. I see their shape and call it wrong, I see their size and label them as lacking.
My body makes me uncomfortable and so I choose not to think of it, or think of it negatively, instead of coming to terms with all that I am, instead of accepting gracefully and gratefully the raw beauty that is my Self.
I’d like to fix this. I’d like to change the way I see myself before I teach the next generation to look at herself through hate colored lenses. And not just my physical self, but all of me. I’d like to begin to accept myself as is. I’d like to feel more like the person reflected in Mabel’s eyes.
What about you? Have you found the secret to self-love and acceptance?