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Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Soft, Warm Hug

Women nurture the world. We create life, we sustain life, we nurture life. We create and sustain and nurture. It's part of the biology. It's not all we do. Not all we are. But a lot. A huge amount. And in all the nurturing and sustaining, we are told again and again that what matters - most, or a lot, or importantly - is how we look while we're doing it.

We nurture the world, babies, men, relationships, and each other, but when we feed and nurture our own bodies, we are told to question every morsel we consume, that we shouldn't nurture ourselves too much, that in the middle of everything else we are doing, it's important to pay attention to how we look most of all. And to focus on the weight that we acquired, the weight that a feminine body so easily carries in its role of nurturing the world and everyone in it.

This isn't a defense of weight or size or shape, but an acknowledgement that women's bodies come in an endless variety of weights and sizes and shapes. And that nurturing and sustaining, bringing feminine energy and qualities into the world to balance and smooth out the other stuff constantly threatening to overtake us, sometimes means soft, warm, round bodies.

Which is not actually a sin. It's a gift. A gift to be able to nurture and give and be generous with that capacity. There is nothing like the warm hug of someone who knows how to nurture un-self-consciously, who isn't afraid to draw you close and wrap their arms around you and share themselves to comfort you, someone who doesn't worry that you'll judge their hug by their size or shape or weight, but just offers it freely, one human to another.

The spiritual journey always offers the reminder that we are not the bodies in which we live. At best they are a reflection of our spiritual selves, and at worse, they hide who we are, but our essential truth isn't in the body. It's in our heart, mind, and soul. And over-focusing on shape, size, and weight, at the expense of sharing ourselves naturally, means we might miss the best part of the journey.