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Your Body: Friend, Foe or Frenemy?

If there is one being in my life who truly has zero struggles with body image or body friendship, it is my parrot, Pearl. He eagerly rushes towards any – and I do mean any – reflective surface he sees, keen to whistle in admiration at the prettiness he sees!

As I continue the healing process from hypothyroidism and life, small “inspires” (what I am starting to call tiny moments of inspiration) keep wafting themselves in my direction.

My body is struggling to make me proud, or happy, or at least not mad.

In some ways, this struggle feels like a legacy – and not a good one.

For instance, I can remember my child-self making exactly the same types of efforts toward my parents, teachers, peers, everyone except myself, really. I wanted to make them proud of me, or happy, or at least not mad.

But I never really stopped to consider how I felt about me. I never really paused to contemplate the equally complex relationships continually forming and re-forming within me.

My body with my mind.

My heart with my spirit.

My body with my heart.

My spirit with my mind.

You get the idea.

Earlier this week, a jaw-dropping, world-rocking quote by poet Nayyirah Waheed arrived in my inbox, courtesy of a daily email I subscribe to:

and i said to my body. softly.
‘i want to be your friend.’
it took a long breath.
and replied
‘i have been waiting my whole life for this.’ 

Honestly, my first thought after reading this was, “Really? You have? Well then you sure have had a long wait!”

At 47 and a half years old to date, my body clearly possesses the patience of ancient pyramids, time capsules, interstellar black holes, when it comes to waiting around for my friendship.

Yet truly, I DO want to be my body’s friend. And I want my body to be my friend. I just haven’t always felt sure my body wants to be my friend. Often it has felt like my body just wanted to take me down. It was too curvy, too noticeable, too heavy, then too light, always too much out there, intent on making a very public scene I felt powerless to stop.

For some reason, my body has always attracted its own attention, regardless of my efforts to the contrary. And (with the exception of a few past boyfriends) that attention has mostly come in the form of trolls, who have existed long before the internet and have never even made the slightest attempts at anonymity.

I am only now, this morning really, starting to realize that my body wasn’t ever doing anything to attract all that attention. It didn’t want it either. The only attention it has ever wanted has been mine.

Making peace with my body has been hard enough, especially when individual members (like, say, the thyroid) attempt to secede from the union and we all have to rally the troops to reel the deserter back in.

But now there is a new challenge and opportunity emerging on our collective horizon – to move from foe to frenemy to true friends.

Today’s Takeaway: I always feel like when the challenge starts to seem possible rather than impossible, that might mean I am ready to work on it in a way that might actually produce positive results. But there still seems to be so much stacked against the chances of my body and me ever becoming good, trustworthy friends. Are you friends with your body? I would love to hear what has worked for you and your body to develop a friendship!

Your Body: Friend, Foe or Frenemy?

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2018). Your Body: Friend, Foe or Frenemy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 May 2018
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