Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Imperfections On My Cover

     I have always loved books. That is a love that comes from my Dad. I love used book stores the best. Also a love that comes from my Dad. We spent countless hours pouring over books together when I was a child. The smell of old paper is a comfort to me. Walking into a used book stores feel like a place for a great treasure hunt. I have carried that love for old books with me into adulthood. It's from this love that a lesson about my body came about. 

     I used to judge a book by its cover. Not the cover art but the condition of the cover and binding. If the book was torn, creased, lose at the spine, or had dog eared pages I put it down and moved on to the next.  My books had to be perfect. When I brought them home, they stayed perfect. I didn't lend out my books because I didn't want their condition to be compromised.  Now, as an adult, I found it necessary to stop caring about the outer condition of the books I want to read.  My love for the 40's and 50's means most of these books are no longer being published and have been around for some time. I need to grab them when I see them regardless of condition,because I may not find it again. 

     It was a book called "Gracie; A Love Story" by George Burns that taught me a lesson about bodies. This book is no longer printed and if I wanted to read it I would have to get over its appearance. The creased spine, torn corners of the cover, and lose pages didn't take away from the story. The condition of the book didn't change the story at all. I just had to hold the book carefully and try not it to add more wear and tear to it.  When I was finished I placed it on my bookshelf with a smile of satisfaction from reading a great story.  

     The cover made no difference to the story itself, like my body makes no difference as to WHO I am. I come with imperfections on my cover: stretch marks, scars, blemishes, cellulite, and more. Yet none of that changes my heart and soul. My body is the cover to my amazing story. My body has been through a lot and it can show.  Just like the creased spine of a good book, the imperfections themselves show a story.  My body is on a journey and it will get bumps and scrapes on it, as it should. I can tell you stories about each scar, the lessons I've learned along the way. When I am old I will look at the lines on my faces and skin hanging where it didn't before and remind myself that my cover has been through a lifetime of learning and adventure, my body has been used and appreciated. 

     I no longer toss aside the book with the "used" look to it. I no longer toss my body aside and think it broken, used, or ugly. My story has many chapters, my body is just the package in which a great story is held.  I would love to find all my books in mint condition but that's unrealistic; just like thinking our bodies should and can be perfect. Embrace the imperfections, they tell a better story! 

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