As American Christian women, we get a triple dose of lies about our bodies.

We are American. Our bodies are for work and productivity. Success. If your body is not producing something, then it does not deserve the oxygen it is consuming.

We are Christian. Our bodies are a source of temptation for men and a source of distraction for us. Our bodies have been cursed since the moment Eve bit the apple.

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We are women. Our bodies are never good enoughnever young enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, shapely enough, smooth enough, tight enough, tan enough, white enough, tall enough, short enough, airbrushed enough. Never. Enough.

We are brainwashed into believing these lies. We are socialized into believing our bodies are our enemies.

And so, at a very young age, we divorce ourselves from our bodies. We disown them. Ignore, disregard, neglect, disconnect, disrespect. We abuse them. Starve them. Stuff them. Cut them. Hide them. Hate them.

Is it any wonder we suffer?

We are not born hating our bodies. We are taught. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. And it is easy, and just, to cast blame. The media is to blame. Advertisers are to blame. Our pastors, teachers, doctors, legislators, peers, and families are to blame. Eventually, as we pass this suffering on to the next generation, we are to blame. The cycle continues. The suffering perpetuates. Hope is lost.

Unless.

Unless.

It is hard to hear the truth over the blare of the television set. Hard to listen to an enemy. Hard to make amends with someone we hate. It feels complicated. Confusing. Itchy. Achy. Impossible. But perhaps it is not as impossible as it feels.

Perhaps all we have really needed is permission. Permission to reroute our rage, rewrite our story, redefine what is true.

My body is not my enemy. My body is not my enemy. My body is not my enemy.

My body is a gift. 

My body is beautiful.

My body is my closest friend, my most trusted confidant.

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My body is always speaking to me, telling me what she needs, and in so doing, telling me what I need. Her pleasure, her desire, her hunger, her thirst, her fatigue, her want, her need, her sadness, her anger, her pain, her longing, her joy are messengers of truth. 

My body always tells the truth.

Life resides within my body, not without.

Every good thing that ever happens, happens from the inside out.

Write it. Say it. Play it. On repeat. Over and over. Again and again. Until we believe it. Until our daughters believe it.

The rebirth begins here. The ripples of healing begin here.

So, by all means, rage. Rage on. But rage against the machine that taught you to rage against yourself.

Echo Vetter

I love books and trails and road trips. Writing has helped me heal a broken heart and reclaim the identity I lost to a long walk through postpartum depression. I have a deep and abiding appreciation for authenticity, simplicity and story. I am learning that life is best lived around the table and under a blanket of grace. I married my high school sweetheart when I was nineteen. Today we homeschool our four children in Nashville, TN.