I've always been petite, something that used to truly bother me growing up.  Sometimes it still does. I grew up in a family where the women are curvaceous so, naturally, I longed for the day when my body would mirror theirs. Eventually I began to realize that the kind of curves  I wanted weren't coming in. I also started paying attention to what men seemed to respond to and it made me feel even more "out of place". I felt cursed, trapped in a body that just wouldn't mold itself into what I wanted.

I even thought I knew what it felt like to truly despise my body but my ill fated sexual assault would prove to take my hatred to another level. In my mind, not only did I have to deal with a body I was already uncomfortable with but I also had to deal with it being invaded and housing something damaged.

While I don't believe that my body houses anything damaged anymore, I still struggle to accept how it looks from time to time. Some days I let my old internal dialogue win. The difference between now and then is that a part of me comes behind the negative self talk and cleans any wounds left behind. When that part of me feels like it's time for me to remember how to embrace myself 100%, I usually find myself wandering to the closest mirror. I take a look at the body I have; hands gliding over breasts that aren't perky, stretch marks that cover my hips and butt despite my small frame, and dark marks from old acne scars and accidents from my little girl years. I touch every part of myself for a moment and whisper, "it is mine". I repeat this until I can't stand the thought of thinking less of my body and all of me feels electrified with the thought that it is beautiful as is.

My body deserves more credit than I give it... I mean, it has managed to propel me forward whenever I've felt like I can't go on and that's no small feat. I published a post a few months ago saying that I wasn't a strong woman but I realize that my ability to carry less than an ounce of hope in my heart is my strength. Perhaps my body doesn't allow me to give up on myself or life because it wasn't built to do so. Maybe, just maybe, God knit me together in such a way that my body understands the importance of my purpose. Maybe my body and my purpose are a package deal.

Whatever the case may be, despite how many times I criticize it, my body is strong and forgiving when I am not. While there may be days where I struggle to readily accept the body I've been given, I'd be lying if I said that it doesn't inspire me to persevere in a world that isn't always positive. I only have one body; might as make peace with it as it continues to carry me through the different chapters in my life. After all, it is mine

This post is part of The Layers of Beauty Tour created by GG Renee of All the Many Layers.  Follow the tour through the blogs of 26 women exploring the complexities of womanhood and beauty from A to Z.  Click here to keep up with each post and enter to win a giveaway package of goodies for your mind, body and soul.  #LayersAtoZTour