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My Body Betrayed Me

Whenever I hear someone say this, I have to translate the phrase into the intended meaning behind it. The more accurate meaning is a longer, more awkward sentence that goes something like this:

"I'm disappointed my body no longer looks and functions as perfectly as it once did."

Which makes me want to translate again, now just the single word "me." What is the "me" in the phrase "My body betrayed me?"

The answer, my friend, is that the "me" in that sentence is the old "you." Whatever your body did- became flabbier, lost its hair, came down with an illness -- isn’t something it did without you. The "me" is simply the image of a more perfect self that no longer exists. "Me" is now you, including the unwelcome change your body imposed. Your body has made you into someone slightly different. The "me" no longer exists; it's an old photograph your mind still wants to believe in.

Your body hasn't betrayed you. Your body has carried you on walks, been your vessel during your proudest moments, has been your expression of passion, has hammered nails, sewn fabric together and brought the wonders of the world to your five senses. Your body has served you well in life, sometimes imperfectly, but it does its very best. Your body is you.

I remind myself that if I use my mind -and especially the impulse control center- to take care of the other parts of my body, it may continue to carry me on all-day hikes and through those moments of wonder and passion and creativity for many years to come. I may change, but my body will never betray me.

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Picture this . . .

it's an old photograph your mind still wants to believe in.

What a great comparison, Mr. Kasten. A need to update the ID photo.

When friends complain about physical disappointments, inabilities to perform as usual, my response is--it is important to know who you really are. Don't try to fool yourself.

And it's a matter of accepting yourself, the person you have become.

I appreciate your thoughts. 

[triplicate entries?]