I have always looked at my mothers’ stretch marks with great respect. As my friends started having kids, I looked at theirs in the same way. And now that I have my own, I oftentimes stare at them in the mirror, shocked and amazed at what my body managed to do.
Surprisingly enough, though, I am constantly asked what I am doing to get rid of my stretch marks. And, when told that I do not want to get rid of them, I am often met with confused looks. In one case, the woman I was talking to patted my arm and told me that I didn’t have to give up, there was always plastic surgery.
As Mindy Lahiri would say, ex-squeeze me?
That comments made me think of other physical marks of a life well lived, some of which I am still struggling to accept as such and not as something to fix or hide. For example, bags under your eyes are a sign of hard work. Hopefully you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night for the sake of your health, but oftentimes, those who work really hard still manage to have bags under their eyes. Another one are hands that are roughened by work, be they chores or as part of one’s job.
After all, our bodies are the instrument with which our souls are able to acquire virtues before passing on to the next world—shouldn’t they, therefore, bear the marks of this work proudly?