1. How kind you are to the people who can’t do anything for you.
2. That you are aware of the fact that the last thing someone will remember after you are dead is what pant size you wore.
3. The understanding that what we are beneath our skin is more real than what’s on it or how many layers of cells lie between.
4. The knowing that someone else’s judgment of what your body is or isn’t does not make it any more or less of that thing.
5. How gracefully you can accept the things that aren’t meant for you.
6. How hard you are willing to fight for the things that are.
7. That you accept other people’s bodies for what they are.
8. That you accept other people for who they are.
9. That the greatest thing we can do with our bodies is let them facilitate us lending ourselves to the people who need what we can give.
10. That you can taste your favorite food, and treat yourself to it as often as you want to.
11. The knowing that nothing is permanent here, especially our physicalness. This is a ride. The car needs to work to get you through it. People will judge you as much as they want, but their judgment will be theirs to reconcile, not yours.
12. The knowing that what we really need, on a core level, is the love and acceptance of other people, unconditionally. Maybe not everybody. Maybe not many people. But in principle, by someone. Our ability to give that far outweighs how we look while giving it.
13. THAT YOU CAN TASTE PIZZA.
14. That you cannot only be okay with your body when it looks and feels the way you want it to. That you find comfort in sometimes being very uncomfortable, and that you know it is not your responsibility to defer to anyone else’s level of comfort (or lack thereof).
15. That you have a mind to comprehend who a person is and a body to show them that you understand them.
16. That you can cuddle with your pets.
17. That you pay your own bills.
18. The fact that we do indeed have these internal atlases, and that when we feel an unexplainable pull, we follow them, for they know much more than our minds can conceive.
19. That (some) people can create another human life if so they choose. (That in itself is a freaking miracle.)
20. That you can swim and run and cry and scream and dance and float on water and feel weightless and free.
21. That your mouth can tell the people you love that you love them.
22. …And kiss some of ’em, too.
23. That you are able to evolve and change.
24. That you can make conscious decisions for yourself.
25. That you are conscious, as a principle.
26. That you know how to let go and have a goddamn great time.
27. That you have the ability to let go of your attachment to how you believe things should look and embrace them as they are.
28. That beauty is not quantifiable.
29. That you realize that food is not the enemy.
30. That you understand how contrived our idea of beauty is, how it has been engraved in our minds silently, in photos and side comments and expectations we learned from peers and mentors, unintentionally or not.
31. That you never have to accept a narrow definition of what’s beautiful.
32. That you understand that people will love you more for loving yourself.
33. That you know to love yourself means to be okay with not being totally okay with some parts of you all the time.
34. That you can cultivate your beliefs through your own experiences, learnings and to whatever rings true.
35. That you can, and do, make decisions for yourself.
36. That you can stand up for yourself when passivity is no longer a choice.
37. That you can stand up for others when passivity is no longer a choice.
38. That it is only very small people who feel the need to make comments about other people’s appearances. That such an act comes from a very deep, very insecure place, and is not someone who you should get angry at, but show love to, because they need it.
39. The fact that you can use your body to read your favorite books, and read this right now.
40. That your body facilitates the things you love most in your life. Your legs let you travel and your arms hug the people you love.
41. That you will never really know what great things lie ahead, and though the unknown may seem scary, that you aren’t supposed to. It’s elusiveness that makes things feel incredible when they arrive.
42. How honest you can be with yourself about yourself.
43. How honest you can be about yourself to other people.
44. That you can use your body to play with the little kids in your life and to tell them (and show them) that you love them.
45. That through your body, you can feel happiness and joy.
46. That through your body, you can feel sadness and pain and can grow and learn from that.
47. Being able to experience the unprecedented high that comes from realizing the million things that seemingly didn’t work out in the past was some universal conspiracy to bring you to exactly the right place, somewhere far beyond where you could have imagined for yourself. (It will happen, if it hasn’t yet. Just wait).
48. The ability to process the kind of unprecedented compassion that is displayed in the world daily, but is sometimes overshadowed by the alternative.
49. Having eyes to see the love of your life, hands to hold them, and a mouth to speak to them, a gut instinct to know they are your soulmate, and a mind to understand that they agree.
50. How well you perform at your job.
51. How adamantly you stick to what you believe.
52. How fiercely you pursue that which you feel most called to.
53. How earnestly you can laugh at yourself.
54. How honest you are willing to be in regards to your shortcomings, and what you do in light of them not in spite of them.
55. The tiny acts of kindness and courageousness that we perform daily, because at the end, that may be our only purpose here.
56. How often you make time to do the things you want, not the things that are expected of you.
57. That you stop judging and berating people for their own imperfections.
58. That you have the ability to hear the music you love.
59. That, alternatively, you have the ability to feel the vibrations of music if you can’t hear it.
60. The knowing that the lack of one sense, one talent, one ability, does not lessen you, it defines you as someone cut out for a challenge above others.
61. The understanding that the pursuit of physical beauty will eventually be futile — we all sag, wrinkle and age all the same in the end.
62. The genuine understanding that most of the time, you cannot equate your health to your appearance.
63. The genuine understanding that you have no right to judge someone else’s health by their appearance.
64. That you can use your body to perform the things you most truly love to do (write, dance, sing, what the hell ever).
65. That you use your body for sex: for good, consensual, wild sex when you want, where you want, and never for any other reason but that.
66. That your body is not for the consumption of others, and that there is never a reason to do something to it that doesn’t make you happy but will appease others.
67. That you are not at fault for how society views physical appearances, but you do have a responsibility to yourself to defy it consciously.
68. That you know what to say when the people you love are most hurting and need those words of comfort.
69. That you know when to shut the hell up and just be present for them.
70. That you know how to grieve and mourn the things that will inevitably pass.
71. That you know how to embrace and enjoy the things that will invariably pass.
72. That you donate the things you don’t need to the people who do need them.
73. That you don’t adopt other people’s confining, cruel words as your own.
74. That you make your own money to spend as you see fit.
75. How often you tell the people who you love that you love them while you have them, every day, in every way you can. Because you never know.
76. That you sacrifice when sacrifice need be given.
77. That you have the ability to feel warmth and smell your childhood home and have your senses act as transmitters back to the things and people you would have otherwise forgotten about.
78. That you embrace love, no matter how scary it is.
79. That you are an honest person: in word, promise, work and heart.
80. How able you are to put your ego aside and apologize when an apology is due.
81. How genuinely you apologize — it says a lot about a person.
82. How well you take care of yourself when you most need to be taken care of.
83. That you make gifts and mix CDs and write notes and send letters to people just for the sake of making them smile.
84. How genuinely you see all people as equals.
85. That you stop apologizing for doing what you want with your body.
86. That you realize your mind’s capacity is limitless if so you choose to pursue it.
87. That you embrace releasing your mind from having an input on the things that inherently require your instinctual feelings for.
88. That you have little things in your life that genuinely make you happy.
89. That you have the courage to go back and reconcile when you are at a standstill, and someone needs to cave.
90. That you can rejoice in other people’s successes.
91. And not rejoice in other people’s failures.
92. That your body is capable of understanding when someone is giving you that very specific “I love you” look, and that you are so lucky to ever have had it in the first place.
93. That you spend your life doing something greater than just making yourself happy in the moment.
94. That you realize that to help others, you must first help yourself.
95. That you understand how the last two points both contradict and necessitate one another.
96. That you give yourself enough sleep.
97. And enough vegetables (sorry to nag you, but that shit is important).
98. How you feel about your body.
99. That you forgive the people who are cruel to you over your body, and realize that they are hurting somewhere too, and that people only ever lash out at what strikes a chord within them.
100. That you forgive yourself for being cruel to yourself over your body.
101. That you use it to write things like this, and send the message on.