BELLY REDUX STORY

Author Omisade, 53

belly story

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I am so soft these days. I know I've always been this place where you know how you're feeling. Whenever you're excited, or angry, or nervous or upset, or surprised, I go off, you know, I start to rumble, I tighten up, I fill with gas. I'm always your barometer. I let you know what's going on in the world, I let you know what's going on with you, I let you know what's going on with your relationships. And when our body was younger, I was tighter. I held that in more, I don't know, of course I did, you know, it was like, and I know that you worked really hard to strengthen me, you were like I want maybe for aesthetic reasons for me to look tight. And then you had a baby. And that baby expanded me, stretched me, tore me. Or parts of the way that I used to hold your breath, hold your food, pulled up your pants that look very, very different before you had
your boys.

I also have road maps on my skin now. This belly, who I am, represents a journey of who you are. Where you've grown, where you stretched, the weight you've carried. And is not only physical weight, it’s like the weight you've carried of your family, the weight you've carried of being a black woman, the weight, the weight, the weight.

I'm so glad that you finally learn how to breathe. That you would actually allow me to fill up like a balloon with air and then contract and blow it all the way out. It's that (heavy breathing – deep inhale and exhale breath) you're still learning to trust that breath that you filled me with. I know the first time we figured out that you were not breathing correctly because I wasn't filling all the way up, it’s because you were trying to hold me in. You didn't want me to hang all the way out. You didn't want me to hang all the way out because you didn't want everybody to see me fully. You know, I get it. People got issues with bellies. Even though bellies are amazing, right? The bellies that are what very, very taut, and muscular are amazing. The bellies that are very soft and voluminous and lined and have like deep pockets are also amazing. All the bellies are amazing. Your belly is amazing. I'm amazing. Yeah. So here we are now 53 years old, in the middle of a global pandemic. And how am I showing up? I will say I'm much softer than I've ever been in your entire life. There's kind of a warmth to me now. You know, like I like the way you rub me. I like the way you let me hang all the way out. Like the way that you're not concerned around tucking me into pants or skirts, or suits or panties for that matter. I just get to be free. You know, there are days when I sit slightly on your thigh. I love those days. Those are good days.

I think you're listening to me a lot more than you used to think you're trusting me a lot more than you used to. Your belly button seems to be disappearing into me. And I don't know if she's going to come back. Doesn't matter though. I don't think it does. I hope you know that. I would never betray you. I not only will carry nutrients, but I also will carry messages that you can trust. I've always carried messages you can trust wrapped inside brownness wrapped inside tautness, our softness. You can trust me. I won't let you down.

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