In the Arms of Immortals is a book by Ginger Garrett.
I wrote before about the character, Panthea, who cannot accept herself as she is, wanting more, not from greed, but from a fear born from self-loathing.
In contrast to that character is Gio. She is a woman who got caught in politics and power bigger than her. She sacrificed her reputation for love and purity--but in doing so, lost everything. She lives as a marginalized woman, serving the poor and healing the sick who, for whatever reason, could not go to the church for it. She has found a delicate peace to her life.
On page 46:
She stretched her feet out near the fire and wiggled her dirty toes. They looked like roots, gnarled and clinging to dirt after so many travels up and down the mountain. She did not mind. She was almost thirty, but there was no one to admire her beauty or mention the lack of it. She felt her big stomach pressing up against her breasts. It, too, had lost its maiden shape, but she liked its warmth, like the feeling of being rounded and soft, of taking up space in this world. She felt undeniable. She knew people saw her. They had to step out of the way to make room for her to pass.
It continues this way for another paragraph ending talking about her thighs: "They were marvelous."
Talk about accepting yourself!! In the end, this woman finds love as love is. It takes us as we are. But then, love, by its very nature, improves all it touches. She finds a peace that is less delicate that comes from transforming love. But she would never have been able to accept that in the first place if she couldn't first accept herself, just as she was.
May we all learn to surrender our pride with abandon for the gift of love and redemption.