Friday, July 30, 2010

A Letter To My Body

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Dear Body,

I have been thinking about you a lot lately. I feel like there is some distance between us. I miss how close we used to be. You've been such a loyal friend to me and I realize I haven't been there for you lately. This doesn't sit right in my heart. I owe you an apology. That's why I am writing you this letter. There are some things I need to express to you. I hope you will hear me out. I know I have let you down. You have every reason to be upset with me. I want to heal our relationship and I am ready to own my part in the rift.

I'm sorry I have abandoned you. I have neglected your needs. You've always shown up for me. You've had my back, but when you needed me most, I checked out. I haven't been a very good listener. I have monopolized the conversation and been a bit of a bully, forcing you to put up with shit that no friend should ever have to tolerate. I know that when I have been hurt, it is healing to have my pain acknowledged. I am aware of the harm I have caused you and I want to make amends by owning up to the ways I have neglected our friendship.

  • I have stayed up into the wee hours of the night watching the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I have pittered around the house tending to things that could easily be put off till tomorrow while you begged me for the respite of a warm bed and a soft pillow to rest your head upon. All you wanted was to let the tension of the day melt away as you slipped off to slumber. I have denied you this need.

  • I have kept you cooped up inside, chained to the computer. These four walls have been creeping in around you. The computer has become your leash, tethering you in from taking fresh air into your lungs, feeling the warm breeze caress your face, the sunshine kissing your skin, the cool, green grass tickling your bare feet. You have been hungry for these things and I have served you an empty plate.

  • You have been in pain. You have asked me for help, knowing my healing gifts. I have denied you the benefit of these gifts, instead bestowing them freely upon others. I have put the needs of others... some strangers to me... above those of my best friend.

  • I see you come alive when you dance. Your passion... your inspiration... seeps through every pore of your being when immersed in that ecstatic movement. Dance is your lifeblood. Your connection to your creative power. Without dance, your soul becomes withered and small when your birthright is to live large in this world. I know you struggle to move at your current size. I have seen you labor... the gasping for air, the muscle weakness, the difficulty in letting yourself soar when you feel anchored to the ground with limitation. You need more tangible support from me so you can continue to enjoy the dance you love. I am aware you need physical therapy after dance class in order to recover. You need to be strengthened so you have a solid foundation to support your art. You need the release of yoga so the tightness in your muscles can melt away, giving you more freedom and ease of movement. You need the time and space to consistently practice so you can adapt to the physical demand that is being placed on you and evolve as an artist. I am aware of all of these needs and I have dropped the ball. You have suffered as a direct result of my lack of response. You have been sidelined by repeated injury and have been denied the dance that is like air for your soul to breathe.

  • I have silenced your hunger. I know how important it is for you to have breakfast each day. When you are denied your morning meal, it lays out the welcome mat for ED to pay a visit. I am aware of this and have betrayed you by leaving you vulnerable to ED and his shenanigans. I have heard your pleas of hunger and drowned them out with copious amounts of coffee. I have distracted myself from listening to you, putting off addressing your needs until completing inconsequential tasks I have deemed more worthy of my attention. These tasks will always be there, ready for me to pick up where I left off later. If I don't take care of you, I am not guaranteed such grace. I need you. Without you, there is no me. It is time I moved your needs to the top of the list.

  • I have been a slave to the grind. I have pilfered your energy by burning the candle at both ends. I have worked you into the ground. I have become a devotee to the dogma of the human doer. I have undervalued the experience of the human being. You have expressed your discontent in symbols... cricked neck, aching back, cluster migraines, stress, emotional strain, apathy, depression... a sign language articulating your need for downtime. I have pushed you to your limit... far beyond your means.  I do not blame you for being angry with me. You are inflamed... incensed. You have raged. You have screamed. I have ignored you when all you wanted was to be heard.

  • You are sacred and long to be honored. You wish to be pampered and lavished with love. You crave foot rubs, sensual touch, homespun facials, massages with luscious aromatherapy oils, manis and pedis. You relish being adorned in queenly finery... silky fabrics, precious baubles as rare and priceless as you, a trace of Egyptian Goddess perfume blessing your belly, the small of your back, your thighs. These things do not make the woman, but they do rouse a purr. It is treating you as my altar with each act an offering to honor, cherish, adore. It is a reverent bow to the sacred within.

  • For many moons you have been encouraging me to adopt a vegetarian approach. You have shown me how supported you feel from the inside, out on this kind path. I didn't completely trust you. I wasn't all in. Even though you thanked me when I explored a whole foods vegetarian lifestyle with radiant energy,  glowing skin, healed digestion, clarity and calm, I repaid your gratitude with questioning. I doubted you when you have always been honest with me. I continued to sporadically force feed you foods that made you howl with discomfort. You rebelled and rightfully so. I asked you to lead me to health and when you did, I bit the hand that feeds me. 

Please forgive me for ignoring you, mistreating you, refusing you, dishonoring you, and taking your needs to be insignificant. You deserve so much better than this. Remember when I was a little girl? You and me... we sure had a lot of fun, didn't we? We've had some great times together...

Splashing through the creek chasing polliwogs...
Drinking in the sweet nectar of honeysuckle on lazy summer days...
Lying in the field gazing at a sea of clear blue sky with fluffy cotton candy clouds sailing by like ships in route to the land of daydreams...

We used to belly laugh, dance, twirl, leap, run, nap, create, imagine, dream, explore, discover. We still can. We can make new memories. Let's get back to the way we used to be before all the naysayers, dream crushers, and fear told us it wasn't OK to simply be. I know you have been ready for a long time. I've arrived a bit late to the party. I'm here now and I promise to never leave your side again. 

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Let's pinky swear on it.

6 comments:

  1. This letter has me sitting here with tears in my eyes. It is both a wake-up call & an inspiration. I have been away from TTNT & BFL for so long & my ED has crept back up on me. The pain is terrible, but the solution is so simple: self care. Thank you so very much for the reminder to listen to & care for ourselves. I think, especially as women, we are taught to care for others at the expense of ourselves. It just becomes second nature, and that is a real shame. I am going to start a new journal tonight, beginning with a letter to myself, as you have done. Thanks again.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings Gina. I'm glad to hear that you have reconnected with the community. You always have brought such a wonderful energy to the group. I hope that we can return some of that love and help you feel supported at this point on your journey.

    It is so true that women often fall into the role of supreme caretaker. Our own needs and nourishment tends to fall to the wayside. I applaud you for taking a step back toward honoring yourself and your needs. You deserve to receive that care and attention.

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