Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Letter To Self

Dear Friend,
    You are becoming a better friend to yourself as you grow older. I commend your efforts to see more wisely and respond more mercifully. Do you remember being ten years old?  You were alone a lot and perhaps this was the beginning of the time you started the separation between your mind and body. An old picture tells the story.

     You had mixed feelings about being photographed. Papi built a swimming hole in the backyard and everyone was enjoying summer play. You wanted to be noticed but already you were feeling shame about revealing too much of your body. Boys talked about girls bodies and men, including your father, watched women and commented on their looks. You made connections that as you developed into a woman it was better to hide than to be seen and objectified. But you paid a high price of that partly true assumption. You lost the skill to be present in a body that was whole, beautiful, powerful, and wholly yours, as a gift. Eating has been a panacea to feeling inadequate as a physical being. It masked the feelings of frustration at not being able to go across the monkey bars. With food you could squash down the horrible middle school gym classes where you got C's just because you couldn't compete with the thin tiny gymnasts. The years went on and you found someone who desired you just the way you were. It didn't seem to matter to you because you listened to an old recording, stuck in your head. "You are not  enough."
   Enough with that! You are shedding those voices and choosing differently. How can I tell? When you walked by your bike last week you saw it and wanted to ride. And you went, right then. Your yoga practice is feeling so right because it reveals that you are strong and agile. You have two trainers now, thanks to piano lesson trades, and they see a new body coming out of it's shell.  Look at your success and enjoy it.

   I know, you are scared that it won't last forever. You are scared to fail and be back where you were before. It feels vulnerable and new. That is okay. That feeling is real and you may have to embrace it and let it be with you. When you feel tentative, go look outside of yourself and see someone else. Smile at them and notice their presence. See God's children and remember your own birthright.
                                             (The light within me sees the light within you)

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