Friday, July 8, 2011

Coming Before the Altar, My Body is the Prodigal

I have spent the great majority of my life completely detactched from my body.

Sure, it was great when I was a baby and everything was one with everything else and my body was an offshoot of my mother and the lines blurred between outside and inside -- even still, I was connected, whole within myself and whole reaching out and joining, breaking, re-joining with other. A whole relating to wholes. Babies don't think about themselves. They just are; they are simply connected with a body that simply is.

I've had brief moments of this wholeness and connectedness with my body since then. However, the majority of my life has been spent regarding my own body from afar, seeing it only in a mirror where I judge and persecute myself for how it looks. My body is an it, it is not ME because I won't allow it to be.

I am uncoordinated and clumsy, which is great for a laugh, but perhaps reflects the distance I've instated between my mind and body. I am ashamed of my physicality. I refuse to acknowledge it.

Have you ever had the experience of looking at a photo of yourself and coming to the stunning and sudden realization that hey, that's ME.... that's actually what I look like? I feel like my existence is running on two parallel tracks, with my mind churning and spinning and travelling forth as my main understanding of who I am, and my body on an entirely different track -- a plane where I can only experience my body in the context of how others view it. It's not mine, it's a signal, a picture of who I am that I present to others for their scrutiny. It is others, it is the world that has the final word on what my body is doing, how it looks, and how it relates to "me" as a soul trapped within the confines of the muscle, bone and skin that make up this physicality that is, in reality, as much "me" as my mind.

I've spent so much time telling myself that if you only lose some weight, if you only find some way to clear up your skin, if you can grow your hair a bit longer or style it nicer, if you can apply your makeup just right -- then, maybe someone will love you. Body, you're failing me. Body, you're getting in the way of what I want to be, what I want to accomplish, you're getting in the way of me finding a man to love me. You're preventing me from living. There is ugliness in my mind -- that, I can deal with. I can even live with it and adapt to it and cope with it so that it doesn't bother me any more. But ugliness in regards to my body -- I refuse to acknowledge it as mine, it disgusts me because it's not something that, like my inward ugliness, can be hidden away. The world sees it. Thus, I divorce my body from myself on a daily basis, severing the connection between mind and body so that I can revile it too, I can hate my body because the world does, because the world tells me I am not beautiful enough, not skinny enough, not the right shape, not ever, ever going to fit into their pretty clothes. If it's not really "me", I can join in with the world, I can bend down and pick up that stone, feel the weight (the hate) of it, and cast it first.

My mind screams
BODY why did you betray me like this why did you sabotage me and ruin my chances why are you so fat no matter how little i eat or how much i exercize you are still fat you are still ugly and you deform the clothes i wear to try to hide you you are the fat friend that the others confide in because they know you're trustworthy just like in the movies they see you and they hate how you look but they pity you so they stay you ruined everything


I am going to reclaim it. Even if I never find someone willing to love both my body and my soul, I will. God told me I am fearfully and wonderfully made. There is WONDER in how my body is formed. I am coming before the altar, I am laying my dual nature down. I am witnessing the remarriage of my two selves. I will be both combined.