To be honest I still don't quite know which direction I am headed in, but I know no matter where I go next the healthier and stronger I am the better my capability to love and serve. I had the pleasure of meeting with someone that has had IC for ten years and to hear her story and her experiences. It was at the same time terrifying and encouraging. Because there was a part of me that was holding on to who I was, there was a part of me that believed I would get through this and be the same person I was when it started. (Mostly because it was the first time in a while that I felt things were coming together and I was believing in my worth.)
I was holding on to this belief that in order to feel my worth again, to let that seed continue to grow I needed to get back to where I was. This conversation was very eye opening, in the fact that there is no going back. That I need to let that Lenore go, that my worth is not locked up in the past, in what I accomplished or even what I will accomplish in the future. I will find a different way to feel it, to express it. I will look for my worth in strengthening my body and also honoring it's need to relax and recover from workouts. I will find worth in speaking up, in telling people what they can do to help, in those instances when I know.
My friend told me that for years, she felt like a hostage in her body. That she still feels that way sometimes. That description struck a cord, because there are moments when I feel hostage in this body. There are times when I hate the fact that I live in it, that I want to it just start functioning again. I have already written in the past how difficult it is for me to even look myself in the mirror. So part of me learning to be compassionate to myself, needed to take on an additional expression then just eating properly and looking at my foundation. I needed to start seeing the beauty in myself.
What does one do, when they have spent years feeling, and thinking of themselves as unattractive, as unworthy, as dim, as stupid....? How do I start to listen to a different tape, how do I learn to pay attention, how do I learn to truly listen and accept when Adam tells me I am beautiful? Finally the most important questions, how do I start to see myself as beautiful, how do I love this body I was gifted with?
I start to listen, I spend time with people that are able to see traits and parts of me that are shrouded in the dark. I spend time with people who are able to look past the scars, the illness and see divinity. I see it in other people, I really struggle with accepting it in myself. When I was at an interfaith dialogue, I met a woman who does healing sessions with Henna. Something clicked, in that moment. What if I decorate this area of my body that is in so much pain? What if I find a different expression of the area that I focus so much on?
This morning I was treated to tea, fruit, cookies, blessings and a henna healing session. The artist spent time decorating my abdomen and back, and I sat. Her children gave me hugs and showed me their toys and my heart felt lighter.
Even if my body is in pain, even when I am so exhausted that I feel like I am drowning. This will serve as a reminder that there are more expressions of this body, and there are even more expressions waiting as I continue my journey up the mountain. It also serves a good symbol of how the pain, the beauty, the pleasure, the strength, the weakness are all changing.
Question to consider: What can you do to show yourself how much important you are to yourself this Valentine'd Day? Can you woo yourself?