Welcome to Following the Whispers blog
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.
“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf
“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Reclaiming my Body
I have had several such windows into old age (I just turned 60, so I'm not quite in the old age category yet). In 2005, I fractured my ankle in three places when my bike slid on gravel. In the emergency room, when the doc came in with my x-rays and I inquired,"How bad is it?" he said, "If you were a horse, we'd put you down."
Laid up for three months, I understood what it feels like to be frail and helpless. It's not pretty.
It took more than a year for my ankle to heal enough to where it doesn't hurt when I dance or hike. Then I had surgery on my left knee. That recovery, too, took a year. Now my shoulder. I have one limb left that hasn't had surgery.
So why am I telling you all of this? Because the lesson for me is about reclaiming my body. As a survivor of early childhood sexual abuse, I hated my body for most of my life. I hated how it looked. I hated being labeled "pretty" as a child when I felt ugly inside. I do believe there is a mind/body/spirit connection and my body reacted to my hatred. I'm not saying I deliberately or consciously caused the accidents that resulted in bodily injuries. Nor do I think I caused the illnesses that resulted in gall bladder surgery and a hysterectomy. But I do think there are consequences to hating (whether it's ourselves or someone else).
I've worked hard the last few years to shift my self-hatred to self-love. Having lost 43 pounds, I now look and feel bunches better. I like who I've become as a woman, a wife, a mother and friend. I do work I enjoy.
So for me, the removal of my arm from a sling is a metaphor for reclaiming this body I once hated. It has carried me for 60 years. Its arms allow me to hug others. Its lips allow me to kiss my hubby. Its voice allows me to sing my songs. Its legs allow me to dance. Its brain and its hands allow me to write these words. It's time to accept it as it is and to love it a bit more each day.