Thursday, December 05, 2013
I eat so that I don't have to be present. I eat so that I can numb. I've eaten in frustration. I've eaten because I'm sad or anxious. I've eaten as reward or celebration. I've eaten because I feel sorry for myself. At the end of the day, happy or sad, what it amounts to is not being present for my emotional or feeling life.
I look at times where I don't exercise, or spend time moving every day, as times of hibernation. For me at least, this isn't any different than eating to numb myself. Now, being sedentary isn't the same as mindful meditation, although perhaps there is the same drive behind it.
The emotional drive to be sedentary is the same as my emotional drive to overeat. It's a desire to stop the world. To stop motion. To stop feeling. To bank my shores.
There is no doubt in my mind that we create our own experience. There is also no doubt in my mind that we create our bodies and our physical realities.
I am not saying that to marginalize the very real impact of random material or physical events in people's lives. I am only speaking to my own experience.
So, this is what my fat is made of:
It's made up of every time I had to sit in the back seat while men folk spoke of important matters in the front seat.
It's made up of every time I had something to say but could not say it in a way that others would hear it. Ironically, I can't think of a time this happened when I wrote something. It's when I am speaking.
It's made up of every time someone yelled at me, criticized me, demeaned me and I was unable to respond in a way which prevented it from reoccurring or process it in such a way that my emotional self remained intact.
It's made up of every time I was led to believe I was crazy for being different, every time my more 'outrageous passions' (marianne williamson I think....) were looked down on.
It's made up of every time I had to pretend to be something I was not in order to conform to a system that I did not believe in then and do not believe in now.
It's made up of every time I was told my thoughts didn't matter, my feelings didn't matter, and my self didn't matter.
It's made up of the idea that suffering is more important than joy and self sacrifice more valuable than the gift of self.
It's made up of a litany of shoulds; I should be meek, I should be quiet, I should be liked, I should give in, I should make other people happy.
It's made up of a fear of intimacy, a fear of being seen when it comes down it, which may be contradictory but I have noticed that much that is authentic is ambivalent.
Most of all, it's made of fear. Actually, terror. Fear of material loss, fear of emotional loss, and a sort of panic to prevent those things. It's made up of an attempt to try and shove a square peg into a round hole.
When I was young and taking dance class every day I learned about the concept of kinesthetic memory. Kinesthetic memory is muscle memory. I've always been intrigued by the idea. I believe our bodies hold the memory of every action we've taken. I believe our bodies hold the memory of every thing that has been done to us. I think people who have been abused hold themselves differently, move differently, and that their material existence has been changed by their experiences. I believe our bodies, particular as we get older, are our lives given form. I believe that we are written on and that we have written on ourselves.
Most of all, I believe that all of the above can be overcome in an instant. My words, thoughts, and feelings have value even if they don't conform, actually even if no one else cares to hear them. They are what make me fabulous, unique, interesting, and stimulating. They are what make me my best self.
We (I) have to seize this instant every day, at every opportunity, because it is always available.