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Fracturing my ankle in June not only caused a change in my summer plans it’s offered me the time to be very connected with my body.  It’s amazing how much I took for granted when I easily moved from here to there on automatic.  During the past 5 1/2 weeks I’ve become aware of every step I take and when I don’t pay attention to what I will need when I go from one room to the next I must re-trace my steps which, at times, is easier said than done.

As I’ve slowed down it is as though my mindfulness has gotten a boost from an energy drink since the consequences of not paying attention could be dire.  My mindfulness has extended far beyond paying attention to physical activities, I have awakened from a trance and fallen (now this is an apt word since it was a fall that resulted in the fractures!) in love with my body.

I’d spent years – to be honest – decades, berating my body:  I was too fat, had ugly feet, my thighs were were to big, my nose was too big, my hair was too curly – an unrelenting tape of criticism about my body was always in the play position except for very brief respites in pause.  And then, the stapes were removed from where I’d had an incision and I could get my healing foot wet again.  YAY, I could take a bath with both feet in the tub – I was very excited.

As I savored my bath my left foot captured my attention.  This foot, along with the crutches and my upper body, was enabling me to get from one place to the next.  I looked at my foot and aloud I said, “I Love You.”  This is the foot I had cringed at when I had to wear corrective shoes as a kid, the foot that I hated because of the bunion I had been born with and the foot that I didn’t want anyone to see because I had a hammer toe forming in recent years.  The decades of self-imposed foot abuse dissolved – I loved my left foot!  And in the next few days this love moved from my toes throughout my body – whatever size, shape, I am – whether my hair is wildly curly, whether I never wear a bikini again, I love my body – I love me.

Take a Moment Now – Honor and express your appreciation and love for your body.  It’s the only one you have and it’s your instrument for expressing your love.

Susanna
by Anne Porter

Nobody in the hospital
Could tell the age
Of the old woman who
Was called Susanna

I knew she spoke some English
And that she was an immigrant
Out of a little country
Trampled by armies

Because she had no visitors
I would stop by to see her
But she was always sleeping

All I could do
Was to get out her comb
And carefully untangle
The tangles in her hair

One day I was beside her
When she woke up
Opening small dark eyes
Of a surprising clearness

She looked at me and said
You want to know the truth?
I answered Yes

She said it’s something that
My mother told me

There’s not a single inch
Of our whole body
That the Lord does not love

She then went back to sleep.

“Susanna” by Anne Porter, from Living Things: Collected Poems. © Zoland Books, 2006. Reprinted with permission

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