Being Kind to Myself

I’m sorry (not sorry) that I didn’t post last night. I was too busy being kind to myself.

My body said I was tired, and for once in my life, I listened to my body and I obeyed. And now I feel better.

So every now and again, you should listen to what your body needs, not what your mind is telling you you should be doing. It’s easy. Take a few deep breaths and open your ears. Your body won’t be shy.

So, what is your body telling you?

Resilience 

I got my blood taken the other weekend. And in a very intelligent next move, I decided I would shoot some archery in my backyard right after. While I did hit the target, I also managed to smack my arm with the bowstring when it was fully taut. Which is probably about the second worst injury you can sustain when shooting archery. (Hint, hint: the first has to do with the arrows itself.) But this was still pretty bad.

Due in part to the needle puncture, the crook of my elbow turned into a yellow and green bruised and broken blood vessel mess. (Which I was weirdly proud of.) I would check it every few days to see how things were progressing, but after a week, I forgot about it. And now today, it is completely healed.

And that is amazing. I mean, I literally got stabbed with a needle and then smacked a thick string with considerable force against my arm. That should make you say wow! But it doesn’t. Because you hurt yourself all the time and your body heals. It heals. And it’s become so normal that you don’t even comment on it.

Well, this got me wondering: if the vessel that carries you, your soul or your consciousness or your essence or whatever, is that strong, then how strong are you?

I’d say pretty dang strong.

I mean, we’re not hermit crabs or turtles with this hard shell and soft body on the inside. Because our bodies do fall apart eventually (mine seemingly more than anyone else,what with all my annoying but non-life threatening ailments). They protect most of us, like a shell, but not all of us, unlike a shell.

So, where does the rest of the protection come from? You. You have to believe if your body is strong and can heal itself in time, then so can you. Because until you are able to pull all of your extremities into a small shell, then you’ve got to defend yourself, all of you.

I just hope that the next time that you see a bruise on your skin, you’ll remember that it is, quite literally, only scratching the surface of all that you are. Things can always bruise you, but they can’t hurt you unless you let them.

Dear Warrior Women

Dear Warrior Women,

You know who you are. You are the women who have a quiet strength, a silent fortitude. You don’t show weakness, and when your reality is crumbling, you whisper to yourself, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” You are a tumbling sea inside that precariously reaches your toes and rushes back. You are the bluest sky on a halcyon day. You are one of a kind.

You may not be the smallest waist in the room, or the most stylish, or the most put-together. You are a warrior woman, and it’s been a long time since you’ve had time to care about what others thought of you. You’ve been fighting a war, after all. With society, some of the time. But mostly, with yourself. You are on the front lines in more than a metaphorical sense. You are attacked, hated, and fetishized. But now you are fighting back.

You are broad shoulders, you are thunder thighs, you are big-boned, you are full-bodied, you are curvaceous and proud of it. And yet, you are none of these things because they can’t fully define you. Your vessel, your body, is bigger than a size 0 because of all of the spirit and beauty it must contain.

And to all of the petite women, the size 4’s and down, who were not born with big child-bearing hips, or large breasts, or even great height, you are warrior women, too. You fight in the same war with a different weapon. ¬†And when you fall, you represent an important casualty. Because in giving in to the opposition, you are conforming, as well. And that’s not a victory for anyone.

We have all struck ourselves with deafening blows. We all forget our warrior status once in awhile. But there is a way to remember: help others remember.

Remind them that you have filled your cup, and you have drank it all, and you have lived, not vicariously through someone else, but in your own precious skin. Remind them that you have a beer gut from drinking the dregs of life, and that it means you had fun along the way. Remind them that you have a thick, juicy body from letting the juice from so many experiences of your life run down your chin, and that you delight in that fact. Remind them that you have small breasts that allow you to go without the trappings that cage you, and that you live a life so much freer than anyone else because you are happy with them. Remind them that you have the body you have because so did your mother, or your grandmother, or your aunt and you should be honoring them, not being ashamed of them.

Dear warrior women of all shapes and sizes, never forget yourself or your worth.