Thursday, February 14, 2019

May This Be Love

The way you speak to yourself matters. 

Writing prompt: Consider imagining your younger self, and then speak to her the way you speak to yourself now.
Nothing can harm me at all
My worries seem so very small
With my waterfall

I can see my rainbow calling me
Through the misty breeze
Of my waterfall
Jimi Hendrix

When I turned 12, I stopped speaking in public. I barely spoke in school, my voice was heard only when necessary to get by in classes. My middle school yearbook was filled with notes from other kids to "speak up", "you should talk more", and "I can't hear you!" My parents just thought it was a phase and didn't make a big deal of it. My younger sister carried me, protected me and spoke for me. It seemed she understood the pain I was going through and knew no other way to help but to hold my hand through it. 

I found it difficult to make eye contact with others. When in public, I hid behind anything I could find. The hatred and disgust I felt for myself was overwhelming. I would look in the mirror and see pure ugliness. It was as if my heart and reflection were taken over by a demon. Adolescence is a bitch, hormones hijacked my emotions. My body was changing in ways my mind wasn't ready for. I couldn't connect to my identity as having self worth, self respect or diginity as a human being.

It was during this time that I met my best friend. She was my complete opposite in appearance; tall, thin, blond, curly hair, and in personality; outgoing, social and secure. She was the yang to my yin. We found connection in our love for being outside, music, movies, books and our imaginations. One of the first gifts she ever gave me was a journal. Words poured out as if they were tears, emptying all the fear, worry, and insecurity from my mind and body. Journaling was my form of therapy, working through emotional and physical problems on my own terms. This gift of friendship and writing remains an active part of my days, both of which I am most grateful for.

Life is filled with good and bad experiences. It seems the bad experiences are the ones that birth change, as they are the ones that push one to seek refuge. Sometimes you just have to endure it for a while, and listen.

Music has always been an inspiration, it has pulled me from the deep, dark places of my mind.
A great distraction to the reality of life. It was popular to have casette tapes when I was young, as compact discs were just starting to be made. Music became portable, you could play albums on a "walkman" and create a soundtrack for your life. The sounds I listened to began to change the way I thought of myself. At home, my Dad had a record player and a large collection of vinyl records, which sound much better than casette tapes. I would get lost listening to records, laying on the floor of my bedroom with the volume turned way up so I could feel the vibration reverberate into my body. At the time, I had no idea this was a form of healing. I knew nothing of sound therapy, it just felt good. Nature has the same holisitic effect on me, it picks up the fragmented pieces and glues them back together. Tuning into the frequency and vibration of the Earth is music in nature.

I fell in love when I was 17. We shared a ride to college a few days a week, met in between classes, and discovered all styles of music together. We made friends, worked hard, and traveled together. Seeing more of the world opened my eyes to all the possibilities available to me. Slowly, my confidence grew, I was building courage to enjoy life and all its freedoms. His affection and attention gave me the space to feel safe, to share my vulnerability with the world. That sweet, patient man is now my husband. We have two loving children who challenge, inspire and call me to be the best version of myself.

If my 42 year old self told my 12 year old self that I would become a strong, beautiful woman who is loved and respected, I wouldn't have believed it. I was lucky to have a supportive family, and to find close friends who helped pull me out of the rabbit hole I tumbled into. It's even more amazing, that I am able to lead movement classes and workshops, and speak at public events. You could say I overcame my period of silence, but the anxiety, doubt, and negative thoughts are still present in my life. They creep in unexpectedly, crippling me, holding me hostage in my own body. Thankfully, those feelings don't last long because I know they don't have power over me anymore. I've already been there, I've hated myself long enough. I've faced my fears of shame, embarrassment, humility, and it has only made me stronger. When they do show up, I just think of my younger self. The image at the top of this post is me, age 6. My heart melts for her sparkling blue eyes, sweet, genuine smile and heart full of love.

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
Simon & Garfunkel

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