Two weeks ago, I recognized myself. Same face, same hair, same body, pretty much, that I’ve had for years and years.
Today I am bald, having shaved my head for a play. And on opening night in said play, I miscalculated a fall from the set and transformed my right ankle and knee into much larger and more painful versions of their former selves.
I look like a pirate now. (Don’t say anything about pirates not being bald or lame for the most part. I’m irritable and impatient. Some pirates are bald and lame. Let’s leave it at that.)
I have a new compassion for women who are bald for chemotherapy reasons. No one comes up to you and says, hey, you’re bald. No. What they do, after an involuntary bugging of the eyes, is desperately manufacture a close-to-normal face with a tight smile, and then flee.
I have been frustrated with the leg, which is healing at the same pace that glaciers used to advance. My house is littered with tensor bandages, a variety of braces, and a cane which I can never find.
I spend fifteen minutes a day doing one-legged downward dogs, one-legged spinal twists, one-legged forward bends, one-legged planks. I miss two-sided yoga.
This sounds whiny. I know it does. And the whining cannot help me physiologically or in any other way.
So. A brief manifesto.
I love my body. This is not an opinion. It is not vanity.
It is a declaration, a statement of intent, a decision.
Love is a verb.
No matter what I see in the mirror today, I will love this body. It’s where I live, it’s my spirit’s method of transportation, it’s the greatest teacher of some of my greatest lessons, among them pleasure, patience, self-care, loving what is, not caring a whit about the opinions of others, and trusting my own instincts.
I will do my best with this body, knowing that my best changes day to day depending on whether i’m feeling like an irritated pirate or Eckhart Tolle.
And I’ll trust that this body knows what it’s doing, no matter what it looks or feels like, and is always leaning in the direction of being well. Because trust makes me well. I know it does.
Do you love your body? Could you love it more?
Thanks for the conversation,