This morning when I got on the scale, I noticed that I had gained about 16 lbs. My clothes are fitting more tightly. My butt has more bounce than it has in many moons.
I have been noticing this somewhat gradual shift in my physique since about March. Less biking, more non-organic food eating, and more sitting while writing and drawing has all contributed to Sara being a slightly bigger version of herself.
Yes, I freaked out. That is still my impulse, though I work on it every day. I worried about what it meant. How I looked. What clothes would not be fitting me this week. Then, I saw my smile and other curves in my reflection in a window; soft, round and juicy, and I completely fell back into my own feet.
These are the confident and steady feet that don't give a fuck what the number on the scale says. These are the feet that have taken me on all kinds of adventures, and understand completely what a life well-lived looks like. My feet remember that standing on a scale is one of the least important places in life in which to stand. My feet remember that a life cannot be quantified in pounds or inches.
A life is quantified in love, in kindness, in compassion. My feet remember. It is unfortunate that sometimes my head has to work to get that message. But that is what happens. My body remembers, and waits for my brain to catch up. It doesn't take as long as it used to, but still, my body waits. Patiently.
But my brain is making strides. Yesterday, I became very angry because I found out quite publicly that my sweet fella had been keeping some vital information from me. As I turned to him in anger and inquired exactly what the fuck was going on, I could feel my heart pounding, my nerves on fire, and my scalp atingle with rage. Then he replied, "before you get angry, just hear me out."
It was instant and almost magic, I heard my heart say, "you can trust him." AND MY BRAIN ACTUALLY LISTENED!!! Yes. I was immediately relieved. I had no anger whatsoever within me and my body relaxed completely. About a half hour later, when he explained, I still had no anger or hostility within me. Just an overwhelming joy that I had let my past stop influencing my present and future. It was a huge moment for me, as I have been working on this one issue for roughly 27 years. 27 years of watching my fear of abandonment and neglect snatch my happiness from me as I pushed whoever I was close to, away.
I know it is something I will continue to work on, but I also know without a doubt that I have finally let a lot of unimportant shit go. I have finally opened myself up and my brain is allowing it. This feels like progress in a way that losing pounds, inches or whatever other bullshit standard society would have us measure ourselves by, does not.
A lot of this work had to do with patience, because when you feel something uncomfortable, you just want it gone, like a splinter or a blister or a rock in your shoe. You want it to be eradicated immediately if not sooner. But unfortunately, that is not how trauma works. Very often, when it has accumulated over many years, it takes just as many, if not more, to get past it; to do the work needed to let it go and not allow it to steer you away from goodness.
Patience is a bitch when you are feeling the pain of years of trauma. But if you can fight the urge to flee, or fight, if you can sit with that pain, and accept all the parts of yourself that hurt from it, this is when your cells can begin to let go. This is when your heart can relax into your body. Much like any pain you encounter in another, if you do not acknowledge it, if you deny it, it festers. It grows. If you do not have the courage or the strength to sit with a person who holds rage, it is a sure signal that your own pain and rage is being ignored.
But damn, when it disapates! Your body and heart and mind rejoice, because they all know you have done the work. They have all been waiting for you to acknowledge and sit with them, whether or not you were responsible for the original torment, they have all been desperately waiting for you to acknowledge and sit with them until they felt ready to let it go. And the gentle release of this cannot be overstated. It is a liberation that feels like flight.
That is why when I get on the scale and notice I have gained pounds, the anxiety around it quickly dissipates. I understand on a basic level that this is the weight I can afford. This is the weight that I would much rather carry. This is the weight of mechanics, and while it might be slightly uncomfortable, it is nothing like the emotional weight you carry when you do not acknowledge your own pain. This weight is immeasurable and does more damage than any extra poundage you might carry ever could.
That is what I celebrate today. There is a weight I will carry, and as of very recently, a wait that no longer burdens me.
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