I have been laying low for a bit. The pain in my head, hot flashes, pulsing at the back corners of my skull, has kept me in bed. I thought it was a head cold coming on, but nothing came, really.
The weakness that has set into my bones is familiar and it comes with a frustration that I have to manage in order to get well. Yesterday I went back to my garden for a bit. All of my herbs and vegetables seemed to have grown almost out of control in just a few days. I have done no tending, no watering, nothing. It all just keeps on growing.
I wish I were like that, beyond the physical. But growth, the personal kind, takes work. That might be why I find gardening so satisfying. It's simple; you prepare the soil, you put stuff in it, and with very little work, things grow. Especially with the kind of weather we have been having in Beeham. So my garden, now that it has been planted, is growing faster than I could have hoped for.
But personal growth is different. The more I do, the harder it seems to get. The deeper truths I discover about myself, the darker the depths I reach, the further I can see into my darkness, the more my pain expands. I think back to the time I was trying to lose five/ten/twenty pounds, and while it was frustrating, it was much easier to think about than how awful I can be, how jealous, how petty. Extra weight is nothing compared to how horrible I sometimes feel about myself. There are many days I would much rather look at the numbers on a scale than into a mirror.
When I was writing about body positive stuff, that was always the meaning of my writings; that it is so easy to be distracted by what we look like. We are taught in our culture to suppress our weaknesses, hide our imperfections, and strive for an ideal that is so unattainable that at worst, it steals our happiness, and at best, distracts from the harder, more terribly painful work.
But the one thing I have when I am sick is time. Time to watch how my mind works, time to watch my fears slowly take over until I am battling non-existent demons that I have perfected over the many years I have carried my heartbreak. They grow like the plants in my garden if I do not tend to them. So I do what I can to put my heartbreak aside and forgive those who have caused it.
I try to plant other things now; hope, compassion, humor, anything that brings a lightness back in. Anything else that might grow and create enough shade so the other will eventually wither away and die. Enough so that when my mind starts to create the demons in the emptiness, I have something else on which to cling.
So that's how it is for now, for me; trying to keep my demons from getting too big and unmanageable while planting small seeds of joy in the hopes that some day that is the only thing that grows in my garden.
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