Hello blog friends!! I know, I know. Most of you are hoping for ten installments of every Italian detail I can muster....and you'll get it! I promise....just not today.
Today I've got some musings for you to ponder, because when I can't work something out in my head, I come here, to my keyboard and the quiet, and I see what the words tell me. Incidentally, I know a good many of you disagree with my interpretation, but I appreciate your audience and your willingness to hold space for the ideas anyway.
So, to the words....
An old demon came roaring back today. I discovered, in my company's yearly "healthy weight" weigh-in that I am, in fact, 1.5 inches shorter than I thought. Seriously, Rebecca? That's a demon?! Well, no, it isn't. However, what that meant for me was that I was not in the category I thought I was for healthy weight range. Being shorter, you guessed it, means you have to weigh less. As it turned out, I still fell within the healthy range, but by a much smaller margin than I initially anticipated. While the nurse recording my numbers was very kind, as my disappointment was etched all over my face, her well-intentioned "it's alright dear, you're in range and that's what counts" did little to assuage my anxiety. Without getting into the numbers, because I'm certain THAT would give me a stroke on the spot, let's just say I have waged the body image battle in every possible way for the vast majority of my life. Since the universe saw fit, in the last few years, to bless me with genetic malfunctions that actually make that battle even harder, I'm more than willing to admit I'm extraordinarily oversensitive about it.
I left the clinic office disgruntled, to say the very least. Oddly enough, my issues followed me out the door! Funny how they're sneaky that way, isn't it?! They cropped up again and again throughout the afternoon and evening, mostly in the form of "friendly" commentary and a few well-placed zingers designed to highlight my insecurities. To be frank, this whole fiasco started last week with a couple of isolated incidents that didn't give me much pause, but planted themselves quietly in the back of my mind and waited for their fertilizer. They got it today and, my oh my, how quickly they grew!
By the time I brought my very grumpy self home from work, I was in knots over imagined weight gain and all the horrors it would wreck upon my life. Then, I did what all women do when they can't untangle their own minds....I got on the line with my favorite one! She talked me down from the cliff of three hour cardio marathons and 25 day juice cleanses. She reminded me that my mad yoga skills do not come from being small and weak, but from building muscle and strength in a way that, sure, adds weight but gives definition and health!
When I could breathe again (thank you, SF!!!), I did do a workout...a normal one, quite honestly a somewhat easy one. Then I realized it was time to sit.
So here I am, sitting, thinking, writing, asking....
How would it be if we took the time to think about how things sound before we say them? Certainly, there are a myriad of things we should express our opinions about and get into arguments over. However, when we deal with those we call friends and lovers, should we not take a gentler approach? I'll confess, this is really hard for me. Speaking my mind is something I've been trained to do. I know, though, the times where I've paused, kept a thought or two to myself, bit my tongue when I was dying to have my say...those are the times when the outcome has been better, kinder, more loving, more useful.
Even more than that, how would it be if I was able to withhold a strong response when someone doesn't take the time to consider their words? What happens when an unkind comment or a "joke" about a sensitive topic wings my way? What if I'm not in the mood to laugh it off and join the fun? (If I were, I probably wouldn't take issue with it in the first place!) How do I turn inward and slow the flow of words, bite back the retort that comes from a place of pain and offer instead a compassionate, loving response? If that's just not possible, how do I remain silent? Every single instance in which I have responded to pain and hurt with pain, hurt and insecurity (which, by the by, looks an awful lot like sarcasm most of the time), the situation has only escalated and caused more internal chaos. I then feel badly about the other person and my response to that individual. Way to double the load! So, because I don't really have the answers, I offer this:
Pause. Stop for a millisecond and consider the person you face is a part of you. You are made of the same stardust from the far reaches of the universe. You share carbon and nitrogen recycled through the ages from the time of the dinosaurs. You are, literally, connected. Think about how your words would sound in your own ears and speak from THAT place. If you do it, and I do it, and we remind each other to do it, well then...we're really onto something, aren't we?