Yesterday, I talked about our perceptions of healing, and how hurting may be part of our healing process. I imagine that you are just as familiar as I am with both hurting and healing, and the dance of trading one in for the other.
As you and I work through our own healing, and as I honor my commitment to create spaces where people can hurt and heal out loud, I post this excerpt from Radical Self-Expression Manifesto as a Love Offering to you.
In this piece, I share my 14 Radical Acts of Self-Care; care to share yours with me? I’d love to see (and share).
How I Might Reach Her (Page 117)
For some of us, the distance between our souls and our oppressors is widened at the highest of costs. I know this from personal experience. When I was a little girl, I felt powerless. I felt that the love I needed had left right before I was born, and so all I was left with was people who could only love me from outside the room with the glass doors, in which I lived.
The glass-door room was big, huge actually, and though I tried, I never could quite make it my own. There was so much glass for all of them to see me through, but from the inside, I couldn’t really see them. I felt them though, and sometimes they would come in. And when they came in, they would leave their harsh words and bad habits and big sadness, and they would pinch off tiny pieces of my soul.
I got tired of sharing my room and my air with my oppressors, so I decided to save myself by running away. I still lived in my glass-door room, but I found a way to hide myself inside myself, so that when they came in, they could not touch the actual me, and they could not pinch at my soul.
I used food to build my hideaway. I ate delicious things, and I drank delicious things, and I slept and wept and waited. The more I ate and drank, the further inward my Self would go. I was my own protector, and it was a good idea, and I was proud of myself for knowing how to do that.
Over time, my hideaway haven became my habit. Long after I had left the house in which my oppressors and I lived, I was still hiding, there was no haven, and my habits began to haunt me. The years of hiding caught up with me, and I was slow, quick tempered, and hurting. I did not know how to reach in and find the Self I had hidden away, and so now I am learning how to call on her to help me get her out.
I am learning that she does not speak my hurting language, because she is not hurting. She is safe, but she is not sure whether it is safe for her to come out here. So I use the language she speaks, and I make alters inside other parts of myself where she can visit me, and learn to trust that I will let her lead.
She is the soul of me, and she responds only to the language of self–care.
She does not seem to care about my tears or my fears, she only responds to: Healthy foods, Honest conversation, Quiet reflection, Deep breaths, Acts of kindness, Time alone, Conscious volunteerism, Self–expression, Journal entries, Nearness to the sea, Warm weather, Large cups of tea, My widest smiles, and Instances of Radical Self–Expression.