Healing Happens From The Bottom Of The Well.
I've been feeling bulkier than I'd like for a few days now.
This morning I went to pull out the scale. I wanted to see just how much self-loathing I should feel.
But as my hand reached for it, I stopped. Let the number not matter, I thought. Go eat some food that makes you feel good. That number does not matter.
I walked out of the bathroom feeling disoriented.
I went into the pantry to get dog food. The kids were chasing each other around the kitchen, and one of them followed me into the pantry, slamming the door to keep the other out.
We all stopped.
When I opened the door, this is what I saw:
Let me tell you what you're looking at. That's a picture of me at 26-years-old. I'm in Corsica. Days before, I'd gotten married. I'm carrying a plastic bag full of bread, cheese, beignets, and probably cured meat. There's a slightly-hunched old woman in the background. She's wearing a light-colored shirt and a hat. I've always adored her. I never met her. I often wonder if she's still alive. Did she live alone and eat beignets in the afternoon and drink wine with lunch?
When I saw this picture on the floor, shattered, my first thought was: don't let the kids step on the glass. I lifted them both over the brokenness and said, quietly, "Go."
I squatted down and picked up the frame. I looked at the girl walking toward the camera.
And then I started crying.
This emotional thing I've been in? It's the thing I've needed to be in my whole life. I have been deep - deeper than I've ever dared go - in the well of my own emotions. It's been rugged in here, murky and cold and full of unexpected things brushing up against me. I have been existing in a space of deep discomfort.
Last weekend at yoga, while everyone else stretched into down dog, I curled up into child's pose and cried. What I really wanted to do was scream - loudly, the kind of scream that makes you instantly lose your voice - but I didn't think it appropriate.
At a breath session a few hours later, I told Kaiilama about feeling muted. As our conversation meandered, we ended up in the well. "I can not do it all. I don't know how to do all of this. I feel like I'm out here all by myself, trying to do this work. I'm floundering and I'm alone and I don't know how to do this." I cried the kind of tears that end up dripping from the underside of your chin, the kind of tears that flush you out.
"Is that true?" she said. "Are you alone?" She inched over to me and wrapped her arms around my legs and I couldn't look at her. "Look at me," she said gently. I tried, but my eyes kept looking anywhere else. "Is that true? Are you alone? Sweetheart, look at me."
We'd found the bottom of the well.
She wiped my tears from me onto her.
Today, when that picture got knocked off the wall, I didn't cry because the glass was broken. I didn't cry because I was tired of my kids slamming doors or because can't we just have nice things?
I cried because it's indisputably true that the girl in that picture is healing.
She is healing.
She is me and I am healing.
Now that girl looks like this:
She's still there. She's still the same girl carrying the same bag.
Now she's healing.
Now, she's wrapped in gold.