I feel alive today.
For the first time in over a week, possibly two, I am myself.
I recognize this body, this mind, this face in the mirror with its lines and its curves and its spots. Instead of disdain and dislike, I see love staring back at me. I see me, I feel me…and this is an astounding revelation: I am me and I am here. I am alive. I am living and breathing and I am love and I am surrounded by love. And as with every awakening, I wonder how it is I could forget the beauty and magic of this life.
I wonder how I could forget who I am.
Every few months, I wake up in a fog. No. Sometimes, it’s every month. Similar to how the city felt earlier this morning, smothered in a cloak of clouds, so heavy and dense that not even the power of our metal birds could take flight, a paralysis seizes my being and I cannot move. It’s as if I am moving in slow motion, if I am moving at all. The light in my mind has turned off and without the light, my brain gets stuck in a loop, in the darkness.
This can last one week, but if I am being honest most times it lasts two. And it feels as if I am a tiny version of myself, dressed in warrior gear, stake in hand, battling my giant mind that at different times can look like different things. A fire breathing dragon. My biggest fears and sorrows in the form of a monster. I am a little me, fighting against the darkness in my mind, the big me. I am at war with myself.
I can be told 10,000 times a day how much I am loved. How beautiful I am. I can be hugged and kissed and showered with adoration. And still, a battle rages within. I can tell you I love you a thousand times a day. How beautiful you are. And I can hug and kiss and shower you with adoration. You are my favorite. I can see your goodness, your light. And still, within my being I continue to fight and scream and struggle.
Each time I am at war, I can feel the ground shift. Each match brings me to a different place, a deeper place, as if I am getting closer to the heart of my darkness. It is hot and I am scared, but I know to set myself truly free I must reach this place and face whatever it is that is waiting for me.
And so. I roll out my yoga mat and I move. I sit on my block and I meditate. I draw a hot bath and I soak. I lie on a table and have needles stuck in me. I fast and I sit with mystics and shamans. I play my big bowl and my little one and I sing and I sing.
I go to a park where I can walk in the trees with my dog and my love. I dig in the soil and plant seeds that I water each day. I sweep and I scrub and I clean. I find words in my thoughts and I let my fingers touch a keyboard and see them spring to life on a white space in front of my eyes.
These are my tools, my weapons in my war.
Despite the darkness I know that there is a switch somewhere that will soon be turned back on and everything will be illuminated.
I will know that I have survived and that I am me and that I am love.
*This piece was adapted from my blog, onbeinglove.
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Editor: Kate Bartolotta
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