Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Page Seven

The day of rest... aahhh...

Every time I sit in my church and listen to Rev Tam speak, I'm struck at how the topic always fits what I'm experiencing. I'm sure that most sermons fit most people's lives, but it's a really uncanny thing. It reflects my week in a way that really gives me pause.

This week was all about prisons. Literal and metaphorical. For a while now... no... longer than that... for the majority of my life, my body has been a prison of sorts. At least my vision of it has been a prison. There have been care free times on the surface. Times when I tried to show the world that I didn't give a rat's pucker what you thought of me. Hell, I used to run naked through the woods in Santa Fe. But the truth is, it was a facade. I've never been truly comfortable in my skin. Even at my thinnest, my most fit, I would nit pick and find parts of me that made me want to puke. I downed diet pills like some sort of life support. And now, now that I am not fit, not thin... oi... I hide behind the bars of every little thing - clothes, posture, jokes. It's pretty pathetic.

So as I was sitting there listening to the Rev, feeling all icky about myself, I remembered something beautiful from the other day. It hit me hard. Kind of like a bitch slap out of indulgence and wallowing. A shut the hell up and find the beauty moment.

A friend of ours was in a gasoline fire several years ago. She was burned pretty severely. I've never really talked with her about it. I met her afterwards and always just accepted her as a pretty groovy chick. I'll admit, the first time meeting her was kind of shocking. My reaction probably showed on my face or in my demeanor no matter how hard I tried not to let it. She must get that every time she meets someone new. Imagine that. Imagine how it must be to have a reaction, be it small, big, covered or out there, every time you meet someone new. Not just at parties, in the grocery store, at a restaurant, walking in the park. It's a daily thing.

Now think about the pain. The initial pain had to be completely unimaginable, but add to that the countless treatments. The months, years of healing. Just the dressing and undressing of bandages has to be excruciating. It's hard to wrap my brain around. I can not fathom the pain level - physically and emotionally. Truly, truly can not fathom it.

So here she is, this groovy chick. You would think with all that she could be consumed by the prison of her own skin. Confined by hiding, or fear, or depression. I don't see any of that in her. I'm quite sure there have been and probably still are moments, but you wouldn't know it. She is smart, funny, conscientious, caring, loving, sweet, strong and beautiful.

Ok, but how did all this become a moment of pause this week in particular? She did something extraordinary. She got a tattoo. A big, beautiful, colorful phoenix rising from the flames. She took the one thing that could be a prison and gave it wings. Her skin is beautiful. She found the beauty. She rejoiced in it. Now that is how to live. That is strength, courage and grace. I am humbled and inspired by her.

Lesson learned. As I'm striving to change my body, I must change my mind. I need to find the beauty. I need to find my wings. Please know that I am in no way trying to compare weight loss with being burned. There is no comparison. I am merely saying that my friend is one hell of an inspiration. Thank you Sharon.

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