Putting myself together in the morning is a meditation; wake, breathe, re-enter, wrangle out of bed.
Let dog out, feed dog, make tea (for me..)
And on it goes.
When my caregiver arrives I am looking pretty good.
She has not seen the grimace in frustration as I prompt a leaden and stiff leg into a huge plastic brace.
Only Livvy (dog) has heard the frayed nerves in the human bark escaping my throat.
Her confused and darkened little face silences me.
The vice-like pull inward of my brow makes no sound at all.
Urine leakage on the bed and too-long-ignored dry and flaky skin on my limbs are fallout from the confrontation
Of my daily will-induced presentation
Veiling the underbelly of faulty physicality.
I rarely let anyone see all this as I live alone and can hide what seems like the roughness of my existence.
I can’t imagine what might have the opportunity to arrive if I lived with a partner or was in the place of having no choice as to being ‘seen’ in the hidden obstacles I face.
I imagine there might be great unknown or unimagined gifts of intimacy there.
Likely shame as well.
The prized value of our culture is competency.
Independence. Stalwart soldiering our way through life.
Would you think less of me if you witnessed me cry from the fatigue of cooking?
Likely, your heart might open a bit wider to see the well put together girl seeming like she can do everything and realizing that she cannot.
You’d maybe offer to take up the stirring of the meal and send me over to sit and direct you.
You might even feel relieved at the opportunity to be of service in just this little way as there seem so few hands-on ways to help our fellow humans.
And I might very well feel my heart widen…even crack open in the opportunity for communion.
Part of practicing compassion for myself includes the transparency I offer you here; vulnerability instead of donning my moth-ridden soldier suit.
I have no interest in the medals I’ve won
But it takes courage to let them go.