Salix's Shiny Things

A magpie blog.

My lovely… June 25, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — LP @ 11:13 am
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Today, I’m very ok with my body.  I even, dare I say it, enjoy looking at it.

This is a very, very rare thing.   I’m one of those people who has enormous resistance towards positive body feelings.  Yeah, loving my body?  ummm, no.  Not so much.  Most days, I try to aim for peaceful coexistence of my brain and my body.  A nice grey neutral non-feeling.  It’s just there.

I’m much more ok with feeling good about what my body can do.  Dancing, walking, kicking, stretching, typing, drawing, hiking, and these days, even having sexy times.

Last summer, I found happiness through connecting my thoughts about my body to my body’s abilities.  I dreamt that I had woken up in Jackie Chan’s body, and it was strong and beautiful.

And I started really exercising.  And I noticed how strong my arms were getting, and how the muscles were becoming more defined under my skin.  And how strong my legs and back were getting, and how flexible, as I worked on stretching out so I could kick higher and stronger.

But I didn’t entirely like the body I was in.

And the main reason:  my breasts.

I’ve mostly hated them since they grew on me as a young teenager.  They were just so… much.  Too much.  Fleshy, floppy, in the way, hard to cover so they didn’t show.

I really, really wanted a nice, neutral, fairly androgynous body.  I didn’t really want to be seen as a “girl”, most of the time.  Because I wanted to do things, adventurous things, involving traveling to far flung places, where my gender could well get me into serious trouble.  Like rape.

I didn’t really want to be a boy, because I was mostly ok with being female.  I liked my uterus and its ability to grow a new life, for example.  I liked my graceful smallness, my compact strength.  Being male seemed to me to be messy and crude.  And who on earth would really want their genitals flapping around on the outside of their bodies where they could be so easily wounded anyway?

I just mainly wanted to go unnoticed.  Boyishly invisible.

But my breasts, they did not cooperate with that vision.

I’ve been dreaming of having them surgically reduced since I grew them.

I’ve had a very difficult time dealing with them since I had a kid.  You see, when he was born, they went and grew even more, much to my frustration.

But that was ok, because they were finally really useful.  I was breastfeeding, and the damn things were finally being used for their rightful purpose.

So I was ok with them, until he weaned.  When it sank in that my breasts were no longer useful, I broke apart.  I cried.  I was depressed for a long time.  I tried talking about it to my then husband, but he didn’t get it.

So I was left with this much larger, puffier, boobier body than I’d ever had before, and I truly hated it.  It didn’t help that my then husband almost never touched me – in affection, or to rub my horribly aching back, or for any reason, really.  It didn’t help that he never complimented me either.  Never looked me straight in the eye and told me that I was pretty or beautiful and how much he loved me.

And I didn’t really know how much I needed to hear those kinds of words until I met my current guy.

He tells me.  He shows me.  He looks me straight in the eye and tells me how much he loves me, and that I’m beautiful, and how much I mean to him.

And it matters.  It matters a whole heck of a lot.  Knowing that I am loved, I know that I am lovable, and lovely.  And it becomes so much easier to love myself.  Just catching a glimpse of who I am through his eyes helps me know that I am worthy.  And that my body is worthy, too.  All of it.  The whole package that is me is worthy of being loved -not just my brain, not just my lady parts, but the Whole of me is worthy of love, respect and caring.

Even my breasts are worthy of being loved – it is possible for me to love those silly floppy things too, and not just for their bygone ability to feed a tiny human, but I can love them for simply being a wonderful part of a wonderful person.

I looked at them today in the mirror.  Really looked.  Stretched my arms up over my head and looked up and down the length of me.  And I was happy with what I saw.  I looked good to myself.  Good.  What a simple, delightful feeling!  Good is a good thing.

I put on a clingy t-shirt with a low scooped neck.

And I looked down at my cleavage and thought – nice.  Lovely.  Warm and round and heavy with life.  They are good.

Not just sexy, although that’s a part of it that I’m coming to understand more and more, and be ok with more and more.  (I’m still working through what it means to be “sexy”. That’s a whole other can of worms…)

But lovely.  Lovely things, capable of delighting and comforting.

Happy beautiful morning to me!  Happy beautiful morning to all sentient beings!

May we happy and free from suffering.

 

Metta – Learning about Lovingkindness August 9, 2014

Filed under: Buddhism — LP @ 11:24 am
Tags: , , ,

I am at the very beginning of learning about lovingkindness.  My meditations so far have been mostly breath-focused, mindful breathing, as I think (and so the books tell me) that cultivating that ability to focus on a single thing is a critical component to all meditation.  And if there’s one thing I need to learn, it is how to steady my mind, my very active, flexible, overthinking, mind.

I have started to work in a little metta, which is basically lovingkindness.  According to the Wildmind website,

The Metta Bhavana is a meditation for developing lovingkindness.
“Bhavana” means “cultivation” or “development,” and “Metta” is a word that means “love,” “friendliness,” or “lovingkindness.” So this is a meditation practice where we actively cultivate some very positive emotional states towards others, as well as to ourselves.
This meditation practice helps us to bring more harmony into our relationships with others, so that we experience less conflicts, resolve existing difficulties, and deepen our connections with people we already get on with.
This meditation helps us to overcome anger, resentment, and hurt.
It helps us to empathize more, and to be more considerate, kind, and forgiving. We can also learn to appreciate others more, concentrating more on their positive qualities and less on their faults. We learn to be more patient. 

(emphasis mine)

http://www.wildmind.org/metta/introduction

It is important to cultivate metta towards yourself, and expand outwards.  Now this is a bit difficult for someone like me who was raised in a culture that tends to see any such emphasis on “self” as suspect, a road towards narcissism.  I was socialized to understand that self-criticism is a good thing, otherwise people would think you’re “above” them, a snob, a bitch.

But on the other hand, how can you be truly kind to others if you cannot grant yourself the same kindness?

So when I meditate, I say these words in my mind, and notice the sensations evoked by them:

 

May I be well.  May I be happy.  May I be free from suffering.

It helps.  I do feel less angry, resentful, and hurt.  I am more able to see the patterns of others behaviors and predict them, so that I do not feel personally injured when they lash out at me, understanding that their behavior comes from a place of deep pain and suffering for them.

Not that I’m good at that yet, but it’s a start.

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pic credit:  http://38.media.tumblr.com/aeac828eef1e19ffa2495b63c5786640/tumblr_n08n432CAL1qirutbo1_400.jpg