My body is changing. My physical form is occupying less space in the universe, and with this slow transformation there is a new self-awareness dawning. How can I explain this? It’s almost as if, for all the years –so many years!– that I’ve been taking up so much space, there was a gaping chasm separating my self, the real me, from my self, the physical me. Maybe I wouldn’t, or maybe I couldn’t look at the latter. Maybe it was just too much. This is not who I am, I’d say, and I’d turn the other way. But the problem is –was–, that we live in a physical world, so there is no escaping the physical self. That is what manifests. And what of the inner self? Where did that one go? That one who might have been beautiful, smart, capable, excellent. That one is smothered by the shell that is manifested in the physical. I spent years struggling with self-acceptance. The dichotomy between who I was and who I appeared to be was too great. E R R O R. C A N N O T C O M P U T E.
It’s so very easy to soothe this unrest, this distress, with all manner of deflections and cover-ups. Fill one’s every moment with something, anything, so that you don’t have to think about yourself, and the Grand Canyon that separates your self from your self. Be a super achiever. Move mountains. Consume mountains. At the end of the day, though, there remains a deep and aching sadness, because you can’t really cover up the Grand Canyon. It’s still there, and no matter how hard you may try to justify or explain or deflect or deny, the truth of the matter is that it is still there. You can’t escape from yourself.
What I’m beginning to notice, as I sit for a moment and gaze down at the legs folded beneath me, is that the chasm is closing. Ever so slowly. But it’s closing. Because when I look down at my physical self, I see my physical self. And I recognize a faint glimmer of my self. I can look at the legs beneath me and say, “Oh! That’s me. I’m sitting here. Those are my legs. They are attached to my body. They are a part of me.” And that is the beginning of acceptance.
Two things come to mind as I reflect upon these things. Why does it take a lifetime and a radical change to deem oneself worthy of one’s own acceptance? And why is there a chasm at all? It’s clear to see how the chasm has grown, but not so clear to understand where or why it began in the first place. The whole matter is tragic. Such a waste of life. Such a waste of beautiful moments, beautiful thoughts, beautiful breath. Such a waste.
I don’t know who will emerge once the chasm has healed, but I do know that I will embrace her, because she will be whole. She is who I am. She is the real me. Hello, old friend, I will say, when we meet. I’ve missed you.