On Faith. & Joy. & Hair.

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I have my hair pulled back in the tiniest of pony tails. Skinny little sausage of hair, the tie turned three times but could probably use a fourth. Bobby pins & hair spray keep the entire mess contained. I feel exposed. My face too tiny for my body. Like a peanut atop a cantaloupe.

I am uncomfortable with my femininity. I have never felt curvy enough, had thick enough hair, it’s too short, my lips are too thin, I don’t walk well in heels.

I have fought for every inch I am and it is still not enough.

I have stuffed protein down my throat, lifted weights and ate more than I wanted. I gained weight. Fat & muscle. I was strong and fit and hurting.

I never struggled with losing weight. I could see the contempt on the faces of some of the women I taught fitness classes for. I felt as if I never fit in. I stayed disconnected. Taught from the front of the room,  didn’t discuss my personal life & kept things simple.

I believed that if I was quiet enough, did enough, showed up full of energy & enthusiasm I would be liked. I thought I would feel happiness by being liked by others.

I thought if I never missed a class, if I was always on time & if I made others laugh I would feel loved.

I wished & dreamed of a strong male figure arriving in one of my classes to pick me up and take me away from it all.

None of these things happen. I kept teaching, my neck and head hurting until I visited a chiropractor and then I went numb.

Literally.

I was diagnosed with MS. Went numb from dealing with the “health care system.” During this time I married. We decided to have a child. Then we had another. And another.

My body performed as a female should. Birthed babies, nursed them & held them close.

Through it all I thought if my house was clean, I looked nice & my children behaved I would be seen as a good person to have as a friend. I kept space in my schedule, leaving it open for a friend to stop by whenever.

No one stopped by. No one called.

Every new person I would meet and talk with and get contact information from seemed to never be able to get together. The most our connection ended up being was a few back and forth texts and never a meet up.

What am I doing wrong?

Are people really THAT busy?!

I am disappearing more and more literally & figuratively everyday.

I read about women claiming their space. Inhabiting the bodies they are in, no matter the size of their jeans.

I don’t take up much space. I feel too much for the skin I am in.

I don’t know who I am , what I am doing here, why I exist.

My heart is full of holes and has teeth marks down its sides and claw marks on its front. The chunks taken out of it are seeping. I do not know how to repair or rejuvenate the tiny chunk that is left.

So I sit here, holding my tiny hurting heart, cry big drops of tears over and on it and blow gentle hot air along it’s topside. I whisper to it:

I am so so sorry

I know you are hurting. I know you have been minimized and downsized. I know the things you long for have not happened.

I know.

I am so very sorry.

You are small and yet you still beat. You still lift when one of your Little’s smiles. You still skip a beat when you feel the lips of B. You still, unbelievably, are filled with hope.

Crazy. Wild. Heart of mine.

We are going to get through this.

We will take up the space we need and grow and spray light.

My body is my temple and exactly the size it needs to be. It’s made for movement and hugs. I will start to fill my heart by loving and trusting the skin I am in. The softness and the sharp. The pore-filled  boundary it is.

I will learn to trust & love my body, heart & soul. My mind needs a bit of peace & quiet.

I will practice stillness. I will take time to listen.

As me.

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