Dan Rather once asked Mother Teresa what she said during her prayers. She answered, "I listen." So Dan turned the question and asked, "Well then, what does God say?"
Mother Teresa smiled with confidence and answered, "He listens." For an instant, Dan didn't know what to say.
"And if you don't understand that," Mother Teresa added, "I can't explain it to you."
Some say your body is a temple..
I say the body is also a dancehall, a rowdy music festival.
A gourmet restaurant. A book to be read.
Sometimes a prison cell. Sometimes a graveyard, a weapon, a float.
The body is a canvas, an apology, a mirror, a storage unit stuffed full of forgotten things.
This vehicle that holds us so gracefully, that so many wish to escape and simultaneously fear losing, has a language all its own. Much like Mother Theresa’s God.
This year I spent a lot of time listening to my body. From a place of curiosity and love, with as little pre-conceived notion as possible about what she might say. I stopped worrying about my weight and started worrying about how loving I was with her. How much pleasure I could give her and how much adoration. How much joy and nurturing. How much surrender to what she needed.
I quit a number of things I hated doing and started doing more things that I loved. I said no to behaviors and tasks and people that my gut told me to, and my body sighed with relief.
The discoveries I made were profound.
She had been waiting for me to truly listen for so many years.
So much so that she didn’t trust me anymore and it felt at first as if I would never regain that trust.
I was exhausted and sick most of the time for the last decade but this year everything changed.
I heard my spirit tell me to fast and my body agreed. I lost 25 lbs that stayed off. Not because I hated myself or forced my body to submit to miserable regimens--but because I loved her more. I was gentle, I was loving, I was kind.
I went off of heavy doses of antidepressants after a decade of treating suicidal depression with them. I listened to my mood swings and to the darkness and I leaned into it when it came--surrounding myself with allies and loving support.
This body knows how to heal herself.
If I learn and remember how to listen.