The Body Series: In It for the Long Haul

Come. Enter in.

When I began the process of learning my heart, it was helpful to have had two years of introspection in my back pocket.

Certain books had helped me think about myself, my life, and God in significantly new ways over those two years. I’d taken myself to therapy for a spell, where I’d just begun to learn about the inclinations and coping mechanisms and motivations that, underneath the surface, had guided my daily life, thought processes, and beliefs for so long without my knowing it. And, of course, I’d sat in the dark, willfully refusing to move so that God could teach me a new thing I really, truly wanted to understand and believe, instead of just saying I believed it.

As I shared yesterday, I’m in a similar place on this body journey now. 

Here’s what I know: I don’t understand the body. What’s more, I don’t understand my body. 

And after about seven years of living with a body that is completely foreign to the one I grew up with, flailing about in so many random ways in an effort to understand, change, and/or make peace with the body I now have, it’s time to sit down, willfully, and not get up until I get it. 

This could take a long time, but I’m not sure there’s any other way. I seem to be a stubborn sort when it comes to learning something important. I was just remembering this morning, for instance, that I went through a similar process over a very long period of years when I wanted to learn what forgiveness means and how to forgive someone — really learn it, so that I could say I forgave someone and mean it from my heart, rather than saying I forgave them just because the Bible said I should.

It took years, but I got there. And once I got there, it truly changed me.

I seem to have a way of digging in my heels, doggedly, for however long it takes to really learn something I just don’t understand. 

But when I learn it, I learn it.

It really means something then. 

It took me years to learn my heart. It took me years to learn forgiveness. And it may take me years to learn my body.

But I’m deciding right now that I’m OK with that — because it means that when I learn it, I’ll really have learned it, and it will change the way I relate to my body going forward, presumably for the rest of my life.

So, let’s begin. Shall we?