The Bodies that are Never Good Enough
Posted by Gay McKinley on April 11, 2018 . 0 Comments
The Bodies that are Never Good Enough is the title of one of the chapters in my book "On Becoming Good Enough". I was exploring how and why we are so hard on our bodies. Fortunately, I (now) long ago found peace in what my body looks like; what it can do and what it can't do. It is profoundly 'good enough'. However, only yesterday I was challenged to re-think my own perception of my own body.
Yesterday I attended a most wonderful yoga retreat organised by Mitch Gibson from Yogabowl. It was seriously uplifting stuff. Gentle yoga by the sea, meditation by the sea, eating yummy food by the sea, massage by the sea, swimming in the sea.
Two experiences shook me up. In a mindfulness exercise we were invited to explore our hands, to really look at them. Uh huh. Okay. Mmmm ... wrinkles, age spots, lack of springiness, arthritis, noticeable veins. It is what it is. Right?
The second experience was after my massage (by the sea) - thank you Tineke from Massage by the Sea. She was amazing. I said at the end that I hoped she enjoyed what she does because she was so good at it. Her response floored me. Yes, she does enjoy what she does but she also sees it as such a privilege because "she is given permission to touch a lifetime".
My body has had a lifetime of nearly seven decades!
I looked at my hands again.
These are the hands that were always grubby after lunchtime at school because I had played so hard; these are the hands that hand-wrote so many assignments before computers; these are the hands that caressed lovers (and still do - but just one!); these are the hands that bounced basketballs; these are the hands that cradled my babies' heads in their palms; these are the hands that have weeded and planted and picked and carried and cleaned and clapped and squeezed and held; these are the hands that learned to play the guitar and piano; these are the hands have created calligraphic pieces; these are the hands that have massaged and soothed and (gulp) smacked and slapped as well as stroked; these hands have typed my stories; these hands have lived!
I will never see my hands with anything but love, appreciation, gratitude, admiration and care ever again.
And my hands are attached to rest of me .....