Essays

to translate the body


Sometimes my mind doesn’t have words to speak, but my body is writing absolute novels.⁣

That is my current work. To translate what my body is saying. She’s screaming on the inside, and I barely know how to listen to her, never mind translate into words.⁣

“Hush up,” I was taught to tell her. “You’re messy and not to be trusted.”⁣

There’s a book inside me that’s dying to be written, but it feels like its fate is bound to my ability to find my way back into my body. It’s a pretty large order, after a lifetime of pure disconnect, of being reminded every week for the 23 years I went to church that “this isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship.”⁣

My mind continued to accept that as truth, week after week, but my heart knew what a relationship felt like and that wasn’t it. But they covered all their bases by also repeatedly telling me “Oh yeah, the heart is deceptively wicked, so don’t trust anything it says.”⁣

Making me hate the wild feelings in my body. Keeping me fractured and confused. I couldn’t figure out why I constantly skipped church as a teenager and broke all the rules at bible college like it was a game. My mind believed their truth. Why was the rest of my body fighting so hard against me? I was never going to be any good at this religion thing if my heart was so determined to rebel.⁣

“Come back to yourself. Stop thinking. Feel something, goddamn it!”⁣

I may come across as tapped into my feelings—and I do make most decisions based on what feels good—but paradoxically I feel way more at ease living in my head rather than my body. The answers to everything can be found in reading or journaling, and I’m a very quick problem solver. But in things that involve letting go and opening up—alcohol, weed, dancing, sex, the beautiful pleasures of life—I often feel stiff and uncomfortable. The whole time I’m fighting my brain.⁣

“Stay in control, don’t let go! NO, STOP OVERTHINKING AND JUST FEEL FOR FUCKING ONCE.” Over and over, circling circling.⁣

It is a practice in letting go. No more knowledge or information or logic. Let go let go let go. Feel feel feel.⁣

Listen to the heart, for it is the wellspring of all life.⁣


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