In my body, I am holding the stories of all my past injuries.
Years of knee problems, two dislocations, two knee surgeries. Years of nagging back pain.
Am I also holding on to my past triumphs? Yes.
I still fiercely hold the story of my daughter’s birth, perhaps my greatest physical accomplishment. I hope I never relinquish my hold on those 32 hours and the feeling of exhausted joy I experienced at the end.
In my body, I am holding my physical habits, my accumulated patterns, both good and bad.
My eating and nourishing, my exercising and lying stagnant. My feelings about these behaviors: my pride and shame.
In my mind (and my body), I am holding the stories of my family. The family I was born to and the family I am creating.
I carry my mother’s stories, especially the narratives I have adopted as my own. My father’s ambitions, all of his strivings. I strive on, in his name. My husband’s sacrifices and his hopes, too. I am recording my daughter’s unfolding story, holding it for her, for later.
In my heart, I am holding space for my self. At least I am trying to.
Behind my adopted narratives, my physical imperfections, I am carving out a sliver of space in my heart. For me to live in hope and love. For me to breathe in quiet and breathe out resolve. For me to find compassion for my self, despite and because of all that I already (and always) hold.