14 March 2007

All We Need Is Love

I started to respond to a Gomez forum post about quitting smoking and my response got so long I realized it was a blog entry instead.

Around the time I went to an Isley Brothers concert with my godmother a few years ago, I was off the wall -- jagging between raging and sentimental weeping. My Godmom said my liver was probably detoxing and it turned into the joke of the evening: "Don't make me unleash my liver on you!" But I think there's something to that. Getting through a transition like that is hardest because of that rage.

At least one person I know has a doctor who has advised them not to quit smoking, because the mood swings are too much for their brand of mental illness. So it seems like folks have to tread carefully and take extra care of themselves when quitting some habit. Addiction theory these days also says you must have something with which to replace that ritual and energy that the habit has occupied in your life.

I would add that having someone look after your health frequently during times of stress is a powerful source of healing in and of itself, no matter what the specialty -- as long as you have some faith in the practitioner. In more recent years I have been aided by my chiropractor, the first person I have ever met who is a true healer. He just sees, which helps him actually help you move through things and help to heal yourself. Truly amazing. May you find someone like that in your sphere when you need them.

The biggest obstacle I wonder about for my own self is truly believing in my whole self. "Is [insert self-destructive behavior here] a kind of self-sabotage?" is the question that is still banging around in my brain. Would I live differently if I didn't behave in this way? Or as Katie says, "Can you imagine who you would be without that belief?" But I know I haven't zeroed in on what the belief is yet.

I do feel I haven't embraced the notion that my body is a temple as fully as I would like to. I've been noticing how not caring for myself can be a kind of violence toward myself that makes me a little bit violent at the core, keeping old habits that I learned when I was small alive in me.

At the same time, I'm wrestling with the violence in my story, with the amount and need for it, with the use of it and what it means to use it, which connects to these elemental questions about how to replace what I have believed in the past with new ideas that I can use to bring myself into my own present and future.

Yesterday I dashed up the garden path after my daughter to see what she and her dad had brought home from the park. She opened the door of her little house and proudly revealed her "trifflinks," some chunks of red sandstone that might have been sitting in the pail outside for months and are now mottled with dark algae, with one smaller addition: a bright white rectangle, a "trifflink's tooth." Moments like running up that path, riding up to her school to pick her up with the trail-a-bike on the back of my bike, taking her skiing, I feel so healthy, and I know my instincts are healthy. It makes me strive to build on that instead of just testing my ability to stay healthy to its limits.

Ultimately, it's having people around me I want to get old with that is the best thing for my body and soul, the best carrot-and-stick combination. I hope to cradle my great-grandchildren in my wrinkly old arms some day (and won't it be amazing to see what colors they are!). From that perspective, of course I want to do everything I can to keep all of me alive as long as possible. Who would not want that love and warm embrace?

No comments: