Hello you divine creatures. I'm Rachel...
What do you need to know? I'm in my early 20s, I'm a musician or something. [that is not me. that is betty supple. go on, hit play!] Should I say "I've had an eating disorder since" or "I've been recovering for" ? A long time; a long time. I'm grateful for how much I've learned since I started trying to pull my head out of the sand. And I'm grateful to the founder and all of the members of this blog, and to We Bite Back, for being a part of that for me for the last 3 years.
I'm pretty stoked about beginning this blog, but I'll tell you straight off: I'm nervous, because I know I have trouble sometimes keeping my words in the realm of the concise and understandable, rather than turning out half-baked novellas and treatises, spinning around and around myself so much trying to figure out what it is I so urgently am trying to say that I disappear up my own navel. It's not terribly pretty.
But what happens is, it is urgent.
When I'm writing about something like recovery from eating disorders, or sinister forces in society, or oppressive ways of viewing yourself or the world, well, it feels urgent. It feels like life and death that it be figured out and communicated, and I don't understand why the whole lot of us humans aren't trying to figure out and communicate, too, so that we can save ourselves.
I think I'm not alone in this. Needing to figure it all out, needing to understand. Urgently.
And you know, speaking as someone whose personal understanding of the experience of loathing yourself runs particularly deep... I think I like this about myself.
I like that I take seriously the task of understanding and communicating, I like that as I go about my life, I'm not satisfied to let a lot of things slide without trying to understand them. (That said, protip: if you want to get me to check out of a conversation just make it clear you're going to start talking about mathematics and my brain will dive for cover for my own protection and I won't register a single thing you say after that point. "The square root of - " zap. Tuned out. Anyway...)
So if it's so urgent to write, to "figure out and communicate", if that is really what we need to do so that we can save ourselves, what more is there?
Well, there's one thing.
Because words on a page are not going to save us. Me, you, anyone. What save us are actions.
Lately, I am into incorporating the wisdom of mindfulness; presentness; "being here now" more and more into my life and it seems to bear on this. I do like that I need to figure things out, and I don't think I would trade the millions of words I've poured out trying to understand living in this world for anything. But in the end, all that all those words can do is orient me to a very simple truth: in every moment, I have to be present, so that I can choose to do the right thing. In the end, if the urgent need to understand everything is presenting itself as an obstacle to the simplicity of a moment, then it is only an obstacle. Whereas if I chill out, and exist in a present moment, I can actually access wisdom I've achieved and apply it to that present moment. The urgency doesn't serve if it's interfering.
And so my take-home message to start off the week is just that. More urgent than anything is your participation in the moment you're in.
And once you're in that moment, you're faced with two immensely beautiful things: choice and possibility.
If I were to issue a challenge, it would be that. Throughout the week, try to launch yourself into the present, so that you can ask yourself " does what I'm doing right now align with my ultimate goals, my ultimate sense of the way I am going to live?"
Chill out. It's not the time to figure it all out. To figure out the goals, or morality. In the present moment, it's simple. Maybe I've had a stressful or complicated week, but today, the need to appreciate and employ the perspective of making things very simple seems, well, terribly urgent.
I appreciate my furious mind, and my words on the page. And I think that often, words on a page can fertilise the seeds of actions. And sometimes it's not the time for it to be furious. Sometimes, fury gets in the way of action. Both things are true.
(and ironically, i think one can learn a lot from asking that question and being present in moments.)
Until next week: chill out! We don't need to understand it all right now. :) In any given moment, we just need to act. I dare us.
Peace and CouRage,
p.s. enjoy this song by Betty Supple. She's from Hamilton! :) [ish.]