Dangerous Compassions

being kind to my body

being kind to my body

Hello, reader.  How are you?  I’ve embarked on a year of being kind to my body.  I always want to be kind to my body, but this year is extra.

A long struggle is coming to a close, something I haven’t talked about at all on his blog or in a zine.  The struggle was so much stress, I thought the stress might kill me.  So it seems fitting to be very kind to my body now.  I survived.  I’d like to live another 40 years or so.

This year of being kind to my body is a way of saying thank you to my body for enduring all that stress.  But it’s also a way of saying thank you to the universe.  What’s the best way to thank Mother God for my survival?  The best way to thank Mother God for my survival is to survive more.  She put me here on earth for a reason.  I would like to stay here as long as I’m needed.

Also being kind to my body is a pleasure.  I choose to be kind to myself because it feels good.  My body has worked so hard, and in some ways, I’ve been mean to it.  I remember when I had that ulcer bleed that almost killed me.  My first impulse was to be angry with my stomach for “failing me.”


But my stomach is me.  And health has many many factors.  I could have blamed many, many things for my near death.

  • my stomach for making an ulcer
  • myself for eating wrong
  • culture for not teaching me how to care for myself
  • my family for not modeling good health practices
  • Christianity for teaching me the body is sinful and the spirit is all that matters
  • poverty for not giving me better choices
  • capitalism for making me see food as products, not sacred nourishment
  • television for filling my head when I was a kid with simplistic health cliches rather than health ideas that work
  • public school PE classes for making me see movement as exercise and exercise as punishment

Wow, I could go on.  Any and all of those could be real.  But I don’t wanna waste my time blaming.  I’d rather use my energy to move forward and heal.


Bitterness is exhausting.  I have so much to do.

Unhooking movement from the idea of exercise, and exercise from the idea of punishment–just that one way of healing took so much work.  Reclaiming movement as my joyful birthright, to do in my own ways and on my own terms, no longer hating it as torture from what I was taught in school and culture and my family–wow.  That’s quite a feat.  Doing all that takes a lot of effort.

No one taught me how to do that–I had to figure it out on my own.  Thank goodness I’m a smart pumpkin and crazy.  In so many ways, there is no culture-created path for me–I have to make my own path.  So here I go, making my own paths and telling you about it.

being kind to my body

How do you like to be kind to your body?  Is this something you intentionally do?  Some people might have this as a regular part of life.  As for me, it’s something I’ve needed to cultivate.  There are cliches of bubble baths and spa days.  But what really works for you?

One of my favorite ways to be kind to my body is kind self-talk.  When I go to bed at night, I lie on my side and touch my tummy with one head, my forehead with my other hand.  I tell myself, “I love you, Laura-Marie.  I want you, and I’ll always be here for you.  You matter to me.  You’ll always matter to me.  I’ll always value you and care for you.  I’ll never abandon you.”

It’s commitment.  My body is scared a lot of the time–decades of trauma will do that.  I’m always finding ways to tell my body it’s safe.  That makes it way easier to sleep.  In fact, I don’t know any other way to sleep.

What do you say to your body?  Do you talk to your body at all?  I know not everyone does this.  Ming doesn’t need it.  His body wasn’t multi-violated like mine was when I was a kid, teenager, and young adult.  He’s endured much less interpersonal violence.  His body is afraid of different things.

saying no

I have a long list of ways I’m being kind to my body.  It’s a process– there’s still a lot I need to learn.  I still need to do some stressful things, like attend house meetings.  But this sacred intention is important, and I’m up for the challenge.

I have a long list of ways I’m being kind to myself, and I thought of pasting it here.  But I’ll paste just the part about rest and saying no.

  • say no–prioritize myself
  • rest
  • extra sleep
  • three deep breaths
  • meditate
  • religious service
  • break from computer
  • break form phone
  • shielding before events
  • protect my energy
  • clear calendar
  • no need to justify my no

I like this No energy.  I’ve given so much–it’s time to give to myself.  My worth isn’t based on helping others.  Sure I enjoy that and have a pattern.  But I’m valuable in and of myself.

It’s work to learn that.  Luckily I’m disabled and have the time and energy to try.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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