We’ll meet along the way, I know

I am having some sort of civil war with my midsection.

The area of my body between my breasts and thighs has always given me trouble. From the baby fat ponch I never completely lost to the lower back that never fully developed the muscle required to balance my large body and, once I gave birth to my daughter, rather large breasts, to my non-existent obliques, to the internal organs in that region which have been on a constant rotation (and sometimes full chorus), I pretty much always hurt there. Given the whole ligament thing, right now what yells most loudly is the back of my pelvis where everything connects. It’s tired of doing all the work, and it refuses to do it anymore. The trouble is, the work it has been doing is non-negotiable, and nothing else in the region knows how to do it. Experts outside of my body who actually understand anatomy have ideas, but really, the only one who can suss this out is the collective that is me. And since I’m more in favor of metaphysics than knee-bone-is-connected-to, I tend to be a poor conductor.

Most crucial of the issues is that I very almost cannot sit up straight. I can, when I focus, but my abdominal and lower back (non-pelvic) muscles cannot BELIEVE they are being asked to do this, and as soon as I stop thinking of it, I slouch again. I have sometimes folded over to the point that my breasts are almost touching my abdomen. This, in turn, rotates the shoulders, causing upper as well as lower issues. Add to this thirty-six years of habit, and perhaps you are sensing a picture of the battle I’m facing.

Yesterday when we were at the State Fair, Dan took several photos of me, and in some of them I saw myself slouching and realized that this more than anything is where my body hatred comes from: this, not weight or hair or rolls of fat make me look different than I perceive myself. I don’t see myself as a sloucher. When I imagine myself as I walk around, I look much different than film tends to capture me, and it always upsets me. This is where the weights come in, and now the pilates-esque exercises. The shoulders I am making peace with. They want to go back, want to line up in place, and they move quickly, and adjust much faster through the pain. Not so the pelvis. The pelvis, the abdominals–when I do work in this area, I frequently catch myself ready to scream or shout or sob, and sometimes I do. It takes so much work just to get my mind around the idea of working at all with this area that very often I am exhausted before I start and simply don’t. And when this happens long enough, the pain in my low, lower back becomes so acute that it’s as if I have to set one part of my brain off from the rest and just allow it to quietly cry. That would be where I’m at today.

I have imagined often that I need a corset, something external to hold me up. In my mind this is absolutely ideal, and I imagine the strength and ease that will emanate from me so much that sometimes this vision is better than a Vicodin. The blinding perfectness of this image, though, made me suspicious of it, and so I did a short bit of research today, finding, naturally, that any such devices might be good for short-term pain relief, but overall actually decrease muscle strength in the lower back. Le sigh.

Still, getting back to my preference for metaphysics, perhaps the trick here is a mental corset rather than a physical one. From an energetic perspective, this area of my body is home to my second and third chakras. I have had nothing but hell from my second chakra even before I knew to call it that, and really, it makes sense that it’s masking trouble with the third as well. Or maybe a better way to think of it is that putting harmony between the two is what will help bring me peace.

The second chakra is emotions and sexuality, and the third is personal power and will. And honestly, if you had to ask me what parts of myself I both love the most and fear exposing, that’s a nice summary. I want to and need to open these parts, and yet if I expose them to the world and it mocks them, where does that leave me? I think this is why my writing is often either emotional or sensual/sexual or both. I think it’s why I’m also often self-conscious of it, and why I freeze so terribly at exposure, and yet always seem to be aiming myself towards experiencing it.

The other notable thing about the second vs. third chakra is that the second is associated with water and the third with fire, and that rocky relationship is already well-documented. And actually, I think what’s happening with me is an over-active second constantly drowns out the third, and when the third manages to do anything at all, it’s because it rages back so violently it boils off its enemy.

I can’t yet figure out how to balance those two forces, but I do know that the current situation is not something that can continue–even if I choose no action, something will happen on its own as a release. I have something in my head forming around the idea that if I assert my personal power and more carefully choose what I expose, if I acknowledge that something must be exposed, that then these areas will strengthen, and eventually I’ll have better balance. At first I’ll do poorly, because I’m just getting started. That’s always, actually, been why I blog publicly, but even here sometimes I screw up, and the boiling water reveals things I hadn’t meant. And yet I think the lesson comes in that painful pelvis: to keep all that inside, to protect the vulnerable by exposing nothing at all or as little as possible puts so much burden on the container that it soon becomes questionable whether it would be preferable to face the terror or live under heavier and heavier stones.

In reality, of course, all the navel-gazing (pardon the pun) in the world is not going to physically strengthen my obliques and glutes and all the other muscular bits that live in the real world. But like the dance between two and three, I can’t just ignore the emotions and focus on the reality, because the emotions have proven that they can drown out any logic I throw at them. They must be courted, wooed, and brought gently into the dance, and sometimes, they must be allowed to sob.

The title of this post came from this song by Hem, but as I’m finishing this post, iTunes has shuffled us on to "The Part Where You Let Go," which is probably more appropriate. Both those links take you to last.fm, where the player in the upper right corner will let you stream the song for free. But in case you can’t/don’t want to listen right now, here are the lyrics to the latter.

When the rain breaks the road
are you holding on, are you holding on
to your last good day?
When the stone breaks the wheel
are you holding on, are you holding on
til the stone rolls away?

And I don’t know
Is this the part where you let go?
And tumbling out of a window,
is this the part where you find out I’m there
for you?

When the sun leaves the field
are you holding on, are you holding on
to the last sweet light?
When the flame leaves your eyes
I still see you there, I still see you there
on your darkest night.

And I don’t know
is this the part where you let go?
In sinking under a shadow
is this the part where you find out
I’m there for you now?

As your hand’s breaking free
I am holding on, I am holding on
as you held on to me.

And I don’t know
is this the part where we let go?
Tumbling out of a window
is this the part you’re there for me?
And I don’t know
is this the part where you let go?
in sinking under a shadow
is this the part where you find out
I’m there for you?
You find out im there for you.
You find out im there for you.

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