Out of breath after only two minutes with Brooke Burke I decided maybe I’m going about this all wrong. I sat down to meditate, I wanted to have an honest conversation with myself and understand this battle that rages inside me of feeling like an amazing and wonderful person and feeling sluggish, lazy, and ashamed. I don’t even mention it in public. I don’t mention fitness or strength or working out–as if somehow the words and sentiments are off-limits to me. So I needed to have a conversation with her. I focused on my breathing until I could see her clearly. She was in white, as always but she glistened, as though she were wet or freshly emerged from the river–if the river were one of midnight blue steel. She stood there, toned arms visible in the moonlit sky and I felt him on my leg. I jumped.
She told me not to be alarmed no afraid, it was simply a snake. It was then that I felt like 300 lbs of flesh was engulfing me, crushing me as this snake coiled next to my thigh. I struggled just to sit up straight and she waited for me to catch my breath and return to her attentively. He will not bite, she said. Is that temptation, I asked her? My mind began to wander to that mythical garden of red fruit and costly decision when she said a simple “leave it” and at once the tangent was gone.
She told me that for 23 years I was allowed to make the decisions, and she asked if I knew why so much weight was accumulated. I thought and knew simultaneously. If I needed then he came. She did not confirm nor deny she simply said, I am strong enough there is no one outside of me that you need, do you believe I am strong enough? I nodded. I took note of her chocolate skin and long coarse hair. I wanted to ask her why she was wet, where she had come from but I knew the answer was the river. She is always there at the bank, usually she sits but today she stood tall and self assured. I am strong enough, do you believe that, she asked again? I do. Then you have to leave, and you have to let me make the decisions. Leave?
You have to know that this body you sit in, this mass of brokenness is not who you are. When you see it you are reminded of all the things you are not. You have to leave that place, you have to come with me. You have to know me. I felt like an emaciated being, shriveled to the bone and weak , sitting among layers and layers of skin. You know I’m strong, let me be strong. It was not a question, nor a command. It just was.
When I came to I noticed how badly my ankles ached. How uncomfortably I had been sitting and when I stood to get the light I saw how drunk I felt. Disoriented. A stranger to my own body. I shook my head thinking it’s just because I’d been sitting in darkness and walked to my room to get my phone. As I left I looked to the left in the mirror and caught a glimpse of her. When I doubled back she was gone and my own reflection stared back at me. But I feel her. I feel her and I never again want to live separate from her. We are strong enough.