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The Compassion Project: No. 1

Dear Body,

I love you.  I do.  I know it sometimes doesn't feel that way.  I know I haven't always treated you that way.  It's true that I sometimes resent you and the limitations you seem to place on me.  In fact, right now you have an awful sinus infection/bronchitis that has sapped me of energy and brain function for the better part of the last week and a half.  Thank you for giving me reminders, subtle and not-so-subtle, to slow down and rest from time to time.  I don't often feel l do even a fraction of what I would like to, and yet I know that I need those reminders.  Thank you.  You've taught me some valuable lessons about not running faster than you have strength, about healing and brokenness, about trust and patience.  What a gift you have given me with those lessons!  I have not been nearly kind enough to you.  I have not shown my gratitude.  I am sorry.  I realize, now, that I can make amends by loving you.  I can do this by giving you proper (& adequate) nourishment, and by giving you and preparing you for the activity you so crave.  I know you want to move freely and feel vibrant even as you age.  I can sense it.  I know you long to explore and feel energized and unconstrained in exploration by bad knees or inadequate stamina or oxygen.  It will take time to redevelop that strength and stamina- but the time continues to pass and ever so quickly.  I can help you out, help that dream come to pass by beginning now.  Time passes so quickly.  I know it will take time to find and restore your vitality.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry you've had to hold so much for me- but thank you.  I realize, now, that you have been holding on to a lot of trauma for me that I was unable to otherwise handle.  See, I realize that you heard all of my crying, my anguish, my fear, my anger.  You held my bitterness and disgust, my emptiness.  You held it so it wouldn't swallow me whole.  Thank you.  Thank you for holding it for me all of these years until I was able to properly and fully recognize what it was you did for me.  Thank you for holding it until I was stronger and more resilient.  I know there will be more difficulties in the life ahead.  I hope that I can treat you more kindly in them, but I also trust that you will lovingly hold for me what I can't if I am unable to at that time.  How do I know that?  Because even though I have sometimes accused you of betraying me (concussions and vertigo have been fun and all), I have discovered that those were always opportunities for valuable lessons.  I have discovered that God gave you to me as a very special and precious gift.  He knew you could do things for me that I could not do for myself.  He knew you could call my attention and lead me to paths of trial, learning, and self-discovery that no other could.  He knew that you had the ability to give me exactly the pains, blessings, love, and trial that I could benefit from if I chose to hear and notice you.  You were meant for me.  We were made for each other.  Thank you.  Thank you for binding me to my mother- as a baby, a child, a teenager, and now as an adult.  Thank you for that gift of a tangible form of her still on this earth.  My laugh and the sound of my voice- our laugh & our voice- hers. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her when I see you in the mirror or a photograph.  I know I've resented that gift from time to time- as though it is a cruel reminder of the loss.  The truth is that it comforts me.  It comforts me in a way that I wish didn't need comforting, but it comforts me still.  Thank you for the gift of the children you carried and children you bore.  It was supposed to be hard for you to create them.  So the doctors said.  But you knew the pain and difficulty I'd already experienced and so you, by the grace of God, spared me that one.  Carrying those babies was hard, no doubt.  You did so anyway.  You hung in there and did your very best until you could truly do no more.  Thank you for that.  Thank you for persevering with me to complete the difficult tasks of triathlons and hikes or races I didn't know I could do.  You hung on and pushed and triumphed, sometimes battered and bruised with lungs maxed out.  You hung on and crossed those finish lines, allowing me the victory of the mental battle I had fought, allowing me those lessons that could only be learned in the battle and truths taught only in the fire.  I hope that we can go on many more journeys together, conquer mountains, cross more finish lines, and discover truly feeling ALIVE together.  You have given me the gift of discovering living life in stead of just experiencing it.  I hope that I can now do the same for you. 

Love always,


This post is part of a series I intend to do, based upon my experience with the Letters to My Former Self project.  I invite you to participate by writing your own letters of compassion to your self at points in time in your life, to parts of you with which you struggle, to individuals with whom you struggle.  Write as it comes out.  I believe that compassion can wash over us in a healing way, as cool water over sun scorched skin.  You do not have to share your letters with anyone, but if you feel so inclined I would love for you to send it to me at therealhala@gmail.com for inclusion in the series and possible future projects.

The Compassion Project: No. 2

Five years

Five years