366 Days of Gratitude and Good Things: Day 81

Again, my plan on the way home was to start this much earlier in the evening so I could maybe catch up another day — and again, I spent rather a lot of time pottering around on the Intertubes instead of writing. Points for me, though, in that some of it was watching, a couple more times, the TEDxUNR video for the Day 81 alias 2/15/16 post. Partly to be sure it did in fact hit the points I thought it hit (it did), and partly because it was a damned good presentation all on its own.

I therefore present to you, in all its glory, the last of the Three Relevant Things: the Thought-Provoking Video!

Which would be here. It’s a tad under 20 minutes. As always, I’ll be here when you get back.

***hums, buffs nails***

Was that not truly a wonderful thing? I would take a class from her in a heartbeat! And if you watched all the way to the end, then you know it’s the end bit that ties rather well with the cartoon and the blog post. But all of it matters.

It makes sense that context matters to the brain, including in matters of sexuality, and I loved her example of tickling getting completely opposite reactions depending on the context. The context that is internal, you’ll note, and I sometimes wonder if the internal context, or landscape, or whatever you want to call it, has been not necessarily ignored, but perhaps minimized, simply because we can’t point to in the real world.

Think about that old saying about “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me!” I think it came into use, and hung around for as long as it has, because words do not, of themselves, leave visible marks. You can’t bruise skin, or break a bone, by shouting at someone, after all. Well, unless you can project really really well and have a lot more vocal power than the average human. But for the average human, the saying is accurate in the physical world.

In the emotional world, the inner landscape, the personal context, it’s as pernicious a lie as any I’ve ever heard of. Not to mention that the emotions can have a profound effect on the body, from the production of certain hormones to the way you carry yourself. One of my massage teachers was prone to saying that the body remembers everything that’s ever happened to the person, whether the mind actively recalls it or not. He used as his example how a person who was exposed as a child to a lot of shouting and fighting and verbal abuse at home might walk through the world in a sort of permanent flinch: a learned physical coping mechanism to create a smaller visual target in the hope of avoiding calling attention to themselves. How they might, possibly, forget (from the perspective of the conscious mind) the damaging incidents. But this person, upon receiving bodywork intended to release hunched shoulders and a tense neck, might burst into tears because the muscular work activated the body’s memory of the verbal abuse.

In a sense, then, it isn’t just that context matters, it’s that it might well be the most important factor of all.

And in the context (heh) of my last two posts, it’s about being shamed for one’s body getting in the way of enjoying who you are, blocking access to, as Emily put it, your authentic sexual well-being. It’s about the changing the context so you can grab those two keys, confidence and joy.

Tonight, I found a blank notebook and a pen. Specifically, a purple notebook and a purple pen. Purple for passion. I know for lots of people, red is a passionate color, but red was my mom’s color. I mean, her bedroom had variegated red shag carpeting; she had a red bedspread, and she made red curtains for the windows…one of which was a curve of glass brick eight feet tall and nearly as wide. That was a hell of a lot of red, so much so that when I walked into her room in a red-and-white dress, the overwhelming red of the room made the red in the dress look yellow. Weirdest damned thing.

I’ve come to terms with red now. I’ll wear it, which I wouldn’t for ages because I was convinced I didn’t look good in it. (Depends on the shade, actually; orange-reds are not my friends, but blue-reds and true reds are just fine.) But it doesn’t speak to me. Purple, on the other hand… Blue, especially blue-greens, are my favorite, but purple runs a very close second. And my first accounting professor would always use “passionate purple widgets” as his example of choice when discussing production costs, etc. I guess he thought passionate purple widgets were more interesting than a real-world example.

Getting back on track (sorry), new purple notebook, and a new purple pen…and me standing almost naked in front of the mirror looking for something I could honestly like, and finding not just one but several, and writing them down. I only managed a couple of minutes, but I did it. And I can see how, over time, if I am honest with myself in the exercise, it can help me change my personal context from “undesirable and unlovable” to “get on with your sexy self, girlfriend!” So to speak.

I’ve heard for years that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else, or before you can, in essence, alert the world to the fact you are lovable. And I think I’ve done some good work on the inside aspect, the mental landscape. But I do believe it’s time (long past time) to extend that to the outside aspect. To love who I am right now, the my outside as well as my inside.

That would be a good thing.

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2 Comments

Filed under 366 Days, body acceptance, fear, gratitude, self-acceptance

2 responses to “366 Days of Gratitude and Good Things: Day 81

  1. wow that was great and you are too!

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