Friday, May 23, 2008
Who Are We?
One of my favorite people is OPRAH! She has overcome tremendous adversity to become a powerful, wise, kind, generous, influential and down right classy woman. And, of course, beautiful.
I've long been an Oprah Watcher. I've watched her through her Color Purple days and even before that I empathized with her in her rough childhood. I've watched her overcome prejudice against woman and against race. I've watched her survive incredible rumors and disasters. What a woman.
I've also watched her jump on so many trendy things I've lost count. That's ok - I'm the same way - gotta new trend, give it to me baby, I'll work it up.
However, for the first time in my life, I'm finding myself disagreeing with her a bit. But that's ok - she's still a number one woman on my list. I watched her go through her Tolle phase (I'm still reading his book in small doses) and just finished the latest issue of Oprah magazine which features a lot of great interviews on body image. Oprah's statement in that magazine is that we are not our bodies. She refers to Tolle as part of her realization of that.
I don't agree, do you? Our body is not the sum total of who we are, but it is an integral part of who we are. My body is unique - its temporary, of course, as I am reminded of that every day now. But no one else has this body - it is part of our identity. If I am nothing but spirit out there who will know me, but God? How will you identify me? Can we make our bodies to reflect who we are, to help you identify with who I am? Yes, I think so. Now, I'm reading that Oprah is starting a new 21 day diet. She's been on more diets than me, that's a lot of diets. If we are not our bodies, why bother? I think I know what she means though. She's a pioneer in helping us to accept our bodies I think.
Tolle started many looking at their "ego" - I've known about that "ego" or "flesh" ("flesh" referring to the un-regenerated part of humanity - unenlightened perhaps) for a long time...that cranky, negative part of us that would ignore everything but our base instincts, that would lead us away from understanding of who we really are, that would drive us to fulfill our wants willy-nilly regardless of our connection to others or the world.
Note: But perhaps that ego is necessary - it may have been given to us for survival, to constantly think - to anticipate danger - but I noticed in my religion and many others we are constantly urged to CONTROL that ego/instinct. So back to my main thought here:
I will not toss away my body - heck, I am just discovering it. Discovering that I have a responsibility to it - to maintain it as best I can, to decorate it as I will to express that part of who I really am. Discovering that I like it - tall, knock kneed, long in the midriff - narrow shoulders - not bad boobs for an old gal, big bones and all, etc. I am making friends with my body and doing my best to integrate it into myself, my "me." I am discovering my body is a great sense of pleasure - it feels the warm sun, it digs in the dirt, it loves a good massage, it tastes food, it feels kisses (and other things!), it smells flowers and perfumes, it is like a canvas upon which to work art.....
I think going through life trying to ignore my body or act like it wasn't me at all damaged me spiritually and mentally. It made me overweight. It made me ignore need for rest and vulnerable to chronic illness, weakened my back and knees, and then after I drove it to the ground, I despised it for not looking like it was sixteen and airbrushed and fit for Victoria's Secret modeling.
No more ignoring it - forgetting to water it, or feed it correctly, or move it about so it will function properly, or abusing it either by ignorance or deliberately - like eating that cake when discouraged - would I put poison on a plant in my garden that was struggling? No, I would feed it something good. No more despising it because it doesn't look like an airbrushed unreal babe from the magazines. Thank you Oprah magazine for depicting "real women." Thank you Oprah for being a real woman in public - trendy, emotional, nurturing, giving, strong, fat, thin, no makeup, makeup. I think you are off base in some things, but you have guts - you say what you think, what you believe.
Thank you bloggy girlfriends who are so beautiful but think you aren't sometimes - your worth is more than you can ever imagine.