Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Does My Mind Look Fat in This?

Today I am aware of my failures as a mother. And a wife. And a friend, a daughter, and a person in general. You could say that I have been meditating upon these failures all day. That's what it is when we focus so completely on one thing; it's a meditation.

So I am meditating in this way as I drive my car when a message that someone told me once runs through my mind. Who was the messenger? The writer Anne Lamott? The Zen monk Thich Nhat Hahn? My mom? Who knows? But it comes, as if by magic. Here it is:

Listen to me.
I want to tell you a secret.
There is nothing wrong with you.
There never was anything wrong with you

But I looked so fat in all the swimsuits I tried on today. And I should've been at home with my little girl, who needs me so much. Is it worth it for me to leave her with the sitter just so I can burn fossil fuels to drive to a department store and try on synthetic swimsuits that make me look fat?

There is nothing wrong with you.

It's all well and good when I have my clothes on. I can fool everyone, even myself, that I'm not gaining weight, as long as I'm not standing naked in front of a 3-way mirror under flourescent lights. When am I going to get myself in order?

There is nothing wrong with you.

Let's just say for a moment that I'm not fat. Then why am I having all these deflating thoughts? Is this depression talking? Are my hormones fluctuating again? Is my mind stuck, for no reason at all, on the negative self-talk radio station Anne Lamott so accurately calls KFKD?

Let's say it is. I decide to let my brain go on with its prattle, minus my attention. I pop in a meditation CD. I am driving across the floating bridge. I am turning my attention to the sound of Thich Nhat Hahn's voice.

"Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out." BONNNG goes the bell.

There never was anything wrong with you.

This is so much more pleasant. I am enjoying the feel of my breath between sounds of the bell. I am feeling a nice warm feeling spread through my body.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ok I have been going through withdrawls...thank you for posting!!! It is so true that it is easy to meditate on the bad feelings!! I have a hard time focusing on the good stuff...so lame! I have always had poor body image and it is amazing how much it can affect my mood.I so want to get over it...I will keep telling myself there is nothing wrong with me today, thanks! I needed that!