Body Goals: A Meditation on Trauma

The plan: rent bikes at Belmont Shore, ride down the trail, breathe in the salt of the ocean, put our coats on when we can no longer stand the wind, pretend we’re children again, forget the responsibility of being grad students, of being women, of being black; pretend that everything embraces our melanin just like the sun.

The revision: when the bike rack is closed… we walk to the edge of the water, we look out at the waves, we put on our coats when we can no longer stand the wind, we pretend we’re children again, we pose for the Gram, we pretend that everything embraces our melanin just like the sun.

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Have you ever heard the statement:

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”

As I laugh freely and feel my body open, embraced by everything that surrounds it, I have a realization.

Just because my body can endure trauma that doesn’t mean it should have to.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I

am

proud

of

my

body.

I am proud of the scrapes and bruises my body has been strong enough to endure- from trips to falls to stumbles, both physical and emotional. I am proud that my body endures it all: the next shooting, the next microaggression, the next black body in the street, the next disappointment. Through it all, my body continues to stand. My body continues to stand, making friends with the cracks that have formed; my body continues to stand though bent, though almost broken.

I appreciate my body for the ways that it takes each trauma in fully and deeply, and then creates a scab to prepare for the next one.

My body is strong, my body is beautiful….

BUT-

Just because my body can endure trauma that doesn’t mean it should have to.

Just because my body can endure trauma that doesn’t mean it is made for trauma.

As I stand out here, the seagulls crying, the wind whistling, the sun pressing tenderly up against my skin:

I laugh

I breathe

I connect

I join

I commune with

I am open to

I dream of

I thrive

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I remember that my body is not made for trauma.  Instead, it is made for moments like this. It is made for good things, and it deserves good things.

Though my body has been forced to make friends with the cracks, the open wounds, the disappointments and struggles-

I must remember-

You must remember-

Our bodies are ultimately closer with the light that shines through.

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