This is my current spell: I heal my body and remember, I am a child of earth and starry heaven. Telling my story sets me free.
Living in a fat body is like having the body of a Goddess, where most people can’t see my divinity. Imagine that. Being immersed in the sacred, but not able to feel it. That sounds like isolation, like deprivation. Like a wound of not belonging.
Freedom might look like naming hurt. Naming wounds I have not wanted to name. Surfacing what I have not wanted to surface. Pain recorded in the cells of my fat. Did you know that fat was magic? It’s called Myelination. Imagine that. Doesn’t it sound lustrous? Can you imagine this being held up as a thing of beauty and importance? Myelination. Or that is what scientists call it. The Ancient Ones Who Were Around Before The Trouble Began** might have called this beauty. But this is what our sick culture does. It holds up a mirror until we forget that we are magic, losing track of who we are. Lying to us with a thick painted smile on its face, telling us buy this, watch this, be this, don’t be this. This sickness replaces truth with illusion, much less integrous. And after so many generations of lying you can forget which way is up. Start to believe the lie yourself. That you are ugly, lazy, sick. That no one will want you. That you don’t deserve to be alive. That who you are is wrong.
Here are some things we have forgotten. Of particular importance yet in no particular order. We are sacred. We are made of stars, of earth. And in the re-membering we are made of earth and star, what does that tell us about us? Diversity of skin, of gender, of size, of queerness, of transness, of neurotype, of language is gorgeous. And what is magic if not paradox. And who are we if not magic.
The Salmon knows how to return. Ask the Elwha river, whose banks cried tears of grief and joy and homecoming when the dams were removed and the waterways could once again run wild and free. After being blocked from parts of the river for almost a century, Salmon began returning to these waters just months after this rewilding. Salmon are recolonizing the river.
The Wolf knows how to return. Ask the Deer of Yellowstone, whose wise nervous systems urged them toward the hills, away from the vulnerability of overgrazed meadow as 41 Wolves were released into the Yellowstone wilds. This rewilding almost 70 years after Wolves were driven to extinction in the region. This allowing for true ecosystem regeneration. Bare valleys becoming forests of Aspen and Cottonwood and Willow. The regenerating forest stabilizing the riverbanks, changing the river. Fish, Songbirds, Beavers, Muskrats, Coyotes, Rabbits, Mice, Eagles, Bears and more. All benefitting. A trophic cascade. Wolves are ecosystem engineers when given the space and freedom to be their truest selves. Imagine the brilliance we could be if given those same freedoms.
Our bodies know how to heal. I know this to be true because not because I learned it somewhere, not because science or medicine tells me, but because the deep wisdom of my heart invites me over and over into healing.
This is the edge of my healing: having surrounded myself with a beautiful intact community of beloveds who truly know and see me (safety/love/connection/belonging) and who accept me in my humanness (traumas/wounds/burdens/griefs) I have taken their hands and bravely (and fearfully) journeyed into the foothills of my own traumas. And, having entered the foothills, I have journeyed up the mountain, footsteps touching a terrain that has not before been tolerable to be with. This after coming from a loving (safety) human (burdened) family system whose protective system (underneath the protection there is always a hurt) taught me that the way to be OK was to not feel painful things. So the fact that I am crying as I write this is proof that we can heal.
And here is something else I have learned. Community trauma requires community healing. And because all trauma is at its core interpersonal, all traumas require community healing. And this we heal in relationship. This we heal in the field of love and care and belonging. And to speak of and for my experience in this beautiful fat body, as I am re-learning to feel, I am having to learn to be with the pain of the broken and traumatizing ways my body is experienced and seen and judged by others. And this feeling and being with, when surrounded in a circle of love, is what helps me to also feel for the lie. Implicit in our sick culture but not the truest version of who we can be. And because our souls know how to heal in relationship, and because I know as you are reading this that something is being touched in you, I know that healing–even the wounds of isolation and deprivation and not belonging–is there for us to reach for.
** This beautiful languaging I learned from Keath Silva, https://www.keathsilva.org, an ancestral lineage healing practitioner in training at https://ancestralmedicine.org. This language is inspired by his training at Ancestral Medicine.
Artwork by the fabulous FatMystic