I had a very restful, beautiful Thanksgiving.
The healthiest I’ve felt in a long time, even though fatigue came and went.
I was able to share cooking with my mom and I cooked for half the day on Wednesday and enjoyed eating and playing games on Thursday.
This Thanksgiving was more quiet. I read a book on Native American wisdom this year and was outside more appreciating the land where I live, and grieving the exploitation of many.
And this year, Larry Nassar pled guilty for molesting young female athletes. I felt glad that in this long case, there have been glimpses of hope and justice. And yet I grieve the fact that as a woman, assault is so rampant, and that so many women had to come forward for it to seem “believable.”
It’s a both/and world of thankfulness and grief. I suppose you can’t truly be grateful unless you’ve grieved, or at least be grateful in a way that goes down deep.
As I’ve reflected on the past year, and all I’m grateful for–the list is long. There are many people, and places, and lessons learned, and decisions made. There have been new practices, new travels, new friendships. Yet at the top of the list–I’m thankful that I’m discovering my voice.
I like what I hear and I’m discovering the rough edges that I need to integrate into my being and not suppress any longer.
You see, when you’re a victim of sexual assault, you start to distrust your body. And if you can’t trust your body, you can’t trust your voice. But that’s not the only piece of the story.
I’m also unraveling layers of being a woman in this culture and all the messages I’ve taken in about being too sensitive, too smart, too athletic, too intimidating, etc. I don’t want to fit into the box of the “I can do it all-woman but still appear quiet and servant-hearted when the situation calls for it.” I’m breaking those rules. I’m learning to forge my own path and not just be in solidarity with a group, although that feels more comfortable.
I recognize how difficult it was to navigate the medical system as a teenager, when I had symptoms but nothing to show on lab tests. I wanted a doctor who would believe that my body wasn’t lying–who would listen to me over science. That’s hard to come by. I internalized that I must edit my story to be believed, that I must fight to be seen. These beliefs have wreaked havoc in my life–and yet I’m aware of them, and I’m learning just to be.
I’m thankful for yoga, for helping me believe in my body’s messages again.
I’m thankful for other body workers who believe that energy work changes lives. It has changed mine.
I’m thankful for how my theology has expanded and grown–where the body must be in the picture now-or the belief is too narrow, too abstract, too ungrounded for me.
I’m thankful for a retreat in Omaha where I learned how to hold difference in silence and stillness.
I’m thankful that I started a business, even though it’s changed a lot of how my life looks. I’m learning as I go 🙂
I’m thankful to connect with female small business owners who thrive on collaborating, on mutual sharing, and on wanting everyone to succeed.
I’m thankful for this journey of fighting for my health, of meeting others along the journey and letting our limitations enrich our friendship.
I’m thankful that I live in an apartment where I’m not reacting to mold.
I’m thankful for being able to eat apple pie.