For a few weeks I’ve been toying with the idea that I am broken.
At first I felt resistance to the idea. Who would want someone who was broken? We throw away the broken things. They are unwanted, unloved, undeserving.
I decided to take my resistance as an invitation. Go deeper, it whispered. Okay, broken. What is broken about me?
Every step for the past seven months has brought pain. Literal steps bringing literal pain. The cartilage in my hip joints is not what it once was. I am a young woman for this to be happening, but it is. I suspect there is little cartilage left. Hip degeneration is in my family. When I began a deep martial arts practice seven months ago, I had no idea there was anything wrong with my hips. I had no pain. I had no idea about being broken in this way. I quickly found out, when my hips were asked to move in ways that they hadn’t in a long time, that I was not in the condition I had thought I was. Broken.
My practice will rebuild the broken parts inside me, but it will take time. Perseverance. Acceptance. Pain. Love. Compassion.
Connected to this broken part of me, the part that connects the upper me to the lower me and binds me to the earth, is my idea of beingness. My femininity. My sexuality. Those things are broken too.
This week on Facebook, a video made the rounds. Orgasmic childbirth. I remember rolling my eyes about this years ago. Me, squatting in a warm pool of water in a darkened room with a midwife, at one with the experience of exquisite deep pain and fighting for control in an uncontrollable process. Giving birth. I had heard about orgasmic women and thought they must be broken.
Now I know it was me.
I have been fighting my body a long time.
I know I created protection for it. I have deep compassion and love for the small child who was so successful at hiding herself so she would not be hurt. The hurts were many. Deep. Insidious. I am trying to have compassion for the young woman who was sexually abused, raped, used. For the mother caught in an emotionally abusive marriage. For all the ick ever experienced around being a woman. Being a sexual creature.
The walls I built around me as protection made me fight. Resist. They helped me think of myself as broken. In my desire to not feel pain, just like with my hips, I denied the fact that I was broken.
I am so very, very sad. I did this. And I can get out of it again.
Today in martial arts we practiced a Dragon form. Coiling, sinuous movements that engage the hips and lower back. Twisting, coiling, striking. I have come a long way in my practice in seven months but am still a beginner, seeing my lacks, feeling the way my body should move but does not. Broken. I cried in class as energy rose through my pelvis. Hot anger, cold fear. If I opened this part of me, I heard, I would be hurt. It was my walls talking. I heard them. The Dragon could not surmount these strong walls that had been in place for so long, thinking they were protecting me. After all, I let the walls be there. I did this.
Tonight as I shared some of what emerged for me with the Dragon today my dear friend Rebecca suggested I do a moving meditation connected with Golden Tara. She could not describe exactly what she had in mind for me, but it connected to the pose that Golden Tara holds. Hips open. Wide. Birthing something, perhaps, or in closeness to the earth. Hands strong. This is a powerful position. The moving meditation also connected, Rebecca said, to the gurung, a traditional ghatu dance in tribal Nepal. I watched the dance, entranced. Two women, moving slowly, deliberately, sinuously, beautifully. I would do this. I could do this. I sensed what I needed to do.
I took the Golden Tara pose, made it mine. Then my body began to move. Side to side, slowly. My stance deepened. I was one year old, just learning to walk and wanting so deeply to dance free, but tied down so that I could not. I would be toilet trained if it killed me, my mother said. One year old. My sighs became wails, releasing energy through breath and sound. My child self wept, wanted to walk free, to dance. I danced her pain for her, her anger.
Broken things fly, too.
There is irony here. My beloved adores me. As I am. I ponder this when I see his eyes smiling his heart into mine as he sits across the room, laptop in hand, having just clicked “Like” on my Facebook status update. My beloved loves me. Broken. Wanted. Loved. And oh so deserving of this amazing brilliant man who lights up my heart.