My Body as a Symbol
I looked at my body and frowned this morning. I do this on a lot of mornings.
It's not what I expect, anymore, although I can't pin down a time in my life when I did expect it.
And then it hit me, as it often does, that this isn't about whether I find my body attractive, so I asked myself:
"Do I unconsciously elevate what I expect to experience over accepting a more objective and less familiar perspective?"
We do this all the time.
I pick up a glass expecting to drink soda, and then when it is water that hits my tongue, I find it horrifying.
Water is not horrifying except when I expect it to be soda.
I understand that what I expect is not necessarily better,
and what I don't expect is not necessarily worse.
My body is not what I suppose it might be in the memory behind my mind's eye.
When it is not what I expect, there is an element of foreignness that comes into play. My present body becomes foreign to me. Like the water, it tastes bad.
That foreignness brings out skepticism and fear. I wonder who I am.
How am I this way? Am I afraid of this body, the one that has lived for over 41 years, whose parts (and sometimes lack thereof) record its history?
Am I afraid of what this body does and does not signal?
I think I am.
it is that I do not see my body at all.
I see a symbol of my fear and unmet expectations.