Here are the words to my story from my on-line show, Advice from a Loving Bitch. Several folks requested it and here it is.
This is an ode to the body, my body and how it heals, despite everything.
I wanted to talk about the body and how the body factors into loving ones self and battling self-hatred because for me, the body has been my elixir, my pathway back to myself.
I’m an incest survivor. I survived extreme sexual violence as a child and I’ve been actively healing this trauma for gosh, at least 25 years. It’s been a long, long intricate process and I don’t even know how it is that I’m a functioning or intact person at all. I’m continually amazed as I remember what happened to me, that I can still love. That I still know how to love. It’s inconceivable really. And I’ve worked so hard for every piece of okness that I have now.
The great love of my life in this lifetime is dance. Since I was a girl, this has been my first language, the language that brought me into who I really was, helped me find expression when parts of me were dying (or felt like they were). Dance gave me safe ways to touch, to be touched. It allowed me to go into my body and find safe places, safe sensations. I’ve been a choreographer and performer so it also is how I developed my voice and my vision.
It’s as if dance has been a container for me to fall apart in, like a home, or a nest. It has held me closely and dearly. It has led me straight into the memory in my body and straight out of it, to now. All the way in and all the way out.
I really believe that the body has to come along on the healing process. It can’t be left behind. You can’t heal in your head with your mind. You have to heal all the way through your cells, on a cellular level.
And love. Love is in the body. Love can always be found in the body. You just have to go searching for it. You have to have the courage to feel, to move, to express. It’s hard.
There were so many, many days when I showed up to dance and all I could feel was despair, or paralysis, or broken-ness and that would be it for that day. But then the next day, I would show up for my body again and something magical would happen. Even something funny. Dance led me to my humor. I make myself laugh. That’s the thing. I crack myself up and that leads me towards the light.
I guess I wanted to share something about how unbreakable people can be even when life is impossible. I really shouldn’t be able to do much of anything after what my body lived through.
I want to be an example of how turning inward is a real and valuable life path. Turning inward and looking inward is not selfish, it’s not self-indulgent, it’s quite the opposite. You can’t help out if you don’t know who you are. You can’t give if you are starving inside. I have to fill myself in order to be an instrument for love. That’s the bottom line. I’m just so grateful that I know how to fill myself up. That’s grace. That’s the miracle.