In Nature’s Image

RuPaul said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Soul Sessions, the best advice he could give to the young ones, to the seekers, was “to know thyself”. This counsel befits me. Self study has been my salvation. I learn elemental details all the time. For days on end, uncomfortable clues trickle in that make me wiggle and squirm in my skin until I am willing to confront a kernel of truth. Then there are the big breakthroughs; The moments when all that binds is loosed and the tethering of my spirit comes undone. Those marvelous moments I simply feel free and clear and bright with the truth of who I am. In studying myself I give reverence to where I come from, what makes me tick. I don’t believe this path could result in anything but deep reverence for Nature. I have found that diving in is most satisfactory. When you follow each direction that you are led, you realize the dots all connect, and while the universe is vast, it is still all in the palm of your hand. Because you, me, it, We are one. We are all of it. The sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans the rivers the trees, the dirt, the shit, the joy, and the suffering. All of it at once.

Nature has a way of destroying what needs to die in order to clear fertile ground for what needs to be planted, cultivated, brought forth. I think I forgot that I am nature. I think cancer happened to me because I needed to regenerate. It was the framework in which I was made capable of setting fire to an old paradigm. Spirit knew that I wasn’t about to let go easy, and it knew the way to my heart. It knew what I held on to tightly, and everything that I hid behind. I needed to lose my hair to learn that I wasn’t my hair. It knew that my body needed to be changed for me to learn that I wasn’t my body. It knew what I had to give up in order for me to remember that all that I ever needed was to know myself. Spirit allowed me to stumble and wail suffer everything that I feared because it knew that it had me, it knew that it would buoy me as I followed the breadcrumbs back to myself.

At first, cancer made me afraid of self study because I could see and feel the real deterioration of my body as a result of the treatment. There was a period of separating from my bodily experience. In hindsight I believe that what was really happening was a separation of what I thought to be important in the mind body connection. Image was very important to me. It still is, but the importance has shifted, as I realize that it is only a reflection, not a definition. I have been enlightened to the social nuances of how my image allows me to experience the world. It is a more honest understanding that my image is a vehicle to reflect something that I want people to relate to in me. Once I had a grasp on that I had so much more freedom and control over my experience. I am not tied to any certain thing or way of looking or being anymore. I am not uncomfortable in the body that I am in, regardless of it’s shifts and perceivable flaws, as it does not define my spirit. I define how others see me; the creative control is all mine.

Regeneration is like a remembering. In my rebirth story, I scavenged for the seeds of the truth and grit of my soul. I learned to rely on my spirit to strengthen me when my body felt like a foreign land, the old one beyond recognition. When I shifted out of reckoning to revelling I was pulling up weeds and cutting back dried branches from my plant friends in my yard. In this act, I was struck so softly with the full acceptance of everything that I had been through. I was already on my knees but I stayed there and cherished the holy moment. When I was a little girl I knew that speaking to the Divine in silence was the same as speaking a prayer out loud. That Divine spark was so clear and faith so untampered with then. I remember now. Again.

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