She asks me the question often—how do you want to feel, Braveheart?
Sometimes I roll my eyes. Because honestly—how does anyone want to feel? Do they even know? And what's with feelings anyway?
Here's some truth: I'm an inherent feeler and I spent most of my 30 years trying to hide the fact.
So the eye-rolling? It was more of my "you're getting too close to who I am, watch out now..." But it's never left me. The question, to this day, haunts most of my decision making.
"So what would it look like to honor this emptiness?"
The question struck me in the place between my heart and gut. I glanced away from the computer screen.
This is too close to home. Too much of a needed answer.
I took a deep breath. Let it out.
"Lots of painting," I said. Another word was vibrating against my bones and I dismissed it. "Probably lots of silence, too. I don't see myself writing a lot because there aren't really a lot of words for what this is..."
She nodded. "This is not a season of words. I would agree."
My heart pounded and whispered, giving into the word.
"And yoga. I need yoga."
She smiled. "I was thinking the same."
For an INFP, I do a lot to separate myself from my own desire and longings. I can meditate with the best of them, but I guarantee you it only looks like I'm meditating. This brain of mine works way too fast to grow quiet without lots of stern talking and I'm serious this time. Shut up. Please. Just for this moment.
You see, for multiple reasons, I've spent my life detached from this flesh and blood exterior. Much easier that way. When your skin holds memory and your veins pump shaky darkness, it makes sense to cut those pieces off. But now, it's begging for attention.
My arms tingle. Do you feel us? Do you see how you clench your hands when you sleep?
My lungs demand a breath. Feel that beating? Notice the stillness?
My feet tap a rhythm. Hear that music? Feel us moving?
My heart skips a beat. Feel those hands? Notice those butterflies?
Breathe it all in, sweetheart. Every last drop.
I close my eyes and stretch my arms above my head and circle down to touch the floor. I breathe deep. Feel every vertebrae shift as I stand tall again and suck in air. Hand above head again and reaching back behind me, I notice how my skin stretches. I breathe in and think of everything I want to feel. I breathe out the memories. The fear. The questions.
I want to feel everything. This is what a friend says on her tumblr. For years that sentence made me wince with what if. Now, it blooms with possibility.
How do you want to feel, Braveheart?
The question still echoes in the shadowy spaces inside. Today, I have an answer.
Embodied. I want to feel embodied. I want to know this flesh and bone.