A Manifesto For Healing
Breathe. Breathe deep, right into the bottom of your lungs, right into your creaking rusty heart. Feel it flutter as you breathe in. Feel that? That’s the beginning. Right there. You’re alive. You’re standing on your own two feet, or maybe you’re sitting on your own two butt cheeks. Either is fine right now, because where you are is perfect. Don’t move. Surrender. Stop striving. Stop working so damned hard at pleasing a world which is never content. Be static in a world of motion, for just a few seconds every day. You are the eye of the storm. You can be an island of stillness in the maelstrom of bullshit that has become your life.
Now let go. Let go of your ex-boyfriend, and his new girlfriend too. Let go of your parents, your grandparents, the history of pain that trails behind you. Let go of anyone who has shouted abuse at you in the street. Let go of the stories you have created about yourself, because you have been mistaken. You have been mistaken. Make up some new stories, before the old ones choke you like so many weeds. You are your own story. You have the pen and the paper so write. Create. Do what your freshly revived heart dictates. Buy some crayons. Paint your nails. Buy books from a charity shop. Immerse yourself in the pleasures you had forgotten. Love someone without demand. Masturbate as many times a day as you want. Forget tiny human concepts like ‘guilt’, ‘shame’, ‘lazyness’. Revel in being a creature of ease and pleasure and rest. Let the universe be your lover, the most considerate lover you have ever had.
Now for the work, because healing needs work. Nobody ever got very far without hard work. I know you’re tired. I know that life wears you down. While you are eating chocolate and painting your bedroom walls with glitter, understand that you are gathering strength for the work. Breathe. Let go. Then fight this with every fibre of your being. Refuse to be defined by other people’s opinions. Break out of the boxes you have been put in, by yourself and other people. Start to look in the mirror and see what G*d sees. You’re a fucking miracle. You’re alive! Against all odds and despite your best efforts, you have a whole day ahead of you to fill with wonder. So go. Do. Be. Fill it with wonder by opening yourself up, a little at a time. There is much darkness in the world, but lots more light. Let it in. Open the shutters and windows of your soul and illuminate the very core of your being. Dust off the things you have left on the shelf, like your passion, your creativity, your wisdom, your fucking MOJO. Dye your hair pink. No, really. It’ll help. Make an effort to be the light you need for yourself. And every night, rest. Sleep deeply and for as long as you need because coming up against your own self is hard work. Wear that lipstick you always thought was a bit too daring. Wear the clothes your ex hated. Wobble your belly and wonder at its gravity-defying jiggle. Strut down every street. It’s not a cliché, life really can be your catwalk.
Are you feeling better yet? Give it a month. Keep giving it a month. Don’t get down on yourself when your day isn’t perfect. If Shakespeare, Frida Kahlo and Charlotte Bronte had all been super-efficient human beings living a perfectly ordered life, they would never have made anything. Embrace your mess. Love the way you wobble through life occasionally making giant boo-boos. Think of your walk through life as footsteps on a beach, and don’t worry about veering off towards the sea, or an ice cream stand, or a hot man in tight pants. That’s what going to the beach is for. Look at the people in your life and ask yourself – what do they do that serves their joy? Copy them shamelessly. Make your contentment your number one priority. Eat three square meals a day. Admire your own cleavage in every mirror you pass. Do something weird with your eyebrows. All this is healing.
Stop again. Breathe. Breathe right down into the bottom of your lungs, and notice that this no longer feels like trying to restart a broken clock. It just feels natural, because you’re starting to understand that you deserve life. You’re starting to understand that you deserve life, and you’re starting to make the life you want. Feels good, doesn’t it? There is hurt there still, because this is where hurt lives. Don’t shut it out. Don’t squish it down into a ball. Don’t ignore it and hope it goes away. Breathe into it with the amazing life you are building. You can breathe the future into that past pain, and tell your past self not to worry, because you are coming. You are on your way. You are arriving in your own life, to stand up, dust yourself off, and announce that nobody will hurt, abuse or exploit you anymore. You are a free human being. Love every negative thought, action or human being in your life. Nothing will surprise them more. Rub your tummy: it’s where your fire is. Breathe into it and remember that oxygen will feed the flames until you are ablaze with your own magnificence. Then put on something beautiful, go out, and own the day.