My best friend came to visit last week. Best friend's kind of a poor term for her--she's the only person other than Jay with an all-access pass to my brain. She's the only person other than Jay I'll let near me if I'm crying. She has access and permissions and love that are beyond intimate for me. People are lucky to get one life mate. I'm unusually blessed to have two. I don't really have the words for how much I love her or what she means. Part of what keeps me sane is knowing that she's in the world and loves me. Sometimes that thought is all that gets me through a bad day.
Something she said during her visit has been worrying me a bit, though. I look pretty different these days than in years gone by--the weight loss and muscle development have made me more angular in some places and smoother, though smaller, in others. We were talking about it and she said the one thing that she was wondering about, worrying about, was whether becoming harder and leaner on the outside was reflective of the inside. She knows how hard I fight to stay human, to allow emotions to happen, how paranoid I am about my family's tendency to get colder and more dispassionate with age.
Those of you on my spirituality filter know of that struggle as well. This past year has involved a lot of trying to find new ways to connect, to develop compassion.
She said that the Irene she has always known and loved was soft. Softer lines, softer outline. That getting healthy is good, but she was concerned about what it means for my greater Self.
I explained it away at the time, talked about how much I've been working to be a good person, but it has me worried. I do believe in the mind-body connection. We could look at this one way--my body is healthier, more flexible, stronger. Maybe my emotional self is the same--better able to bend, move and dance, both with myself and others.
But we could look at it another way. My body is harder, leaner, smaller.
I do not want my heart to be the same.
So I guess I'm posting this for those of you who know me well, who have the opportunity to see me in a non-show environment (that isn't really me any more than a mask is the person behind it). If you've noticed, what do you think? Am I getting better? It's sometimes really hard to tell from in here. I ~feel~ more these days. But I know as well as anyone that what goes on inside and what shows outside can be very different things.