I’m lying supine on my bed with my knees bent, my feet tucked under my butt. My eyes are closed and my hands are on my belly. My body feels itself breathe. My hands feel the tension in my stomach as I breathe in and feel it shrink and subside as I breathe out. And I’m in a reverie. I have no sense of time, and words are not important—it’s that feeling you get when you’ve just seen something breathtakingly beautiful and cannot look away, like you’re not in your body, you’re just pure consciousness observing this thing. But in this case that thing was me. I was observing myself like an outside organism, watching it breathe. I stayed this way for a long time, transfixed by the new perspective.
It is good to avoid feeling prolonged contempt for myself. When I was like 13 I went to a sleepover and had Cheetos and M&M’s on my ice cream after pizza for dinner and then woke up after watching movies all night and had waffles with multiple candy toppings. The way my body felt that morning is the way my mind feels when I’ve been hating myself. The way it feels when I’m lying in bed watching myself breathe is the opposite. It feels like my body knows its essential value. I can forget for a moment about the contempt I have for my behavior and my intellect and focus on this feeling that is full and good, that is content as it is. And it belongs to me. ♦