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– u  what ? is ,rI am gonna share something that I have never shared. I thought it’s too sad. Then I had a couple discussions last week and I realized the pieces I have written but not published could have exactly the messages that might matter to people, that might resonate with people who could be going through something similar right now or have gone.

So, I guess sometimes the stories we don’t want to tell are the ones we might need to tell. Because we also are the best positioned to help those who we were previously. We know how to “get out” little faster. So why to hide what I had learned? Why to waste the lessons gotten even tho the lessons were painful to go through? By sharing them I bring some light to those events and kind of increase their meaning or purpose in my life.

This piece was born when I got a bacterial infection in my ankle and had had surgeries on it, that time I was wearing a cast, walking on crutches, having a negative pressure machine called VAC pumping stuff out from the wound so I had a long tube and outside my body attached to waist where I had the container for the bad stuff. I had eaten very heavy amounts of antibiotics and my skin was breaking everywhere, my eyes were swollen and I had red rashes all over my face and neck. I was also skinnier than I have ever been. So yes I looked pretty spectacular.

Rumuus

I had taken a bus from Pihtipudas to Helsinki (quick little 5.5h bus ride) to see the doctors, changing the bandages, tubes, checking the situation etc. in the wound. I got off the bus and I was feeling pretty ok, you know I had read a good book on the way and worked a little, I was feeling pretty cheerful because I had time to get a coffee from the coffee shop I liked right above the bus station. Rare treats those days! I was smiling, had my headphones on and started climbing towards the coffee shop.

 I saw people looking at me when I was approaching the coffee shop line. Staring at me. I was confused. Why are they looking at me? When I looked back at them, they immediately turned their gaze elsewhere as if they were not looking.

Then it hit me.

They were staring at me because I looked so ugly and horrible.

I was one of the people that they are interested in because I look so bad but they can’t openly show it so they try not to stare. Too late. I saw it already.

I was standing on the line and felt my eyes filled with tears.

I am that ugly.

I am like a zoo animal to them.

I got my coffee order out and had to ask someone to help me to carry the coffee cup to the table. Drinking coffee at that table was the last thing I wanted to do anymore. My mind was filled with negative thoughts and I wanted to bury my suffering body and face so I could just hide from the world. I was swiping my tears off my face while I was trying to get that coffee down my throat as fast as possible and then I limped back to the underground platform where the next bus was waiting for me. I tried to hide my face and the big waves of some kind of madness and sadness that hit my body…

So after the doctor visit, on the way home, this piece was born and I am ready to share it even tho I know it is not gonna be the happiest piece of my collection. But. I want to be clear what is my intention to share it now.

The realization that we are more than our bodies.

The understanding of our value as human beings.

The experience of letting go something that matters to you so much. It is painful and we don’t talk about these. Especially in sports.

We focus on getting better.

But we need to know more.

We need to explore deeper.

We need to find identity also outside of sports.

We need to find more value from inside. Not outside.

Ok here we go.

Am I more?

 

The essence, substance of what I am, what we are. What is it consisted of? Am I now more than super swollen eyes and the deep shame of being ugly? Why am I ashamed of myself if I look like this? Why it makes me cry when I think that I am just so ugly. Ugly. On the surface. The crust of my soul. Yea yea the science hasn’t found any evidence about the existence of a soul but still the human minds believe in its existence. Maybe it is comforting.

 

Maybe in this case too. I am more than this swollen face covered in red rashes and dry patches. What you mean more? How do I measure it? Are humans measured? Souls are not measured therefore they don’t exist? When I die, can’t I still be measured in a way, I am existing in centimetres and kilograms also when I am under the ground even though my heart is not beating. But little by little the evidence of my existence will fade away. Then there are no numbers left. I am something with earth. Or does it mean that then I am nothing? I am also not existing for my friends and family anymore. Not at least in the same essence and substance that we and them think about living.

 

So if I have an ugly face and infected leg, I try to repeat and think that I am somehow more than this existence measured by numbers and seen by eye, more than skin, muscles and bones. Is it the heart that is speaking these words? Is it the mind trying to whisper things to make me feel better? How mind and heart are connected?

 

Example. When I feel the shame, where do I feel it? hmm. It makes me cry. It pushes tears out the corners of my eyes. It strangles my heart, maybe chest too, that is where I feel it. But it is just a thought. Still, it is just a thought that I am ugly. A result of my own imagination and thought patterns. Reflected from the mirror. Would I call myself ugly if I would have not seen myself from the mirror this morning? I don’t think so.

 

So it is a thought. Is it real? Did someone come and say that “Well you are one ugly creature for a human being, miss!” No. Did I know for sure that someone thought that in their minds? No. It is likely but I can’t know for sure. Why would I assume so? To make myself even more sad? To beat myself more? Like I wouldn’t do it enough for myself already? How stupid am I for real? And even if someone would say so, it might not be true. All the words spoken are not true.

 

(Absurd even in the thought level. If all spoken words would be true. They might sometimes be true to the speaker, sometimes for the listener(s), sometimes not even that. In the beginning of times and writing, the written words were considered as truths. But the world has changed drastically from those times and it is insane to assume that printed words would be true either. The mind can control the mouth as well as our hands and fingers that write the words. Politics. Beliefs. Subjectivism. Can’t trust the words. But What can I trust? Is the question.

 

Minds can also manipulate, in good and in bad. If I keep repeating the sentence to myself that I am ugly… I will start believing in it. It becomes true. And right now I believe that, the tears are telling it. Right now I am so ugly in my mind. Which is crazy because at home everything was fine. This all hit me when I encountered other people. One event can cause a hurricane of thoughts. So our minds can make things true to us. But ugliness isn’t something so simple. It is not that easily defined that I would think that and everyone else in the world would immediately agree and verify my thought. 

How can we separate the mind, heart and soul? Why would there be even a need for that? I don’t know. I am just speculating. Which one of those is speaking now? Can I know when someone is speaking from the heart? When we say that someone is speaking from the heart, it often means that this person is being super honest and genuine. Also meaning that the words are true to this person. We can feel the difference, when someone believes in what they are saying. That is in a way a start for beautiful communication. We are often able to resonate with that kind of communication. Love that word.

Resonation. The resonating moments. It can be so many things. But it is so beautiful. I love those feelings. The connectedness. I think people are meant to connect. We also live in the search for or of the connections. Some people find it in souls. Some people feel it in their hearts. Some people can also rationalise the connections in their minds.

So maybe they are all needed in life: hearts, souls and minds. Because evolution works. The unnecessary parts of human body are disappearing, i.e. the tailbone. But, we still have heart, soul and mind. Something that we do not always can’t explain or fully understand. Perhaps soul might exist somewhere between the mind and heart, connecting those two to provide some meaningfulness, kind of showing the way. Or deepening the connections that mind thinks and heart feels.

Empowering picture Saana

The condition of my face, body, crust is not defining who and what I am anymore or ever again.

 

Am I then ugly from inside if I like having a prettier face than now? If I keep saying that the surface wouldn’t matter, why would I care how I look now? Have I just been hippocratic of  the worst kind? If I truly would believe so, why is it so painful to watch time destroy my body now when I can’t move or exercise? Seeing the athletic figure fade, legs turning to noodles, muscles escaping the body, leaving just all the fat behind?

Why does this hurt so freakin’ much? That is not physical pain. If I am so much more than only this “stupid shallow body”, why the fuck does it hurt? Why me and my body keep bleeding and leaking both inside and outside? How can I fill the holes and stop the leaking? I am desperately trying. Maybe I should stop trying.

One explanation for the pain is that it is the amount of work (and hopes) I have put in. The hundreds of hours. And soon there is nothing left from that. Maybe it is the dream that I am forced to let go at the same time while my body gives up. I was left with no options. Of course that is painful.

This was gonna be the year when I break through the next level in volleyball. But instead I am barely surviving. I feel blind. I don’t know where to go. The dreams have been crushed together with my health. I try to grasp the last thoughts of some hope, last cells and begging them not to go. Please come back. It is feeling like I am losing it all. It hurts. That’s why it hurts so much I can’t breathe.

So that is the reason why I need to be more than the body. Because if and when I lose the body, the essence of me, the part I am so focused on improving, I have to find a way to justify my being. My body is so bound to the progress I do in life. The mind and heart both try to convince me that I am more than my body.

But isn’t that very subjective right now? Of course it is the comforting thought right now… That my attitude, beliefs, mind and other things (you name it) will matter now more and therefore make me believe that we will exist in so many ways other than only the physical, measurable way. Human mind is subjective. Always.

So in a way, trying to answer the questions related to existence or soul is impossible because we all have our own way justifying it and our own views. Our mind is just the produce of what we have been exposed to. It is interesting and everyone can have their own beliefs and justifications, I guess that is called individual liberty or freedom that is a luxury that we have in this modern society where everyone is considered as a valuable individual. Not everyone can have that kind of freedom or value.

Sometimes I also think there is something spiritual in all human beings but we are just sometimes too busy to see or feel it. To reveal it and live it. We focus too much on proving ourselves in other ways, hoping to be approved by others, that we forget to dive a little deeper in our true existence which happens behind the curtains.

And I still have a strong belief that I cannot or should not separate the body and mind. The body and these cells are part of me. We live together. We do this thing called life hand in hand. When I succeed on the court, it is also my body and these cells that are working. Together with my mind.

So if I lose this part of my life, my body, the superficial looks of it, it also means to me that I am losing some dreams with it. Sports as a life goal and body as a tool to achieve those is a tricky combination when you get badly injured or sick. But I think I can make the other parts of myself count more now. Find something else in addition to sports that make my non-measurable soul smile wider.

But I want to love it. I really do. And I do love myself. I want to love my body more right now when I see and feel how much it is suffering. My mind suffers, my body suffers. I don’t actually need to stop the tears from falling. I need to accept this moment as it is and love every cell of my body even and especially when they are criticized by some other people.

Maybe there is also beauty in this moment. Beauty that is deeper than the looks of my face. Beauty of caring and love. Beauty of realizing the deeper beauty. And the tear that falls – that shows, proves and highlights the fact that I care. When the body is sick, it doesn’t need any more punishments but more care, compassion and love. I will be able to love my body more.

***

So there it is.. Not the happiest piece but it serves an empowering message, right.. What I came to understand during that time is more profound and I will carry that lesson with me, not the sadness of that memory.. And now my question for you is that do you know what and who you are if your body would not work anymore as it used to, not provide you to do the things you can do now? And what would happen if your body would slip, without your consent, behind the “beauty norms” and its normal functionality? What is more important to you than your body?:)

 

Thank you for reading <3

Saana

 

Build Your Self-confidence

Where does self-confidence come from? Your past experiences? Your ability to know that you handle this moment? That you know you have what conquering this moment takes? So after all, what do you say to yourself in the situation when being tested?

Yes. This work book will help you to create those things in your own life by: 

  • Discovering the expertise and experience you already have and can count on so you don’t need fake your confidence but know you have it
  • Taking a look at your limiting beliefs so you can remove them
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