I have to push myself sometimes.

I have to remember that I am living in 2015, in a fairly privileged and extremely sheltered way in some regards. I have to remember that I am in a fully grown body, that I am safe, that those who love me will not hurt me. I have to remember, in fact, that they love me.

I have to live in the body that was once beaten and tortured and bears the scars of both that and decades of medical intervention – some of it well meant and some of it not, all of it done out of fear and frustration. I have to live into that body, reminding myself that I am safe and more than that, that I am held. i have to remember that it’s ok to treat myself well, to care for the broken and healed bits, both. To take my time and to stay in my body.

I have to remember not to disappear, not to let my mind take me away from the physical pain but to instead use it as a compass, as a map for the healing I still have to do. I have to stop putting mind over matter and forcing myself to do what is not in my best interest, no matter how much others would like me to do otherwise, no matter how much I believe I might not be loved if I don’t cooperate. If I am not a good girl, if I am not nice.

I have to recall who I am really am, the work my soul is so ready to do, the gifts I have always carried. I have to know, deeply and truly, that I am loved, that I always have been, that I always will be – even when there is seemingly evidence to the contrary.

Because here’s the thing: I get to live. Out loud, outright, outrageously. I get to reclaim what is mine, what I am, what lies ahead for me and for the world, if only I can leap into it, freely and with a great deal of joy. I get to be who I am, and I get to allow others to be who they are. I get to travel to foreign lands, on the planet and in other planes. I get to broaden my horizons and paint the incredibly beautiful ones I see in my dreams.

I get to do it all. This time, I get to stay. I get to live.

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