Have you ever felt like you belong nowhere? Have you ever asked yourself, Where is my true home? If so, this love letter is for you.
For the past week, after I left my homeland, Greece, to come back to my home in San Francisco, I been in a transition mode. In this limbo, words seem empty to describe the richness of my journey, but my body feels completely alive.
While I revisit old memories and swim in new ones, I am feeling again many mixed feelings.
My heart sighs…
I feel nostalgic for all the places, tastes, smells and sounds that I was able to absorb and enjoy
I feel loving for all the people, the hugs, the laughs and the tears that I was able to give and receive
Which reminds me that
I feel angry for all the reasons that made me, in the first place, run away from my homeland,
but at the same time
I feel happy for my new reality, my new home that is here for me with all its blessings.
My heart sighs…
I feel sad for the huge distance that separates one home from another
And at the same time
I feel hopeful because as the hearts come closer even the distance seems shorter
My heart sighs…
I feel the pain of my wounded child that is still present and now I am able to soothe in my warm embrace
Because after all
I feel grateful for all the experiences, all the feelings and all the memories, the happy and the painful that made me who I am now and enable me to write this newsletter for you; a letter that I hope will inspire you to deepen your love for yourself and your body.
Why? Because this time that I went back to Greece people kept saying “You look wonderful, like the old good wine that gets better with the years. How do you do this?”. And I don’t say it to brag about myself, but it made me think: What is actually different? I don’t use make-up, nor fancy clothes - I am simple and natural - so what makes me look better though the years go by?
I realized that after all "the secret" is simple: as each day goes by, I take steps to love myself more and more. I learn slowly to embrace the full spectrum of my humanity, my light and my shadow. I am not perfect, I am human; I have quirks, flaws and gems. This acceptance softens me, and I don’t need to toughen up so as to hide my wounds. I refuse to swallow my emotions; I let my body to feel them but at the same time I avoid throwing my emotional poison to others. I own my responsibility, I am compassionate with my weaknesses, and I challenge myself to be vulnerable. The love for myself is reflected on how I take care of my body everyday; the essential needs of my body not just the illusional urges of my mind. Now, all my feelings may have their own loving home to live harmonically within my mind-body-soul.
All this is something I learned slowly, through my own experience in Authentic Movement as a mover, but it has not always been the case...
I remember the first time I decided to leave my homeland for good. To do so, I had to let go of everything external that made it home for me, every emotional and material aspect that defined my identity: the four walls of my bedroom, my clothes and belongings, my habits, my relationships. Then, it was a painful choice for my mind, but my body was restless, and my soul knew that I had no other choice if I wanted to live plenty and not just to survive. In Greece, I had a place to live but inside, deep in my body, I felt I had no peaceful home. Unconsciously, I was running away from my pain, searching to satisfy a desperate need to belong in a true loving home.
Since then, my journey has been long. I went from Argentina to Peru and then to San Francisco, with many turns back and forth to visit my family in Greece and friends in Peru and Argentina.
All these trips made me realize that once you leave your homeland, there is no final coming back. In your heart there will always be a place that you are leaving from and a place that you are coming back to, with all the feelings that such disconnection and reconnection involves. And there are many places that you may call "home" but there is only one that is your true home. Because during these transitions, where everything around may change, there is always one present and consistent factor that stays along with you no matter what; your body and inner reality.
As a matter of fact, we can’t really run away from ourselves, nor our pain, even when we try. We may suppress the ghosts that haunt us from within, but they will still be there. Our body is always with us even when we are not consciously aware of it. Our body always carry the memory even when we’d rather forget; the memory of our childhood wounds and pleasures, the memory of our ancestral pain and wisdom, the memory of our deepest fears and true longings. No matter how far we may have gone, in this life we may all be refugees that run away from our own tyranny; the feelings that we do not want to feel, the voices that we do not want to hear, the memories that we do not want to remember.
However, we have a choice; to keep running aimlessly away from what is impossible to escape from OR to create space to face our truth, feel our feelings and embrace them. And it may be hard at times, but after all, releasing harmful reprobation, toxic criticism and heartless abuse to love ourselves and our bodies is the most worthwhile journey of our lives.
I know it well, I am on this journey. I tried to run away but I could not find peace until I started investing time to look inside and face my truth. During this journey I have been through hard times, but I regret none, because now I can genuinely enjoy being home. My home is always where I find myself to be, at every moment. My true loving home is my body, and my inner reality, that I want to share with others. To love myself, means to love my body, to listen to it, to take good care of it, and to respect it even when it fails me. Loving our bodies as they are, taking care of them as our sacred homes and extending that love to every place we go is the most valuable gift we can offer to humanity and the world. When we are at peace within our true home there is no harm that we can do. Can you imagine a world like this?
In our lives, we can always be running away from something. But if you want to live fully, it is time to slow down. To love yourself and your body as you are, there is nowhere you need to go, there is nothing you have to achieve. All the truth you need to heal is already inside you. You just need to open up and listen what is waiting for you to be heard; to feel what is essential for you to be acknowledged and released. To embrace your truth and let it go. It is your choice, and may you find the way that speaks to your heart to deepen self-love, for yours and world’s wellbeing.
Your true home is your body. The outmost feeling of belonging is first within your soul.
Welcome back home!
In Authentic Movement SF, my mission is to be your companion in this journey of loving yourself and your body through creative projects, motivational writing, healing groups and individual sessions. It is an honor to be part of your journey.