I don’t remember what it was like to learn how to walk. I don’t recall the crawling, falling, tears, or tumbles.
There are many things we forget, in life. Unimportant, unnecessary, needless, little, things, as we say. Memories that would be impossible to remember.
And other memories we push away, toss to the side, try to remove the hurt. Forget. Forget. Forget.
I started university last fall, signed up for a Theatre major. I thought I knew. I thought I’d be ‘safe.’ Safe from memories, hurt, too much thinking, and tears. I figured I’d be happy, doing what I love, and that I knew what it’d be about because I knew what theatre was.
But theatre, I learned is an exploration. An exploration of others, of course, but also, of yourself. And that exploration can be scary and strange — a lot like learning how to walk for the very first time.
One day, my professor told us to lie on the ground on our backs, feet and legs and arms and hands spread out. And she told us to learn how to walk again.
It was hard and a little strange. But I made myself fall and I got back up and fell again and tumbled to the ground. And I remembered so many things.
You see, we can forget things in our mind, but the body remembers. There are certain things, programmed it would seem for eternity. Your mind may forget, but your body will not.
The body remembers its scars and scrapes and bruises. It remembers each tumble and fall. The body recalls what you’ve done and said to it, the ways you’ve abused it, the times you’ve felt shame, the people who hurt you. It knows how you cried from the nasty words and the blood that you shed and the heart that was broken. And you tried to forget. You tried so hard. But the body remembers what the mind does not.
As Christians, sometimes I find there is this stigma attached to our bodies. We’re constantly finding fault with the flesh. They’re impure, passing figures, after all, liable to grevious sins, we’ve been told from the pulpits and in Christian books.
Yet if we truly believe that the Father created us, we know that our bodies are His good and perfect creations.
And if we admit with our tongues that He sent His only son, in flesh and bone, through the body of a woman, we cannot deny that our bodies must be for His glory.
So learn to walk again. Today, tomorrow, this week, this year. Learn to love yourself, to know yourself, and the body you’ve been given. Learn to be whole and know that God made you. And He made all of you.
For this is what I learned from going back and learning to walk again, tumbling a bit and getting up.