The winter hairiness was for the chop. Maybe to conform to a societal norm, maybe for the beauty of the feeling of sliding hairless into clean sheets. I don't know but it was time.
I got out the epilator, the tool of choice for a recovering martyr perhaps? Plugged in and began to harvest the leg hairs by their tender roots. They had done nothing to me but there i was pulling them from the only family they had ever known. There they were coming out of the wrinkly moley skin and being ingloriously laid to rest.
That skin. That wrinkly skin. My objective brain was noticing the slackness of the skin, the sun damage. It talked to me about the hours in the sun as a teenager, the hot Northland sun and what else did i expect after buttering my legs and laying back on the boat in the midday sun week after week?
And then it happened.
From out behind the objective voice it came. Cold. Cruel sounding. Sneaking in like a rat to a cooling cake, the voice entered my head and took a big bite.
"What the hell are you trying to look better for? Old and ugly. Look at you. What? Do you think someone is going to look? As if!"
And the poison the voice laid began to fizzle and rot all it touched.
I almost didn't notice it because, sadly i am so used to its venomous presence.
The mean voice. The voice of the introject (introject = the unconscious adoption of the ideas or attitudes of others). Dr Estes calls them the poisoned arrows. Dr Estes says our work is to root them out. Dr Estes says to tell the introject "Begone- get behind me" to be commanding and ruthless in the expulsion of that meanness that does not belong anywhere near our sacred heart.
Even though i KNOW this from hearing those words of Dr E's like ringing bell in my ear, the way i have learned to cower in the face of the mean voice is second nature.
I almost turned a mean eye on myself. I almost agreed. I almost gave up with the epilator. I almost broke my own heart again - almost agreed that i was old and ugly and not worth tending to.
Instead i heard the voice of my true self say gently
"I care about this. It makes me feel good. That is why"
And i know that that tiny voice was the antidote to that drop of poison. I wasn't lying to myself, denying age or damage or anything of the sort but i was standing on my own side against that insidious poison. It was a not so minor triumph for me, to turn for even a moment, from the way that voice that introject is like the Snow Queen in my life and look instead on myself with the sweetness of Gerda. I think i am saving my own life that way.
Now all i have to do is keep saving myself over and over each day. Speaking a voice of kindness into the wounds left by the introject. Not having to know where it comes from or the theory behind it but just practice over and over and over applying the balm of kindness.
What is the point of this? i am pretty sure i am not the only one who has a mean inner voice. I am pretty sure most people i meet could do with more kindness.
Maybe the point is if you can antidote poison in yourself and in doing so you free up others from the burden of trying to do it for you. Maybe the point is that life feels better without this sneaky shit clogging up your pipes. Maybe the point is regardless of what the mean voice says we all deserve to be happy.
After all if i can pour loving tenderness on my wrinkly hairy legs i am pretty sure you can find a way to be kind to the tender spots in you too.
The world needs more kindness.