strength

Loosening the Corset

Loosening

I have been learning how to loosen my own corset; not so easy when it took an army to cinch that motherfucker so tight in the first place.

But, bind by bind, it’s coming undone.

Like the corset laces that feign a cheerful bow, I have been constrained by physical things that are unnecessary and unwanted limiting my space and movement. Books full of ideas that other people thought I should hold, t-shirts given to me by men who no longer have permission to graze my breasts, clothes in a size zero from when I tortured myself in order to be attractive by someone else’s standards. Letters full of lies. China that was never used. Photos of ‘happily ever after’. Stuff that looks pretty but has no substance and occupies the very space that I so desperately need to breathe. Ruthlessly and with diligence I allowed myself to feel them one last time before tossing them in the Good Will bin and making another pilgrimage to the donation center. And with each van load my house is beginning to feel like home. I will never again neglect it in favor of another’s needs. I like being here. It feels like me again.

And now that the ties are loose and pause created I tug at the tightlacing. I squeeze my fingers with determination into the gaps behind me that I cannot see but can only feel. I pluck them violently through the crossing and reflect ~ on myself and the things I need to change; and on others and the place they should or should not hold. I purge toxicity and work on my healing every single day. And, with this, I finally realize just how much room I have. An infinite amount.

And I begin to occupy it with breath. 5 count in, hold for 3, exhale to 8, repeat. Pranyama. In through my nose and out with a certain pressure inside my throat as I exhale; sometimes with Om. The expansiveness I feel in my chest and belly are unfamiliar but intoxicating; and with oxygen I can finally contemplate and reason again.

How is that I went all this time without breathing?

And last ~ the busques. These are not made from wood or ivory, they do not contain messages from my lovers along the way. Rather, they are constructed from shame and limitation. One by one I unsettle them each so that the softness of my bosom and the evidence of my unwavering heart enter this space again for all to witness ~

~ As the nectar for the Hummingbird that tends my rib cage.

~ For the caress of a lover under the stars on a cold November night.

~ Before the mirror where I admire myself fully for the first time ever.

Naked.

Breathing.

Finally free of the corset.

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