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Posts Tagged ‘distressed disguise’

From Dust to Dust

Posted by Amanda Gray on December 29, 2011

Recently, I met several men who suddenly, and without any provocation on my part, expressed an attraction to me.  I considered it extremely odd because they’d just met me.  We hadn’t even had an entire conversation.  They had looked at me for less than 30 seconds, and this, somehow, gave them a reason for attraction.  I couldn’t understand it.  What, exactly, were they attracted to?

At first, I thought, “Is this guy SEEING me at all?”  Is he blind to my fat tummy and my blemished skin?  What’s wrong with him?  What is he seeing that I don’t see?

Then, this morning, as I sat down with A Course in Miracles, the understanding arose.

I spent a great part of my life trying to discourage men from being physically attracted to me.  I never wanted men to see my body at all.   I wanted to hide my body from them.  This is exactly why I became fat, as a defence mechanism.  I’m saying, “Stay away from me.  I’m not attractive.  I’m ugly.  You don’t want this.”  Yet, why then, am I suddenly meeting men who are blatantly attracted to me in this way?  There must be something that I want to recognize from this experience.  Perhaps I DO want them to see my body.  Perhaps I DO want them to be attracted to my body.  Why do I want that – when I don’t THINK I want it?

It’s because I have BELIEVED that if they see my body, if they’re attracted to my body, and they embrace me and have sex with me, then I’ll be OK.  It will mean that I’m acceptable and worthy.  It will mean that I’m LOVED.  But I’ve been entirely mistaken.  Just as mistaken as these men are when they invite me to see them as a body.

As an alternative to getting men to approve of me through physical intimacy, I tried to learn to love myself, my body.  But today I realize that I can’t love my body, a body, any body.  A body is just DUST.  About the body, Jesus said, “From dust and to dust returneth.”  Mother Teresa called the body a “distressed disguise.”  A person doesn’t have to have leprosy to be in a “distressed disguise” – we are ALL in distressed disguises!  The body is distressed because we project all our hatred onto it.  We make it fat and stinky and deformed because we believe we have DEFILED ourselves.  We can’t accept the defilement, so we put it into something outside of ourselves, as if that way, we can separate it off and be free of it.  Yet, this is another mistake – an illusion.  We never defiled anything.  And the body isn’t REAL.  It’s a DISGUISE.  We gussie it up, flatter it and promote it, trying to make it into something meaningful – trying to get others to recognize the meaning we invest there – but it’s nothing.  It’s DUST.  Dust that simply disguises what we TRULY ARE.

We can’t LOVE the body, because somehow, deep inside, we know it’s a lie.  We keep trying, we keep pretending, because we don’t understand, or accept, the truth.  Two bodies bump up against each other in a strange act of pleasurable pain, and we think it’s the closest intimacy we can achieve together.  Yet, the bodies always part with feelings of sadness and disappointment.  We thought we could get what we wanted in that intimate act of bodies, but then… we didn’t.  We tried again, and again, but it always ended the same way.  We never got what we wanted.  Why?

It’s because SPIRIT is what we truly are – ONE spirit, without any separation into this body, or that body – and it’s this spirit that we LOVE.  The spirit is EASY to LOVE.  It’s really, really difficult to love a body.  We can accept a body, and even, perhaps, extend love to a body, but it can’t be what we truly, unconditionally, and without any reservation, LOVE. 

Spirit is what we really WANT.  That and ONLY that.


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