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Lions Roar : July 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2013 42 of neurological, psychological, and psychiatric conditions, and that showering in the dark is a response to one or all of those conditions. Experts also say there is no difference between showering in the light and showering in the dark. But in the dark, I finally understand how well I know Body. My hand, without any visual cue, washes everything with care and precision. I make sure every inch of Body—the dark crevices below the stomach and in between Body’s legs—is covered with soap. In the light, the purpose of showering is to clean. In the dark, the purpose of showering is to explore. E NEED TO EXPLAIN who we are. We want to have good reasons to explain our choices and decisions. But what if we don’t have good reasons? What if we stopped going to yoga because it made us too aware of ourselves, because it spotlighted our every flaw, because when we were asked to bend and contort, we couldn’t? Instead of finding some sort of peace of mind, we found another activity Body had prevented us from enjoying. So we stop. We decide to let Body take over. “Here you go, Body,” we say. “Take the helm. Do your baddest.” Body has been waiting for this opportunity, and now that he has it, he does nothing. Nothing is the best plan he can think of. Nothing is the fastest route to destruction. Sometimes Body speaks. Sometimes he says, “Downward-facing dog. Really?” Sometimes he says, “Remember that time you took yoga? What a joke.” So, we spend hours on the couch. We spend hours hating ourselves. We eat and eat and eat. We do this nonstop. We are killing ourselves, but we don’t know it. We hate ourselves, but we don’t say it. We want to die, but we can’t. Years speed by, and we are looking at the scale at the doc- tor’s office. It reads 390 pounds. We are tired—so, so tired. This is the line we lean on. “How’re you feeling?” the doctor says. “Tired,” we say. “So, so tired.” Could be the pounds we lug around. Could be the blood sugar we can’t control. Could be the fact that most days are spent in one place. We know what the doctor will say: lose weight, exercise. As a joke, we quote Raymond Carver’s short story, “Fat”: “Believe it or not, we have not always eaten this way.” The doctor won’t understand. To him, Body is about cause and effect, about rational decisions. What he doesn’t take into account is that our mind has become irrational. We ask for antidepressants. He looks at us and takes notes. He asks if W