by Robin Maynard Dobbs
a longing, a restless hunger,
compelling you to always search for satisfaction…
maybe in the next bite of chocolate?
Surely this time, heaven lies inside this cream puff.
You swallow the sweet goo but still remain empty.
The voice grows ever more insistent,
“Hear me, I have a hunger!”
You crunch on celery sticks to subdue that voice
but still, it refuses to go away.
You bury it in yet another bowl of ice cream
sighing: “If only I could force myself to have more self discipline,
more willpower, more control…”
Yet this hated voice will not be silenced and shouts louder and louder
until, with the wild frenzy of a whirling tornado,
you consume everything in sight.
After the storm settles,
with the belch of a stuffed, beached whale, comes a moment of relief.
Then dark clouds of guilt descend
hurling lightening bolts of self- accusation
and the cycle begins again.
Exhausted by endless effort
trying to beat that voice into submission…
still it haunts you, for it speaks of a hunger that no amount of chocolate eclairs can fill.
What is this voice that calls so urgently?
what is this hunger…
a hunger for wholeness,
a longing to come home.
“Where is home?” you ask
“I’ve been away for so long looking for it everywhere,
how do I find my way back?
Home is inside here.
Inside this round, sensuous woman’s body
inside your precious belly
home is as close as your breath.
God dwells here, curled up inside a tiny, tender seed
lying dormant waiting for the time
when you finally give up the restless search outside yourself
and say: “I’m ready to come home.”
“I don’t know how but I’m willing to look inside,
please show me…”
Answers will not be found in glossy pictures of hard bellies
that have no room to breathe.
Our bellies will never be flat enough.
We will waste our lives, forever waiting for someone else to say we’re o.k.
Be still long enough to hear where the only real answers can be found
here in the dark.
This sacred dark place inside our own bellies
will always speak the truth
a singular, inconvenient truth that may upset the status quo.
Dare we listen, dare we begin to feed our own hungers
with the only nourishment that will ever sustain us…
Unless we care for ourselves
starting right here with our own bodies,
we cannot begin to care for anyone else.
Let us start now to do the most important work we will ever do.
Next time you feel hunger, listen to your belly, let it speak.
If the voice is too soft to hear,
then act on what you think it might be saying.
You and your belly need practice in trusting one another,
The more you listen, the clearer its messages will become.
This body you inhabit is a living miracle…
treat it with reverence by honoring its wisdom.
As women, we were given the power to create life inside of our bodies.
As humans, we were given the power of choice.
Will you choose to keep searching endlessly for answers outside yourself?
Or will you begin to trust the truth that can only be found within?
Let us be as fierce on our own behalf.
Let not anyone take away the most precious part of us,
our center point,
our own truth.
Only when we find our authentic voices and live from there
will we satisfy our restless hunger.
Only then will we come home.