I am lucky enough to gift myself a massage relatively often. It is one of my favorite luxuries in life, and it’s gotten me through tough times. It is a gift and I am lucky.
I was lying on the massage table one morning, receiving. As always, my massage therapist was working on my shoulders and neck. And working on my shoulders and neck. And working on my shoulders and neck.
I have at times, in fact, told her just to skip the rest of my body. “I don’t need a full body massage,” I’d say. “Spend all your time on my shoulders and neck.”
I hold my tension in my shoulders and neck. A lot. And I work out hard – and lift heavy weights – which can’t do great things to my shoulders and neck and their tightness. (Oh, but it’s so worth it to me.)
At times I’ve felt myself think there was something wrong with me, because my shoulders and neck are so tight. Or at least wrong with my shoulders and neck. “I’m too tense,” I used to think. “I need to relax more,” I’d chide myself. “I hold things too much in my upper body.” “If only I were calmer.” “If only I meditated more.” “I should be able to release this.”
As you can see, I had a litany of ways to lambaste myself, and I blamed myself for so much, if not everything.
Until I realized, as I lay on the massage table the last time…that’s just the way I am.
It’s the way I’m built – with tense shoulders and neck. Most people hold tension somewhere, and I hold mine here. Sure I exacerbate it with lifting large dumbbells, but it’s worth it to me.
Even if I need my massage therapist to focus only on my upper body. It’s just the way I am. And that’s okay.
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