All year I have struggled to read through even a few pages at a time of the books marked for this year, but these past few days I’ve been completely absorbed by The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk. I suppose I have always had an affinity for these kinds of books, the ones that put into words what I have been trying my whole life through blogs and journals to describe. This book, in just the first few chapters, has given me more words than any book before.
I’ve been on a journey to discover how exactly I survived so much and how I have been lastingly changed by both my traumas and my responses. The healing in many ways has been as lonely, confusing, and painful as the hurting, and it isn’t over yet. It isn’t ever over.
Acceptance has gotten me far and by simple accident and incredible chance I was able to find safe people and create safe spaces to reboot and reconnect the parts of myself that were utterly obliterated. If I didn’t know better, I would believe miracles existed.
The more I am absorbed by this reading, the more reabsorbed I become with writing. My pocket notebook is back in hand and the pages are filling with insight and hope. This little black book is now at least half-filled with fragments of perspective and reflection, and my hope has always been that these pieces will become a larger body of work one day.
Beyond the self-discovery and the new age of healing, and my renewed ability to wordsmith, I’ve relearned that the key to reading fervently is by finding books that speak to me rather than forcing myself through books I think I should read. Finding books that you are ready for isn’t easy. You stumble upon them and through them realize you needed them. I’m revisiting the advice of Austin Kleon that I fought so hard to accept: “Quit reading books you don’t like.”
I want to read books that I don’t like so I fight and fight and fight to finish them, but maybe putting a book down doesn’t have to mean putting it down forever. The book might not be for me today, but tomorrow? Next week? In a year? Maybe. Put down books you don’t like, but pick them back up again when you become the version of yourself that needs them.