Thích Nhất Hạnh wants me to know my mind and my body are one. That may have been true at one time. Was I pure when born? Was I a baby Buddha? If so, what happened? Did I fall from grace? Was the severing gradual and natural? Could it have resulted from mere neglect? Or was it brutal and violent? Was it a kind of death? Was it an initiation? What even was “it”?

I know this to be true: I am still me, but I was never me. I remember me, but how could I have been me before I ever had memories?

This is also true: I am defined by what was done to me. I will always be defined by what was done to me. I could not be me otherwise. I will never not be someone who was raped as a child, even if I don’t even know if I was raped. (I was.) (It depends.)

If I go without crying for a long time, my body will find a way. Yogis promote slow breathing based on the belief that we have a finite amount of breaths available to us. By slowing them down, we can extend our lives.

I have a certain amount of tears that must be shed before I die. If I don’t shed them, I will never be free. I spent most of my life holding them back. Ashamed of them. So my body finds ways. I cry at the strangest things. I cry when the hero rescues the victim. I cry when I see children holding hands. I cry the most and the deepest when I see a parent loving their child.