I have been thinking a lot about our bodies, how we treat them, what we tell them, and how we honor them.
Our society teaches us to question our bodies and tells us that this physical representation is who we are. Scholars have tried to argue that we are our minds. Is our body a separate entity? If you are the type of person who tells your body to do better, or that it sucks, or maybe even that you hate it, or aspects of it, read on!
Spirituality tells us we are souls in a body, and so many religions believe in the other side. Imagine for a moment that you were a bodiless soul. Why would you bother coming to earth? Is it to stare in a mirror with self-loathing? No way! Maybe it was to be able to have physical sensations: to create, taste, touch, smell, sex, birth, love. To move, to use our strength, or even to feel weakness and pain.
A soulless body craves those things we take for granted. The smell after a long overdue rain. The sunlight on your skin. The wind on your cheek. The touch of a loved one.
Now imagine you only get one car in life, ever. You've driven it for 40 years now, without more than required maintenance. Along the way, you have driven too fast sometimes, and given it things other than gasoline. You didn't let it rest enough.
You've noticed lately that the engine stutters. You have a big scratch along the side. The bumper is falling off. These faults are annoying and are also indicators of a bigger problem. That there are mechanical issues, or that we need work done.
Maybe you should have stuck to gasoline, or given it more rest. You could have gone to get maintenance more regularly. Realizing you shouldn't have driven on empty so many times. It would be less banged up if you didn't drive recklessly so much.
Thinking of this car that you've driven endlessly for forty years, do you hate your car for showing you these things need work? Do you think maybe that it is punishing you? If your muffler is dragging on the ground, will you continue to ignore it and blame the manufacturer? Will you stare at the dents and maybe punch them, or decide "to hell with it", and drive recklessly even more?
I'm guessing you wouldn't, and that is because we are kinder to almost all things than we are to ourselves.
The car analogy seems so simple but is relatable because most of us have one. And most of us treat our cars a little better than we treat our own bodies, even though we can actually go to a dealer and get a new car.
Nobody would put anything other than fuel into their car, yet with our bodies, the opposite is true. We continuously allow non-digestible substances into our diet, along with toxins. We drive recklessly, and we forget that we chose this body. We push it when it needs to rest.
In somatic coaching, we ask the body for wisdom. One thing I do with clients is to sit in our bodies. Really sit in them, and say hi. I love to take clients to that place that they are not kind to. Whatever you have complained about, your hips, stomach, neck; each of those parts has wisdom. If your stomach is bloated all the time, it would seem it is trying to get your attention. We tend to push those parts of us away, punish it, or hate it.
To be whole, we must love ourselves. How often have you sat there and showed compassion for yourself? Self-love is not something most of us were taught, so now is the time if you haven't learned it already.
Try this when a body part is bothering you: Light a candle in a quiet room. Relax into your body, and imagine something or someone you love unconditionally, and allow that sensation to flood into you. Shift that feeling to the part of your body that bothers you, "I see you hips, I want to hear you. Let me focus on you, and see if I can hold you." Be a space of non-judgment for yourself, and your body, It is so precious, and not replaceable. What comes up for you?
Our bodies are our greatest assets, so put your time into caring for it, Fill your self-care cup with sleep, nourishment, meditation, calm, exercise, and love. See if you body responds.
While working on myself, and understanding that I too am whole, and perfect, just as I am, I think I may have gone to a place where my body would choose me again! If it can forgive me for the first 40 years, that is.
Beating yourself up is a relationship issue. Let's learn to love wholly, starting with ourselves. I would love nothing more than to know that your body would beat down the door to choose you again. Let her know you care.