Updated: Jul 22, 2022
I have been thinking a lot about the relationship I have with my body. I know my body has changed over the years. And then again through the pandemic. There are parts of me that want to label those changes as “negative” or even “gross”. These types of thoughts are often fueled by judgements, harsh self-talk, and punishment. Yet, this type of thinking keeps me in a state of non-acceptance. Where does that kind of thinking leave my body in the here and now? Rejected? Waiting to be acceptable only once certain criteria are met? And when are the criteria ever really met?
Maybe your body has let you down, looked different than you wanted it to, aged, hurt, been violated, sick, in pain, anxious. These experiences and somatic responses can be so extremely painful and can cause us to feel like our bodies are “too much to handle”. So, we disconnect. As if the pain wasn’t painful enough on its own – now we are also dealing with feeling abandoned by ourselves.
“I disrespected my body. I dishonoured her. I, many times, looked for ways to erase her or the truths she held. A blur here. A virtual tuck there. A proudly skipped meal”. @thebirdspapaya
I have driven this body hard over the years. Even though it already works hard daily to keep me alive. There is always one more pound to lose, one more
wrinkle to get rid of, or one more thing my body ‘should have’ done. This informs my body that I don’t accept it and that I wished I ‘lived’ elsewhere. I have essentially disconnected from ‘home’.
I am not suggesting that health-related goals are causing problems. I think acceptance and change can co-exist. I am talking about when we treat our bodies like machines and speak to them in the same manner. When the acceptance is conditional based on change. And thus, we sever the connection between ourselves and our bodies.
How do I work towards true acceptance of the way my body is in
this exact moment, without conditions? When do I start healing the severed relationship I have with my body?
“I'm sorry for telling so many lies about you. I called you ugly, a waste of space, just this and just that. I reduced you down, and used words with you I would never use with others. I told myself and others stories about you that were not true, and did not honor how sacred you are”. @hilaryliannamcbride
Have you thanked your body for all that it does for you? Have you accepted
your body for what it looks like right now in this very moment? Have you honoured the intricacies? And the way your body preforms every single day? Are you at home in your body?
It’s time to start rebuilding this very important connection between ourselves and our bodies. I think we’ll be surprised by how much our bodies respond in positive ways as a result of the self-compassion and self-love. Try it out and let us know your thoughts! And if you would like support with this process, please reach out for counselling and support.