Ourselves, other people, and society are constantly giving us messages about what our body should and shouldn’t be. Too fat. Too thin. Too sexy. Not sexy enough. Unattractive. Attractive. It’s no wonder most women have a hate-hate relationship with their body. We are more than just our body, but sadly years of societal norms, expected roles, and objectification have scarred many women from loving their body.
The first time I realized my body wasn’t safe was when I was four years old and a neighborhood boy decided he was going to peek into my bathing suit bottoms. I immediately felt fear and shame.
Sadly, this wasn’t the last time my body would be at the center of unsolicited sexual touches. Add to that not feeling pretty enough from a lack of attention from boys, and a barrage of criticism about my weight from my mother, led me to feel insecure and lacking in self-esteem. This self-loathing about my body started my vicious cycle of dieting; a lifetime of gaining and losing weight and using food as a means of comfort to feel safe. There’s nothing safer than a physical wall around you that says stay the fuck away!
Disconnecting from my body was easy. I was already analytical by nature, so I just lived in my brain. Although, at the time that wasn’t very helpful because it was filled with constant negative self-talk.
Many people experience trauma and woundedness around their body. The result is often checking out or disconnecting from their body. Here are some ways people can check out:
- Plastic Surgery
- Thrill Seeking
- Social Media
- Video Games Work (Embodied, 2022)
More severely, a person may dissociate from their body. This happens when you physically detach yourself from your body. You can lose time, memories, the world can become distorted, or you lose your sense of identity.
Here are some of the reasons why people disconnect from their body:
- Criticism from people that say your body isn’t okay.
- Disgust or hatred toward your body.
- Illness or disease.
- Chronic pain.
- Limiting or negative beliefs. For example, “My body isn’t safe.”
- Physical abuse or neglect.
- Sexual abuse. (Embodied, 2022)
Once a schism has resulted between your head and your body, getting yourself to feel safe and to reconnect with your body can be a challenge.
It took a long time for me to come to terms with my own body; to accept it, nurture it, feel safe being present with it, how to become vulnerable and connected with others from a body-centered state, to respect it, and ultimately to love it.
“Through energy work, breathwork, meditation, visualization, ritual, ceremony, and a connection with nature and Mother Earth, I have transformed my relationship with my body” (Embodied, 2022).
This is the first of a month-long series of posts I am writing in the hopes to bring some new awareness and support for your reconnection with your body. The thought of reconnecting to your body can feel terrifying, but it is extremely gratifying when you can live holistically with all parts of you.
From my traumas, wounds, and pain, along with my experiences and training, I felt called to write a book about helping women to reconnect with their body. My book is entitled Embodied: How to Connect to Your Body, Ignite Your Intuition, and Harness Universal Energy for Healing. You can find a copy on Amazon.
I hope you follow me on this journey to a new self-discovery with not only your body, but your psyche; your mind, spirit, and soul.
Feel free to leave a comment or any questions you may have. If you feel this series will help someone you know, feel free to share it with them.