Have you ever felt like your physical body didn’t fit you? Perhaps you have strong negative emotions towards your body because of the words, actions and behaviors of other people in your life.
Loving your body is not easy when you have been through severe trauma, experienced abuse or even gender inequality. It can perhaps leave you feeling that your body is foreign and unwelcome to you – maybe as though it is a tool that others can hurt you with, or even causing you to feel like a stranger in your own skin.
We often see our physical selves through the eyes of those around us. Sometimes their words and actions about us are careless and unintentionally hurtful while sometimes the words and actions can be darker and deliberately hurtful. Either way, we carry those beliefs of our physical being from the people who are close to us – those we depend on, those who choose to get close to us, the people who manipulate their way in, and also those we allow to get close to us. This impacts the way we view and treat ourselves.
Sometimes severe trauma we have experienced though our physical bodies lead us to associate our physical beings with pain, reject our physical bodies, and even feel unworthy or unlovable. As a result we may create a habit of self-protection born out of this trauma, putting ourselves in situations that allow us to feel something again –situations that are not necessarily best for us. All this perpetuates the feeling of rejection and unworthiness. Or we ignore our physical bodies, shutting out anything to do with them, to feel safe again.
Ultimately our bodies belong only to us. Though many have tried to direct or influence the way we look, feel and dress – from loved ones to society at large – we get to wipe the slate clean and choose to reclaim our bodies from those who should never have had control in the first place. The path is not easy, but choosing to take back control is the first step – and the one that matters most. Your body is a beautiful, special and unique creation to house your soul. Despite every hurt and trauma your soul has experienced, you still have the ability to heal, recover, and to become empowered and free yourself from those demons.
Find a quiet space where you can be completely alone and uninterrupted.
Start by having a conversation with your body. Greet your body in any way you feel you need to.
- What do you feel towards your physical self? Are you angry, hurt or frustrated? Do you reject or blame your physical being for getting you into traumatic situations? It is perfectly okay to feel that way. You are human; you are allowed to feel whatever you need to in this moment.
- Now take a moment and recognize that your body is only the vessel; neither your body nor soul is at fault for the trauma. No part of this is your fault. You can continue to let a person or situation control your physical body or you can take control back right here, right now.
- Next, forgive yourself for any negative feelings you have towards your body – most are probably not of your own creation. Forgive your body for any perceived limitations or slights against you. Start by moving through every part of you and seeing how you feel towards that part – do you love or hate it? Do you feel fear or joy? Notice what you feel about yourself as you get to each part and then actively say out loud to that part, “I forgive you for (however you feel it wronged you). I forgive myself for feeling this way. This part of me, before anyone came near it, was created to serve me and only me. I choose to reclaim this part of me.” You may not believe your words at first, but if you continue to forgive both your body and yourself , then you can begin to love your physical being again and heal within.
The journey to reclaiming your physical body may not be easy but it is your right to own every part of you. You deserve to feel loved by yourself; you deserve to forgive yourself. Your worthiness is unquestionable. You are not responsible for what you experienced but you can choose to claim your worth now and allow the healing in.
Be Well, Be Blessed