Body Love, Shame, Hate, Pride

Posted by Joanna Rubini on

We are all here, blessed on earth as little sentient intelligent beings, most of us reading this are in the form of human bodies. That's my topic, let's go: there's much talk in the spiritually awakened field about how we are not our bodies. Almost as if, to be perceived as spiritually awakened beings or to become a spiritual awakened being, we must let go of all attachment to our bodies. On the other hand, most of us running around with chronic  Western culture stress, and physical aches and pains, and constant striving for body perfection or chronic body shame, we are all very much stuck in our bodies. 

Drawing on the words of Anodea Judith who writes about the 7 Chakras, she softens the entire picture with her words. We all have bodies and are very much living on earth experiencing our amazing human forms, and once we embrace them, then we can recognize our energy potential is even greater than what our human forms have. 

I have adopted various eating maladaptations from teen years until recently. I have attacked my body with overfeeding or underfeeding or mal-feeding. I HATED my body. It was sometimes attractive, but mostly flawed. Some parts acceptable, but always kicking my body and telling it to get up, get moving, eat less, eat better, eat more. I didn't care if it was hungry or stuffed or craved something other than what I was going to feed it. I didn't care if it was exhausted or broken or crying or achy or sad or over fed. Folks, we are talking about years of abuse that many of us have done to our bodies, that most of us are completely unaware of. I am not saying that we all need to just eat salad and grass fed kefir and do yoga. I'm not telling us to work out less or more or eat less or more. What I am saying is that we are taught not to listen or acknowledge the signals our body sends. We have, most of us, spent our lives being the worst ever parents to our bodies. We were blessed to be put here on the earth and experience life in the physical forms of human beings, and we are largely disregarding the physical experience.  Our bodies are amazing messengers as to our mental state. They itch and ache and burn and throb and break and tingle and vibrate... not by accident or bad luck, but by design to show us what's in our sweet human brains. 

If we are not happy with our physical forms, I suggest we start very small. We may not be able to take in our entire shape and love it, but maybe a tiny thing about us is lovable and something to be proud of. This can be a physical attribute, or not. We may love how our skin feels, even if it's speckled. Or we may only be able to love how compassionate we are. Or how creative we are. Or clever. Focus your attention on your good first so that you lay a solid supportive foundation for loving yourself. You can pray for assistance doing this, if that's your thing, or simply sit and have the thought that you would be open to recognizing good things about you. Good thoughts will come. You can even make a list so that they are solidly in your mind, so that they are established as truth, and don't evaporate instantly with the next demeaning habitual thought that come along. Once you've supported yourself, you can safely explore the shadow parts, the yucky parts.

We are meant to have ups and downs, good times and bad, for contrast, for emotional agility as Susan David describes in her book, and for growth and strength. This includes things about our physical forms. The way we can approach the aspects of our forms that we dislike is with gentleness. The same basic format with which we gleaned the knowledge of what was good about us, we can use to discuss the 'bad.'

 Example: I don't care for my belly fat. Why not?  It's yucky? It's fat? Who said it was yucky to have belly fat? Umm- magazines? tv? Why do I have belly fat if I'm a good clean eater and exerciser? That's not fair! Do I have a slow metabolism? WTF? Well, maybe your belly fat is just there to protect that part of you. Maybe you summoned it because that part of you needs to feel safer. So basically, the stronger your attack on that part of your body, the greater the need your body has for protection. UH OH...

My point is, that we literally cannot beat ourselves, shame ourselves, shoot on ourselves to improve, with any hope of sustainability. Because all of that is attack on ourselves, perpetuating the need for whatever adaptations our body has made. This includes aches and pains! If we have tightness, if we have pain, if we have injury, we usually rail our fate. We resent the pain. We try to hate it away. So the injured part of us, the tight part of us, that is simply trying to bring our awareness to an unconscious feeling we are having so that we can lovingly address it and release it, instead gets beaten down with mental daggers. The message stays hidden, the pain, etc, intensifies, and the recovery time is drawn out.

Again, all I'm saying is that we have to love and acknowledge ourselves into wellness and awareness. It cannot be accomplished with cruelty. We and our physical forms all deserve not just a fair shake, but a loving boost up. Do it!  Start this moment.

 

With sooooo much love and admiration <3


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