“Your body has things to say…”
The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
Note: This will be a two-part blog; part two coming Thursday
Our bodies are like books; they have stories to tell. Often they are stories that our minds don’t want to remember, and even if our minds remember, our tongues don’t want to speak them. So, our bodies often tell our stories for us in the only way they can—through disease (dis-ease), aches and pains, a variety of addictions, and so forth.
We can look to our bodies as guides through things that feel too difficult to reconcile. As we begin to listen to and make room for what our bodies are revealing we grow into a more comfortable relationship with our bodies—inhabiting them. One common way that our bodies speak is through rejecting food (denying them what they truly need) and becoming anorexic or bulimic or going to the opposite extreme and stuffing ourselves to the point of becoming obese. Dr. Marion Woodman says this is one way to “insulate” ourselves from the outside world that has wounded us.
There is an ancient myth called, “The Handless Maiden” and the name alone tells us so much. The fact that she has no hands is her body bespeaking the profound level of powerlessness she felt.
Particularly in dealing with addictions, many of us have felt so ashamed we work overtime to self-will change. This rarely works, and if it does, some other problem usually takes its place.
Instead, if we can see our addictions as a way our bodies are trying to tell us or remind us of something, we see that the addiction is actually our friend, our guide, and our storyteller. As we begin to listen deeply we may find our bodies simply don’t have the craving anymore because the story it was so desperately holding in isolation is now being heard.
We start by listening to our stories ourselves—perhaps needing a guide to support us. Eventually, our stories need to be heard by more than ourselves. Stories are meant to be told. They don’t have to be told to the world, but at least to one trusted person or a support group that we find to be a safe place—a container to hold our stories.
On Thursday, we’ll be diving deeper into exactly how we do this.
In the meantime, if you’d just like to get a glimpse of an authentic community of honest sharing, please join our FREE Zoom: From Surviving to Thriving. We meet every Thursday at 11a.m. Central time. Click the link below to join.
Meeting ID: 849 2870 2034
Love, your sister along the journey,