How often we ignore our bodies and what it wants and needs. Sure, in the normal course of things people eat when they are hungry, drink when they are thirsty and rest when they are tired. But our society is not set up to let us truly stop and listen to our bodies.
I think most of us have skipped a meal because we had to work, not to mention those who are dieting or have an eating disorder. And most of us do not drink enough water. And in American society, those who overwork themselves, the workaholics, tend to be exalted. It is not until they have worked themselves into a chronic pain issue or middle age slows them down and they have to start paying more attention.
But what if we made it a regular practice to check in with and notice our bodies? What if we taught little kids to notice and take care of their bodies in a loving and holistic fashion? I think we would have healthier, happier kids and adults. We would have people who know their limits and understand that it is okay to say no to those limits.
I realize this is complicated for folks who have been traumatized. It is not uncommon for the folks I work with to have little to no body awareness. This was something they did to survive and it can be difficult work to reconnect to one’s body. But we are not wholly ourselves if we are not inhabiting the body that we walk around with. Knowing our bodies means knowing ourselves, and it is valuable knowledge.
I realize this is complicated for those I the trans community. I know that dysphoria can make being aware of and connected to one’s body distressing or upsetting. So, for these folks I encourage you to love and know as much of your body as possible as we are not wholly ourselves if we are not inhabiting the body that we walk around with. Knowing our bodies means knowing ourselves, and it is valuable knowledge. Even if the plan is to make some major changes to the body we inhabit, this body is one that has housed your soul, and for that, it deserves some love and attention.