Honoring Your Body and Emotions: by Isobel McGrath
St. Thomas Aquinas is famous for referring to his body as “the faithful ass on which he rode”. Many of us treat our bodies this way. We see our bodies as a vehicle or an object, separate from ourselves. Women often grow up disliking their bodies. When the body is perceived in this way, it is easier to abuse it with food, alcohol, drugs, overwork, etc.
We soon learned in childhood that the body housed our emotions. Certain feelings were unacceptable. To cope, you learn to numb your feelings. This was a healthy defense mechanism. It allowed you to get through difficult times. However, it became habitual. It felt unsafe to be fully in your body, so you learned to not truly be present i.e. you learned to dissociate.
How Hypnosis Can Help
Deep memory process therapy integrates body, mind and spirit allowing clients to become familiar with the ways they dissociate. Women who come for therapy to work on relationships, weight, sobriety, confidence, etc begin by describing their current situation, but inevitably the true source of the issues lies in childhood wounding. Once we work with the source of the issue their relationship to the current issue changes. Because they are no longer reacting to from the past, but rather from the present, they can now choose how to react, rather than reacting in old habitual ways. Once we heal unfinished business from the past (shame, guilt, anger, sadness, etc.) and embrace all of who we are, we are free to live life more fully in the present.
Acknowledge Your Body
You can begin to be more present in your body today. Take a moment to be aware of your breath. This is what connects you to all living things and your body. Notice how you breathe. Is your breathing shallow or deep? Do you breathe mostly into your chest or abdomen? Now you are aware of your body. Stay connected to your breath throughout the day. Listen to your body; it has a wealth of knowledge.
You can begin to honor your body today. Take a bubble bath and acknowledge that your body works hard for you. Give yourself a foot massage while acknowledging that these feet have kept you standing in times of difficulty.
By treating your body lovingly, you develop a loving acceptance of this beautiful remarkable vessel that contains your spirit. You feed yourself healthy foods and beverages and surround yourself with people who treat you with love and respect. You consciously choose loving thoughts and feelings towards yourself. This is a process which you can begin today by looking in the mirror and affirming “I lovingly accept myself”.
Recovery is a wonderful process where you begin falling in love with yourself, perhaps for the first time in your life. Developing a loving relationship with yourself takes time, effort and commitment. Be gentle with yourself-treat yourself as preciously as you would a newborn child.