I love my body for one particular reason: it is my touchstone with all that I am. It stores my memories, my emotions, senses and perceptions. It connects me to the people I love. It gives me the ability to create and change things. It is stunning in its magnificence. I noticed this recently while getting some body therapy. By being touched, I was brought into the moment while simultaneously felt able to release the past. It was a connection that brought feelings of love and joy, which are my perfect future self.
But much of my life I have not loved my body. I have hated it for its limitations and I felt burdened by the past it reminded me of. The teachings of my church didn’t help because the flesh represented much that is considered evil. So, I did not love my body. I treated it more like a necessary evil. I did not always listen to its cries for attention, balance, touch, water, love, sleep, or healthy food….
Have you ever thrilled to a helium balloon? It begins with such joy! There it floats above gravity, tethered only by a thin string. It is unburdened and as free as a bird… except for the string. Then… in a moment of panic, the string is loosened and the balloon floats away. It rises dreamily up, unable to respond to the child below doing everything it can to recapture that delight of touching the sky through the tethered balloon. The balloon rises slowly into the sky and finally floats out of sight.
The loose balloon is like our physical bodies when we neglect to take care of them. It started so joyfully. Then it gets lost… as if it is out of sight, out of mind. It drifts along untethered while trying to maintain homeostasis. But without an awareness (a tether) with reality, we lose that connection with all that we are. The body drifts into getting old, unfit, fat, diseased, overly stressed and it “pops” in the atmosphere it was not made to withstand. It plummets downward, far away from the owner, disconnected, lost and usually no longer retrievable.
Our bodies are our touchstone. Disease and death teach us that if nothing else. Are you connected? Whether or not, I suggest some bodywork. It heals and connects as it adds life.