Do you trust your body?
My body wants to tell me its story but can’t express it in words. So, I don’t have to understand why it wants me to cry, because it is a cry from long ago before I had the capability to understand why I was so sad.
I understand now why it is called yoga ‘practice’. It is because there is no goal to achieve, the benefit is in the doing of it. In the past when I took yoga classes I was self conscious and competitive. I spent more time looking around the room comparing myself to others then I did thinking about how my body was feeling. I never focussed on myself and what brought me to class in the first place so I would leave feeling disheartened and like I wasn’t good at it. But, there was something that attracted me to it anyway. I knew there was something I needed to learn through yoga, I just didn’t know what it was.
Now I am slowly starting to understand what my body has been trying to tell me for years. I get why I couldn’t let yoga go, and why it was always in the back of my mind to try it again. There was an attraction that my mind didn’t understand but my body would not let me forget. I had so much unreleased energy in me that was sitting stagnant that my body wanted to let go and process but that my mind was scared to release.
That energy was sexual energy mixed with trauma. That energy kept a part of me numb. I was scared to release being numb in case I was overwhelmed with feelings that I couldn’t handle. I numbed out at a young age due to being exposed to adults that saw me as an object, and not a person. I was too young to understand what it all meant, but luckily my body took over and protected me. It didn’t let me feel that energy, but kept it hidden inside me until I was able to handle it being released. That hidden energy short circuited my nervous system, and my development. I would feel sexually aroused during conflict, and my sexual desire would completely go away if someone was kind and gentle to me. It bothered me because I didn’t understand what my body was doing.
I intellectually knew that my body wasn’t reacting appropriately, but I didn’t know why and I didn’t know that I could change it. I thought it was just who I was, so I felt like there was something innately wrong with me. Through my confusion in trying to connect with people, alcohol became important to me. It helped me drown out all my body’s signals and the awkwardness I felt so that I could be in social situations. But the next morning I would feel worse as the alcohol wore off, and my body would cry out to me to get my attention.
It has taken me a long time to make friends with my body; to really listen to it, and take care of it. 5 years ago, I stopped drinking, but it has taken me this long to be brave enough to really let my body express itself. I see now that it was serving me by not letting me feel the devastation that would have destroyed me as a child. But, it was trying to talk to me later so that I would heal it. I just didn’t understand what it was trying to say to me, and it scared me. I was always looking outside myself for someone to heal the trauma of my past. I thought that if someone loved me enough it would take all of my hurt and pain away. I could somehow say, “See! I am lovable! This person loves me, so I am worth something.” I didn’t realize how looking for this love outside of me took all my power away, because I was dependent on them loving me in order for me to feel valuable. So, if I felt like they didn’t love me as much, or were ignoring me, I was once again that unloveable child. I gave them control over how I felt about myself.
All last year there was a part of me that knew I needed to practice yoga, but I kept saying to myself that I wasn’t ready. Instead, I kept swiping on men that kept me stuck where I was. I knew that the men were my distraction, my dopamine hit to numb me out. A part of me had always seen men this way. They pumped up my ego, and made me feel powerful even if it was only for a few days or weeks before I came crashing down. I had this same pattern in my marriage as I rode the roller coaster of feeling beautiful and loved, and then neglected and unwanted. In staying in this pattern, I could focus on them and not on me. A part of me thought that if I met the right guy for me who loved me enough, that I would never crash again. But I know now that isn’t true.
So now, instead of riding the rollercoaster of someone else’s emotions and actions towards me, I am riding the waves of my own emotions by letting my body express them. I am slowly realizing that my body has wanted to tell me its story for years. All the signals it was giving me throughout my life were a cry for help so that I would take the time to heal myself. But, I saw the signals as annoying, confusing and something that I wanted to stop from happening. In getting in touch with my body through yoga, I am slowly learning not to be afraid of its signals. The story my body has to tell is of a brave little girl who didn’t have the words to express her hurt. So, I don’t have to understand why my body wants me to cry, because it is a cry from long ago before I had the capability to understand why I was so sad.