When we are in pain, when we are running our habitual destructive behaviors, when we are surprised with a diagnosis or health condition, it can be extremely upsetting. We just want someone to take care of us, to do something for us and to us, to give us exactly what we need, without us even having to ask. We want a simple and quick fix. We want to take a drug or an herb that will change everything. We just want to be healed.
This is, of course, understandable. Most of us aren't shown how to navigate the darkness of chronic pain and illness. We aren't taught from a young age to be in communication with our bodies and emotions. We aren't taught how to listen and engage in healthy, long-term behaviors that lead to a deep sense of connection and well-being. We are frightened of our bodies. And often, we are at war.
How many times have you been mad at your body for getting sick? For being in pain? How often have you cursed it, instead of making a peace effort?
This is a normal by-product of an unhealthy society. This is a normal response from a culture that presupposes doctors and pharmaceutical companies know more about your body than you do. That places our minds above our bodies hierarchically. That asks us to push our bodies far past their limitations for the sake of progress.
Yet I know you are here to change that story. You are here to bring your body's authority back into your own hands. You are here to create a foundation change in the way you live, so that you may live in harmony with you full self.
While we can have help, support, and assistance, your healing will always be born from you and you alone.
The level of responsibility can feel daunting.
In a culture without rites of passage to enter into adulthood, many of us walk around like little kids role-playing grownups. And to little kids, responsibility is a death-sentence. And yet, here we are.
The healing journey itself is a rite of passage for us to step more fully into our power, and ownership of responsibility is a crucial piece of this power. Healing can be a long journey, one that may never reach an “end” like some fairytale happy ending.
The path of healing is the healing itself.
It is a consistent conversation, a dynamic engagement, that allows you to discover new and important information about what you and your body need time and time again. And then you get to choose how to nurture these requests.
When I practice bodywork and energy work, I’m not doing it “to” my clients. I’m in conversation with their body, their body being the guide for what I should do. If the body is not open, ready, or willing, my work will not be effective. So much of the impact and benefit from any type of healing work comes from your body being receptive and acting as a guide. I can use my tools and help make suggestions, but ultimately, your healing is in your hands. Even when under the hands of a practitioner.
I know that healing and health are complex. There are so many factors that impact well-being, including access to resources, privilege, genetics, and history of trauma. And in addition, we have the capacity to own our story and our bodies. The mind is one of the most powerful tools we have. Permission to allow change, permission to receive, permission to heal. And we alone are in control of this.
You get to have ownership over your story.
Place a hand over your heart.
Send several deep breaths into your whole body.
Let your body know you are sorry for ever abandoning it.
Let your body know you are wanting to listen more regularly.
Let your body know you will try your best, and will also make mistakes.
Ask your body (or a particular area of discomfort) if it needs anything in particular right now. Listen. Follow through.
This is how we begin to build trust with our bodies again. And take responsibility for our own healing. Your body is in the best hands it could possibly be in. Take good care of it. I trust you.