How hard is it for you to find acceptance for your body? Do you have parts of your body that you accept and those that you do not? What do you notice when you feel into the parts of your body that you are comfortable with? Note the sensations in your body-the images, emotions, words. What do you notice when you feel into the parts of your body that you do not accept? What images, feelings, words, sensations do you notice when you spend time here?
It might feel like a fairly stark difference in how you experience your body when you notice what comes up for you when you are feeling into the comfortable versus uncomfortable body parts. It might be especially interesting to pay attention to the stories that may have come up or the emotions that arose.
The next thing I would ask you is, do the parts of your body that you have a hard time accepting hold “scars?” What I mean by scars can be in the literal sense. It may hold an actual scar that now changes your relationship with this body part. Women who have had C-sections often have this relationship. To stay with the theme of childbirth, women may hold scars on the belly from pregnancy- whether it be stretch marks, sagged skin, the “pooch” that didn’t go away. Changes in the breasts, hips, butt, and thighs.
Scars could be the words that were said about a part of your body that created a relationship that you felt self-conscious of that body part or felt that it was not “okay.” Scars may be the parts of your body that you have punished over and over and told that it was not good enough. This can be when someone focuses on one part of their body and tries to “spot reduce.” Such as engaging in excessive sit-ups, squats, lunges, push-ups, etc. Anything that focuses on that one part becoming smaller. Hello, diet-gym culture!
Applying Some Salve
When you have lived many years in a relationship with your body/body parts of dislike, disgust, or rejection, it feels unfathomable to think about actually accepting them. The reason I want you to think about these parts of your body that you have a conflict with and consider if these parts of you hold scars is to help you see these parts of yourself in a light that you maybe haven’t considered. To offer a little salve to these parts.
As I mentioned last week, it can be helpful to lean into the idea of tolerance rather than acceptance of these parts. Tolerance may allow you to have more neutralness when you look at the scars that these parts hold. It may allow you to be more curious about shifting the relationship with these body parts and openness to healing.
It is not uncommon when I meet with women that the parts of the body that are expressed with the least acceptance are breasts, stomach, hips, and thighs. The beautiful triangle that makes us a woman. We struggle to accept all the parts that do so much for us as a woman and express our feminity. These parts are the battleground for childbearing. They have to shift, grow and change to support the life that grows inside of us. This triangle is also where we experience changes during menopause. Don’t forget, we had to have those exact places change as we went through puberty to become a woman! The scars could have started then and have stayed with you since.
What I would ask you to do is to talk to your scars. Hear the story or stories that your scars went to tell and show you. Can you allow your scars to have a voice? Remember, there is a deep wisdom inside of your body. The wise woman who wants you to find acceptance and peace within yourself. To celebrate your scars and see how it has lead you here, to healing.
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