Maybe you remember this feeling:
You’re swimming through the currents of life, the days like waves that come to pass successively, happily enough, healthily enough. At times you might catch cold or cut your finger on an envelope, but for the most part your moving through freely and without much thought about your own mobility. Then, one day, with the swiftness of a trigger pulled, your body betrays you.
You weigh yourself at the gym and realize your body has sneakily hidden 15 pounds somewhere since Christmas. Or your knee gives out and you are confined, permanently or temporarily, by a brace under your jeans. Or you are diagnosed with cancer, and told that your body has stealthily been growing this cancer, a cancer that might kill you, without you knowing it for months now. Or the pregnancy you’ve been fighting for just isn’t working, and you won’t be a mother after all. Yesterday you were simply asking your stomach “what am I craving for dinner?” Today, your body is in disrepair, asking “heart and mind, how can you save me so that I can continue to serve you?”
An immediate shift occurs. The tectonic plates of your reality have moved. Suddenly, profoundly, you are separated from your body in a way that allows you, for the first time, to see it as a vehicle, a vehicle breaking down while you are in cruise control on the freeway. You are now keenly aware that your mind and body are separate, and that you should have been watching for the ‘check engine’ light a long time ago.
It doesn’t matter what the cause, I know you’ve felt this separation. We all have. It feels like you’ve been betrayed by your own body, and somehow also that you’ve betrayed your body, missing some signs along the way or simply not paying enough attention. And now you’re in crisis mode with only anger and confusion as your weaponry.
What should you do when you feel separated from your physical self, and suddenly your mind and heart and will is in a battle against and for our body? Since they’ve only fought together before, toward goals you decided on like a triathlon or having a baby, it can be a terrifying prospect.
We’ve been taught to think of it all as one entity; that I am Rachael, and the name Rachael encompasses my thoughts and my personality and the body that holds it all in; they are not three separate entities, but one intertwined energy field. In actuality, they are three; so when our body is tested, our soul is asked to take the reigns. Our body is now in our charge, and we must take care of it and make good decisions for it.
The irony of tragedy appears in moments like these: when life hands us big problems, it’s when we finally get the courage to ask the big questions.
“I might die because of this illness/accident/addiction/injury, do I really want to keep living? Have I been living a life worth fighting for?”
“I may never walk, talk, feel or speak again because of this. Do I feel I deserve those rights? Have I been using them to fulfill my greatest potential till now?”
“If I do only have a limited time left with these skills and gifts, how might I use them?”
It is these moments when we realize our true responsibility as humans, as physical bodies of the world, and our true potential as beings, as manifestations of life and love. When we realize the body is our vehicle, we can understand the mind as the driver. We understand that we are bigger than our bodies and can see, vibrantly, life as a current of energy within us, not an inherent right.
But now what? How can we turn anger, disappointment, shock and feelings of betrayal for our body into something more productive in these moments???
I can hear you saying to the screen that it’s so much more difficult than just being grateful. I know that your defying this message with all the anger you still hold, but I promise you that gratitude is the key. It is only a fight within the ego in which the ego says “no, anger will solve the problem” and gratitude says “no, the problem may not even be solved. But you can still feel and give love.”
Have gratitude for the past, and all that your body has given you. Gratitude for the opportunity to change things, to become healthier and lose weight so as to be more active for your kids. Gratitude for the freedom at all to move, speak, laugh, feel, no matter how limited or for how short a time. Comparison to others is the greatest poison to our sense of self and acceptance. If you continue to tell yourself that it is not ‘fair’ that it’s happening to you and not someone else, you will never move past it.
Gratitude will heal the wounds of unhappiness and hate for ourselves and our bodies, and allow us to continue toward our goal of survival or acceptance with peace and love. Gratitude is the key that unlocks the door to forgiveness. Gratitude is the wellspring for the currents of bliss. Gratitude is the light that shines hope upon darkness, fear, and uncertainty. And gratitude for the moment will help you heal in heart, mind, body and soul.
Be grateful for your body. Take care of it. Don’t shame it for being unlike anyone else’s or not doing what you want it to do. Allow your will of spirit to take it into another realm of consciousness. Allow your love to heal it and forgive it for any shortcomings. Allow your gratitude to overwhelm it for all that it offers you and does for you every single second of every single day. And with that, you will unlock your greatest feelings of Self. Of the life energy that YOU ARE within your physical body. You will no longer be Your Name and Personality trapped in a cage. You will be a limitless mind with the freedom to move and change the world inside a beautiful, hard-working vehicle.
More Inspiration to love:
Rebecca Alexander is a woman, wife and author who is slowly losing her sight and hearing to Usher Syndrome. She talked about the experience and it’s lessons with Dr. Oz. Watch the interview here, and read her book Not Fade Away. It’s a moving example of how, even in the darkest of nights, we can see light and love.
This Pinterest Board about healthy body image has some very encouraging messages to add to your own inspiration board. If you have a board you’d like to share, tweet it to us here. Or check out our Powerful Women board here.
We’ve shared her work online many times, and still can’t get enough. If you’re looking for a moving, compassionate and inspirational guide through cancer for you or someone you love, head over to Hollye Jacob’s website The Silver Pen, and pick up her book The Silver Lining. She’s also offering her companion guide to the book for free to people diagnosed right now. Check out here for more info.
Want a little fierce feminine encouragement? Check our Bri Seeley’s Inspirational Woman Project; plus the book is a great way to unwind and restore your sense of self at the end of a long day, and makes the perfect present for friends and family. Girl power is best shared after all. Buy it here, and 15% of your proceeds go to Women Empowered.
One last quote to make you smile:
You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
Treat it all with love, beautiful ladies!