Thursday, August 17, 2017

Feel Your Body

Okay, the title of that blog post might be raising a few eyebrows and if it is, I'm okay with that.  There is nothing wrong with the statement, and I'm not trying to dupe you into something that is not.  Trust me, the statement "feel your body" is pure, and it is helpful.

Most of us humans go through life not feeling our bodies.  Yes, we think we do, and that we are in touch with it.  Unfortunately, we are very good at fooling ourselves far too often.  I know, no one wants to hear that, but it is true.

There are reasons why we don't completely feel our bodies.  I don't want anyone to be too hard on themselves for not feeling their body because, in many ways, this is part of being human and aware.

Some of the reasons that we do not feel our body include the following:

  1. Past experiences.
  2. Stress in our lives (whether we create it or it is around us).
  3. Physical issues we are struggling with.
  4. Diet.
  5. The level of exercise and activity.
  6. How we learned to deal with stress in life.
  7. Trauma.
  8. Abuse
  9. Rape
  10. Childhood Sexual Abuse.
  11. Unconsciousness.
  12. Numbness.
  13. Keeping ourselves busy all the time.
  14. Not taking the time to feel.
  15. Being afraid to feel.
  16. Dealing with an overwhelming life.
  17. Dealing with chronic pain.
  18. How we connect with the world around us.
  19. Immersed in the latest news and issues of the day.
  20. Avoidance

These are some of the reasons why we do not feel in our bodies.  With some of these, it is easy to look at and understand.  With some of the other reasons, it may be harder to understand.

When I was working a nonstop schedule of weekly travel and handling 400 to 600 emails a day. plus being the lead tech support person for a project, I found myself feeling almost no pain.  However, even though I didn't feel it, the pain was taking its toll on me through exhaustion.

It was when I finally stopped for a moment that the pain caught up with me, and it was not pretty.  I had suppressed it so much that I didn't feel it.

I'm amazed at what our bodies do to us and for us when we are oblivious to reality.  I saw this play out when Conversion Disorder paralyzed me.  I have observed it play out in other people and at other times in my life.

Recently, I went through some major healing work because anxiety, depression, despair, and pain were getting to be too much for me.  I could hardly go on in life.  I did not realize how painful my hamstring area was until I got in that session and allowed myself to feel.  Of course, the muscles were exhibiting the reactions to trauma from years past, but I was completely oblivious to it.

I see people talk about stress being all in our heads, but that could not be farther from the truth.  Stress is everywhere.  Yes, some don't feel it consciously, but it is there.  Stress impacts us every day, and if we hide from it and ignore it, then it will build up.  As stress continues to build, it will get our attention at some point in life.

If you're going through chronic pain and other conditions, you may be feeling pain but there is so much other stuff that has been blocked. It pushes the limits of pain to levels that are extremely difficult to endure.  It is as if one side of life has been pushed to the max while another side of life has been forgotten and numbed.

Feeling your body can be scary and frightening.  We have plenty of medications and drugs out there to prove this.  There are enough wine, alcohol and OTC pain relievers so help us disconnect and numb from what is going on.

Sometimes past experiences impact us more than we realize, and they start suppressing one side of our body systems while elevating other parts.  The more this happens, the more the fear increases and when it gets to be too much, we are shutting down our connection to what is going on in our bodies.

It is natural for humans to do this.  It is part of our survival mode, but unfortunate the survival mode doesn't get turned off after stress or experiences or past abuse and trauma.  Our brain then gets hijacked by all that happened to us or all that we experience, leaving us as puppets, rather than in control of our lives.

The more we can stop and recognize all of this, the greater the chance we have to overcome so much.  Experiences in life, stress, and trauma that we have endured suppress the healing power we have within us.

Just recognizing this in the mind is not enough.  It is only part of the equation.  We need to go in and feel our bodies.  We need to go in and feel every fiber of every muscle and each cell of every tissue.  It is through that connection to the body that we give ourselves the greatest hope of being more than we are.

The more we feel in the body, the more we can enact change and make better choices for our lives.  If we don't do this, the stress and trauma will take over and leave us as bystanders in our own life.  We have the option to connect more than we do and if we do this, the payoff is far beyond anything you most likely can comprehend in this moment.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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