I hated myself so much for so many years, and have the scars on my skin to prove it.
When I think about how cruel I have been to my body over the years I cringe.
The worst of it was the years I spent self harming . The emotional pain inside me was so agonising I would have done anything to escape it. By physicalising the pain I hoped that, as I drew blood, I would draw the negative emotion out of me too. I would cut my arm with a Stanley knife, wincing at the sting with blood running down my arm and tears running down my face.
I'm so ashamed to admit this to you.
I feel sick to my core.
I was a smoker back then and would often light a cigarette and press it into my skin until I couldn't stand the pain any longer. The burns on my arm were deep and so were the cuts, the scars are still there but I have hidden them well under my tattoos.
Oh the despair that I felt in my soul that I could do such despicable things to myself.
I would never tolerate a boyfriend hurting me like that so how on earth did I believing that hurting myself like that was okay?!?!
In 2007 I went into rehab for my eating disorder and self harming issues. I remember the very first exercise they gave us in our first group session, we were each given a piece of paper and asked to list the five most important people in our lives. Everyone did as instructed and handed our pieces of paper back to the councillor. He looked through them quickly and said, "You all got that exercise wrong."
He handed each of us back our pieces of paper and said, "I want you to start again, but this time put your name first."
That lesson has stuck with me always, and I live my life by that exercise now...my name is always number one on my list no matter what.
No, it's not selfish...it's called self love.
I owe my body a lifetime of love for what I have made it suffer and endure.
Every morning now I look in the mirror and I say, "I love you body, I really really love you." Maybe you think that makes me a nutter and I don't mind if you. I can feel my body react when I say those words each morning, I can feel it's gratitude and appreciation. The first time I said it (after reading Louise Hay's brilliant book Mirror Work and meshing that with the invaluable lessons taught to me at the Hoffman Process) I winced and felt like a total nob! But I kept doing it every morning no matter how ridiculous it felt, no matter if I felt the words were a big fat lie.
You see I've said it so many times now that it has become the absolute truth for me.
I LOVE MY BODY.
The girl who self harmed, struggled with anorexia/bulimia, gave her body too easily to men in search of love and affirmation, over exercised and basically treated her body with no respect whatsoever has completely transformed.
I love my body, I respect my body, I say sorry to my body for all the pain I put it though and I willingly make amends to my body every day.
Here are some of the ways...
- When I bath I wash my body lovingly, with deliberate care and attention. It isn't a daily habit I just do automatically, I pause and am present giving my body the attention it deserves.
- Afterwards I caress my body lovingly with a rich organic body cream, again I am patient and do so with deliberate attention.
- I feed my body healthy nutritious foods...no more poison like sugar, or fast food.
- I exercise my body lovingly without overdoing it. I no longer slave away at the gym, I do yoga, pilates, swim, weight training (just once a week)...gentle and loving activities which nurture my body whilst keeping it strong.
- I allow my body to experience out of the ordinary sensations and vibrations...like lying on the grass and feeling it tickle my skin, or standing in the rain and letting the raindrops kiss my body all over.
I have lots more loving things I do for my body, so please subscribe and I'll send you more ideas.
Have you abused your body over the years? Maybe with yoyo dieting, drug addiction, alcoholism, promiscuity, an eating disorder, self harming, or something else?
Well it's never too late to say sorry and start making loving amends every day.
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