Joy / Toronto / 01.18.16
What is my relationship with my body?
I remember the first time I was really aware of my body, I was quite young, long before puberty, and a friend of my dad’s made a comment about me starting to get breasts and they were poking fun of me. You know, it’s well before you get breasts but it’s past the time when you’re not really a little girl anymore. I remember feeling embarrassed and wanting to run and hide and cover up. It’s my first real memory of feeling ashamed of my body.
I did develop breasts at a young age, which brought me a lot of unwanted attention. Attention I did not know what to do with. I recall older men staring at me when I was walking down the street with my mom and I knew they were paying attention to me because of how I looked, not because of who I was. So the separation between my body and my being happened early and it’s taken me years to bring them back together again.
As a young girl I had no idea what to do with a body that betrayed me by portraying me as being older then my years and I came to believe that a woman’s body is simply sexual and also shameful. I believed women’s bodies were to be objectified, sized up, measured, compared, labeled, desired, hated and always, ALWAYS in need of changing.
The simplest solution; get drunk and high to be sexual, to feel nothing, to feel something, and most of all to be someone who could live up to all of the attention my body gathered.
It wasn’t until I got sober and started practicing yoga I started to realize my body was much more then an object for men’s attention and approval. Slowly I began to discover the sensuality of my body by tuning into what I could feel on my skin, the sensations in my belly and my chest, the muscles in my legs and arms, the breath moving deeply through me all the way down to my pelvic floor.
I began to trust THIS BODY. I began to realize that my addictions and my compulsions were my attempt to save me from the pain and discomfort that I could not bear, that in fact my body was infinitely wise in helping me to find a way to ease my pain.
Although I desire a peaceful relationship with my body, I’m learning that when things are tumultuous it’s because there is something that I need to pay attention to, that I need to love more deeply, that I need to let go of, and that I need to accept. My body is wise and sensual and beautiful and it speaks to me. I just need to listen.