“I’ve never heard anyone talk about their body the way you do,” he said, “as if it’s its own entity.” Trauma shifted my relationship to my body.
It had to, because it was the only way I could begin to heal.
Learning there was a label for my experience was helpful, because I could learn more about what it meant to have PTSD, as well as what it would take to truly heal from it. I could try to read books and retain information with a brain that didn’t hold much of anything, and I could give words to an experience that was all things maddening. I could ask for help, because I had a place to start.
But mostly, I could look at my body when I began to spin out in panic and say to it gently, “look at you doing a thing in response to this other thing.” Separating myself from my body allowed me to witness what was happening and tune into the greater wisdom at play. To stop feeling like a victim trapped inside my own skin and to begin taking back just a little bit of the reigns.
People told me often, “maybe this is just how you are now.” As if I should just find peace with ‘what was’ rather than trying to get back to functioning how I could before. They meant well, truly. But it implied there wasn’t anything I could do about it, so maybe I should just stop ‘worrying’ and get on with my life.
I didn’t listen.
Because the truth is, our bodies contain so much more wisdom than we often give them credit for. Intuition lives in the body. Trauma and heartache and all kinds of grief are stored in the body. In our bones… our cells… every inch of our being. Our bodies are always communicating what they need for healing, if we’re willing to listen. If we stop ignoring the blatant signs and settling for ‘this is just how I am now’. There were so many moments I felt like my body was betraying me, but it was just talking to me all along. Pleading with me. Telling me what it needed and how I was continuing to hurt it. In the actions I took, the people and experiences I was tolerating, and the way I dealt with or avoided my emotions.
What is your body trying to communicate to you?
And are you willing to stop and listen?