- Dina Cohen
Conversations With Your Body
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Chances are, you have a lot to say to your body. You might be frustrated with it, wishing it looked different or behaved better. Your words might be critical, annoyed, or despondent.
You might also be starting to approach things in a new way. You might be apologetic. Perhaps you're aiming for words that are more accepting, or even encouraging. You can always start to change the way you talk to your body, like B did in this letter she shared:
Thank you for housing my soul. Thank you for carrying my babies. Thank you for staying healthy all these years. I may not have been happy with the way you looked and I still am not, but it's not your fault. You were created looking a certain way and I thought I can change that and I'm sorry. Im sorry I overexercised until you were sore and worn out. I'm sorry I criticize you while looking in the mirror. I realize there's not much I can do to change you and I am working hard to appreciate what you do for me each and every day. I am working trying to find the positive in you as well. The journey will continue and I hope things will get only easier!
Now, what if your body had the chance to talk to YOU? What words would it use? What tone do you think it would take? I asked this question to some of my clients. I'm sharing a selection of responses in the hope that something you read will inspire you to listen out for what your own body might be trying to tell you.
I am trying. I really am. But you confuse me. What are you doing? Do you want me to function? Why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you want me to work a little less hard? Don't you know what work goes into every breath you so casually take? Why don't you see how great I am? Why can't you see all the good things I do? I do everything for you. Everything. I do so much. You don't have a right to abuse me. When you know someone who helped you so much and is the reason you are still alive, wouldn't it be nasty to not think about all the good they did? Abusing is a new level that no one would even dream of. Do you think they will let you do that? Or would they not stand that?
I am different. I believe in you. I love you, even though you hate me. I know you can go so, so far. So I try to stand you as much as possible. I keep you alive and let the "less important" bodily functions fade. Because like anyone else, how long can I survive the abuse of beaing beaten every day?When will be the day that it becomes too much?
Hi, it’s your body here. This is kind of weird that I’m talking to you but we have experience with these kinds of weird things in therapy. Anyways, I think it’s good that we have this conversation because there are a few things that I wanted to speak to you about. Dina said she’d rather me be nice to you so I’m going to try to keep this as nice as I can, okay? So, T, the main thing is that you should just try to give me what I need and not try to fight me. I’m on your side, I’m here to help you. I’m a cover for “you”- your soul. But I need to be fueled and energized, otherwise I can bring you down....
It’s pretty simple. All you have to do is listen to what I tell you. Don’t block me out or fight my messages. It’s me. It’s you. We’re all one, so let’s just work together. I know you’ve been going through quite a hard time the past two years to say the least. Hard, horrible, agonizing, horrific. All that. I’m not denying any of it. To the contrary, I want to help you get through the hard time. If we can work together, we can help you feel better. Because only when I am energized can your mind be at ease -you have seen this so many times, right? I’m sorry, I feel bad but that’s the way it is. That’s the way the world runs. So let’s accept it and work with it (though I know you have a hard time with acceptance. But you’re getting better....) So here’s how we’ll do it. You just be alert for anything I may tell you. If you feel hungry, it means I’m asking you to please eat something. If you feel tired, it means I’m asking you to sleep a little. If you feel like you need some fresh air, try taking a walk outside. Just go with the flow. Work together with me. No need to squash the hunger down when it comes and just go to sleep and forget about it. There’s a reason the hunger is there and you will feel better when you listen to it. I know the hunger signals are starting to get a little confused now because you haven’t been following them all the time. They are far from lost though, just a little off kilter. Start listening again, and everything will fit into place. And keep getting help to figure out exactly what your body needs. You know, you haven’t been the greatest eater since you were little and that I know you won’t argue with!
Okay T, I know we left out a whole massive piece of the puzzle and that is how this whole eating thing is one way that you’re expressing the pain you’re in now. That makes it way more complex and we don’t have to write about all of that now (cuz I know WE want to take a nap now that the baby’s sleeping!) Yes, we know that restricting is a way of feeling the pain, of proving that something is wrong and that you feel horrible, of not moving on with life after Imma died, of staying stuck in the past. I know you think so often about that sickly, scrawny look that Imma had at the end. That image is pasted to your mind. Imma laying in bed, frail, swollen, irritated legs, bloated, and that horrible breathing if you could even call it that. And the fact that Imma didn’t eat either when she should have at the end. The mind is funny. You are so angry and pained that she wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t drink those shakes, they wouldn’t put her on a feeding tube. You can’t help thinking that maybe that could have made a difference, maybe it would have helped her body fight. But are you doing the same thing? You’ll work through this all. But that scrawny body- that’s not you and shouldn’t be. You’re healthy. You should eat to help YOUR body work though what it needs to work through.
I trust in you. I believe in you. I know you will work all of that out with time. It’s massive now and it feels like you’ll never get past it. This huge mountain in front of you that you can’t seem to climb. But we both know that you’ll get there. And meanwhile, try your hardest to do as much as you can because the fuel will help you climb. I know, I know, you don’t WANT to climb! You want to stay right here where you are at the bottom of the hill, inside the bottle, stuck in the cloud. I know. But when you take the step, you’ll feel the goodness of it. You’ll see it’s really what you want. You know it and I know it, we just have to feel it.
Good luck, T! I’m rooting for you and so are the rest of the people you love.
Lets be in touch,
We are so glad you’re finally ready to hear from us. We are the bones that form you, the heart that pumps your blood, the legs that carry you through life, the skin that holds you together, the lungs that have never stopped breathing since you took that very first breath. We are the parts that make up your body. We know that your mind has its parts too. We have been waiting, waiting for the accepting, truest parts of your mind to connect with us and care for us. For too long we’ve been commanded by the dark and desperate part, the one that sent icy hot blood rushing through us, commanding us to submit, attacking us out of shame and desperation, when there was nothing else to do but hurt. We have carried your tempestuous emotions inside of us when your mind did not know how. We have borne the brunt of your shame, your race from emptiness, your thirst to be loved. Your hatred of us ran so fiery and so deep, but we know that underneath, all of it was fear. We were never the enemy. You didn’t know it then, but we think you know that now. We’ve been quietly waiting for you to see that we have always been on your side. You can punish us for the sorrows you have known, or you can accept us, accept our worth along with our imperfections as you learn to accept your own. We were never the problem. We think you know that. We have humbly been trying to serve you all these years. When you are able to see us for what we are, the marvelous system that holds you together and enables you to fulfill your mission, when you take those steps to treat us a little better, you experience true power. When you can listen to our messages without filtering them, you feel better, because then we can do better. We know it is hard to separate your essence from your container. We will do our best to help you see that it’s good, this work that you’re doing. All we really want is to take care of you. Please give us the chance. Please remember that we’re on your side. Always have been. Always will be.
Are you ready to start a conversation?
Your body's waiting.