The relationship we experience with our body is one that evolves throughout our lives. Our thoughts and feelings toward this relationship are like waves that ebb and flow. As they move through us, we may experience some feelings more strongly than others or some days more strongly than others. The beauty through those intense moments are that we begin to become more aware. We begin to better recognize how we’re feeling and the possible triggers of such feelings. As strongly as they may feel at times, we can recognize that like all things, they too shall pass and we may arrive at a place with a new found sense of clarity. This adds a layer to our awareness that can be a tool to navigate our experience of trusting and letting go of the hold that such strong feelings may create.
Awareness gives us the space to discern what our feelings are able to teach us. Through awareness we may recognize patterns that create and support a habit. Learning to fully, completely love our body and be comfortable contained within its vessel as well as expressing our truest self takes time, presence, and self-love. Like the change in seasons, we cycle through feelings and the quality to which we experience them.
Coming to accept my body has been met with many, many ebbs and flow. It has taken years to arrive at a place of comfort and acceptance, which still till this day I find myself triggered by old thoughts or feelings. What I recognize as a great influencer has been the cultivation of awareness. Through awareness over the years, this has enabled me to step into myself more and ultimately come to accept what I really could not see. This allowed me to show up for myself more as I became increasingly aware and could recognize the quality to which I had shown up and been fully present to life previously. Experiencing life from a place of fear, self-doubt, and judgement, allowed me to recognize (over time) that there were alternative options to show up and experience life.
Awareness brought light towards the patterns I struggled with for many years, allowing for clarity and insight to know that there are alternative avenues to experience or express the emotions I was feeling. Awareness also brought compassion as I could allow myself to engage in a pattern and be compassionate towards myself because I was aware of the pattern. I may not have been ready to let go of the pattern entirely, however I had awareness and could recognize the trigger and action that would follow. The more I continued to cultivate awareness, the more familiar the triggers became and I could bring my attention towards it, to understand its source. Such patterns may have included excessive exercise, incessant calorie counting, binging, purging, and negative self-talk. I felt completely consumed by them, some more strongly than others and varying to the degree of duration. The emotions that were internalized felt incredibly overwhelming at times, yet there was a part of me that felt this was ok, that it was normal to just feel the way I felt and that was simply just who I was.
I may still feel strong emotions towards particular triggers or patterns I once had and this is not to say they “go away”, but the interesting experience is that eventually what feels like such a strong hold over us lessens and we can simply just experience the experience, simply as it is, without the charged emotions, thoughts, or patterns. We arrive at place of acceptance and compassion towards ourselves because we are aware of who we are on a deeper level. We show up for ourselves which allows us to be present to life and our experience with others.
As we transition from the warmest and brightest season of the year, may this transformation of the seasons be a reflection of the many layers we continuously shed that ultimately bring us to a place of clarity and renewal. May we continually see the light within ourselves and fearlessly let it shine, embracing the beauty through our unique journeys and its radiant expression.
Submitted by Danielle Perron