As the parent was to the child so the mind is to the body.
– Anodea Judith
It’s so true! When children grow up in a critical environment, constantly walking on egg shells, every behaviour and emotional expression scrutinized and criticized, fighting to get attention, love and appreciation from their parents, they become very critical of themselves.
The mind becomes critical of the body, just like our parents were critical with us. You become critical of your body, never feel good enough about your body, neglect and excessively scrutinize your body. This is the attitude we carry from our childhood.
So to heal your body you need to build compassion and acceptance towards your body. Your mind has to be gentle with your body.
Many people disconnect from their bodies due to childhood sexual abuse, chronic neglect and physical abuse. For example, survivors of childhood sexual abuse often feel that their bodies have betrayed them. Survivors of physical violence, feel betrayed by their bodies for feeling pain. One of the ways in which children cope with these traumatic experiences is by disconnecting from their bodies – to not feel anything (Herman, J)
Although this is a survival mechanism that helps the children at that age, it later becomes a problem when they grow up. The survival mechanism that is no longer needed stays active all the time, leading to development of eating disorders, dissociative disorders, PTSD, difficulty in feeling the body in intimate relationships and a host of other emotional and physical problems. After all, the body does need attention and healing that has been denied for a long time.
This disconnect can he handled with EFT; we need to gently re-establish connection between mind and body and body and mind. Developing ways to care for oneself and be self compassionate is very important in this process.
Here’s a short script for practicing compassion for yourself and your body.
(Please note: This can be used after you have acknowledged and released the negative feelings from specific traumatic incidents and feel ready to start accepting yourself and your body. This will work only after you have worked on a number of traumatic incidents from your past)
EB: I didn’t realize the importance of my body until now.
EC: I didn’t give respect to my body.
UE: My body bore the brunt of my criticism.
UN: I choose to be more compassionate with my feelings and my body.
CH: I choose to forgive myself for not loving ME.
CB: I choose to gradually start loving myself.
EB: I feel like my body is lacking my love.
EC: I choose to start loving my body.
UE: I choose to enjoy this new experience of loving myself.
CH: I am excited about loving myself.
CB: I choose to make decisions that come from a place of loving myself.
(Tap on what resonates with you, use your own words. As you tap, new feelings and thoughts will come up, make a note of them and start working on them with EFT)
1. Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western mind
2. Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery
Image Copyright Puja Kanth Alfred