Last week on the blog, I wrote about transitions and I offered the inquiry, “Where am I going?” When I meditated on this question myself, the answer came clearly and quietly from within: “I’m going home.” And the answer to that question has resonated in many aspects of my life. Recently, I’ve found peace, a feeling of home in my body, and sense coming home to myself. I finally feel that I can trust my body to take care of me, trust that it will always heal, that it is strong, resilient, and will keep me safe. I discovered within myself, a place of peace, vibration, unconditional love, comfort, wisdom, and trust. That place is constant, it is home, it is my temple.
But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all peace, love, and butterflies to get there… Life’s a journey after all, and every step of growth and getting through is a process.
When I look back at my relationship with my body, and how, over many years it has changed, I bring forward the image of a house. For a long time, I hated this house. It wasn’t ever good enough, and I couldn’t stop focusing on everything that needed repair, remodeling, re-designing. I was constantly comparing my house to others’ – no matter what I did to try to change it, it still wasn’t enough. So I’d renovate more; I’d rip a room completely apart, only to discover that something else needed fixing, so I’d rip that apart too. I’d keep ripping and demolishing room by room, until there was nothing left for me to come home to. I was so focused on changing everything I deemed not good enough, that I never saved a space for myself to live in. And so, I stepped outside. I disconnected myself from the house. Pitched a tent in the back yard and lived there instead – unable to face the mess I’d made, unwilling to heal, and too stubborn to change my beliefs.
It wasn’t until I was willing to face the mess, step back through the doors, and become aware of everything happening in that house, that I could slowly heal, repair, accept, and eventually, start coming home again. I had to learn that my body is a safe, welcoming, peaceful place for my soul to be in – and what it looks like, in comparison to someone else’s home, makes no difference in its ability to be just that.
Healing doesn’t happen over-night just like repairing demolition work doesn’t. Sometimes you just want to throw your hands in the air, and give up. Sometimes you look around and wonder if you’ve accomplished anything at all. Some repairs take more time than others – you have to wait for parts, or tools, or something else to get fixed first. Sometimes you have to accept that a few things may always be a little rough around the edges.
Here are the five most helpful things I did to start healing, repairing, and start coming home again:
1. Develop a great deal of self-awareness, by paying attention to my thoughts, my feelings, and my actions. Be non-judgementally curious about myself and my life, dig deep with the aid of my journal, and thought-provoking prompts, and be willing to ask myself the tough questions, and go beyond surface-level answers.
2. Meditation. It’s one of those things that I always said I was going to do more of, but seriously, when I did, it got all the energy flowing. I could still stand to make more time for meditation and quiet, but even the small amount that I do consistently has made a profound difference.
3. Stop body bashing, and stop focusing on imperfections. I refused to let myself sink to a level of self-disdain because it was easier than climbing towards acceptance or even neutrality. I also refused to feel shame for myself, and made the commitment to always strive for acceptance and self-love.
4. Treat myself gently, stop pushing, straining, and trying so hard to change, and find the place that is natural for me to be in. Learn to hear messages from my body and honor them.
5. Make peace with my past and find acceptance not only for who I am now, but for the girl I used to be – she that I used to judge and dis-associate with. I was so afraid of slipping back into my past, that I’d tell myself constantly, “I’m not that girl anymore.” But I couldn’t find my authenticity until I made peace with her, accept everything she was, the good, the bad, and the overweight. I had to accept who I was to get in touch with the true essence of who I am – the little girl, the light in my eyes, my creativity, and everything else that makes me, me.
Never rip yourself apart so much that you can’t come home. Make changes, strive for greatness, but be gentle, be willing to move slowly, and with intention and presence.
Remember always that your body is your home, it is your temple.
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