There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself. – Brian Andreas
A traumatic ending of a relationship; blame slung as a game of ping-pong, hearts thrown against walls, the blinding of fear. My body is the loser. Stomped on by both wounded parties.
Pain laughing in my face, I become bed-ridden with a debilitating, pounding head. All healthy habits abandoned, left sitting in the sweltering summer heat. An unhealthy lifestyle I long said goodbye to gleefully returns, snickering at my downfall. My nervous system on constant high-alert. My breath shallow. And with each throb of my head, each ache of my heart, each unhealthy choice, each swallow of medication, guilt rips through me – why can’t I look after myself properly? Why does my body feel like it is falling apart? This isn’t the life I want to live! I used to know how to do better! I know blaming myself perpetuates the problem but I can’t seem to stop.
I have fallen into a deep rut and I can’t see the safety-rope to pull myself out. Then scrolling through my feed, I come across Cleo Wade’s ‘Love Note to My Body’:
“First of all, I want to say thank you.
For the heart you kept beating even when it was broken.
For every answer you gave me in my gut.
For loving me back even when I didn’t know how to love you.
For every time you recovered when I pushed you past our limits.
For waking up.” – Cleo Wade
Gratitude washes over me, filling my lungs with clean air, freeing my mind from the prison it’s been fighting against the past few weeks. My eyes, thirsty, devour the words of the above note, needing the relief they bring. The message travels gently from my irises, through my head, then down into my heart, sending love to each part, gently kissing wounds, both old and fresh.
I take a deep breath and exhale, meditating on the words as they nourish my body.
Something shifts – just ever so slightly, yet enough for me to catch sight of the safety-rope. An invisible embrace gently wraps its arms around me, whispering that everything will be okay, that now is the time to look after myself and the incredible body I live in. To breathe freely. And with all the love I thought I would never feel again, I promise my body: ‘I will treat you the way you deserve.’
There is a Buddhist saying I use when feeling lost:
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go.
And as I remember this, my hand wraps around the rope. I use this saying to denote how I treat others, yet I’m not applying it to how I treat myself. I start to internally reprimand myself for not treating my body better, but I stop. This isn’t love.
Instead, I start to pull myself up the rope.
With the Buddhist saying as my guide, I decide it is time to send myself my own love letter and make a pact to put as much love and care into my own body as I do with others. I put my phone down, shut my laptop and pull out paper and pen.
This is my love note, my promise to my body:
I Will Love You, My Body
You have been there through thick and thin. You carry me throughout life. You take me for walks on the beach, you cook the food I eat, you endlessly keep my organs functioning, my blood pumping. You have taught me that my mind is intertwined with you and to truly acknowledge what that means. You tell me when something is not right, you fight off viruses, you let me smile and laugh and cry. And so much more. Thank you. I love you.
No other love, no matter how genuine it is, can fulfill one’s heart better than unconditional self-love. – Edmond Mbiaka
I Will Treat You Gently, My Generous Body
You and I travel together, the windy road from trauma to transcendence. You choose to keep going and I choose to help you. I will do my best to pull myself out of temporary lapses and will nourish you with the right choices – nutritious meals, exercises that are right for you, time to rest. I won’t push you past your limits or put unrealistic expectations on you. I will treat you with gentle care. And when you tell me you need time or space or quiet, I will listen.
Within my body are all the sacred places of the world, and the most profound pilgrimage I can ever make is within my own body. – Saraha
I Will Gracefully Let Go of What Isn’t Serving You, My Deserving Body
I will let go of the emotions that have tied you up. Guilt, worry, anger, sadness. I will feel these emotions and then send them on their way with love. I will loosen those knots, allowing expansive breath back into you.
I will not look back with regret, instead, I will see the lessons I have learnt and celebrate.
We will breathe freely and move on.
When we truly begin to let go, happiness will no longer just be our friend, it will be our home. – Yung Pueblo
I know I may fall into a rut again, and that’s okay. Heartache, and emotions that make us squirm are part of life’s rich tapestry and beauty. These experiences, while difficult, teach us important lessons. I know holding this knowledge close to my heart is truly the kindest act for my body.
In my dream the angel shrugged and said, if we fail this time, it will be a failure of imagination. And then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand. – Brian Andreas
What promises do you make to your body? Do you have techniques to use when you fall into unhealthy ruts? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
With love and blessings of health,
Thank you for this beautiful contemplation. Our body truly is the best friend we ever have; from birth till death it supports us unconditionally and faithfully like a precious pet. Let us reciprocate its love.
I’m blessed to have you all. Thank you so much it really mean a lot. You’re all really uplifting me by kind words, love, support. I promised to my body you all doing great job
This was an answer to prayer. Isolation, separation from my family and beloved grandchildren have taken its toll on me. I usually am very positive, hopeful, and always full of love for others. But pushing my body in ways that do not take care of it. I have been eating too many sweets to fill the void and replace the sadness. Your words were so inspiring, so loving and educational! I will love my body better and more. I will take time to do the things I need, in order to take care of myself the best that I know how. Thank you for such helpful thoughts and words.
I’m in tears knowing my deepest desire is to treat my body the way I dream of treating it.
In the past I always quit before I’ve completed the task at hand.
Universe allow me to wholeheartedly love my body and quick breaking my promises
What an amazing article and beautifully written and communicated. Thank you!
I have spent too many years doing the wrong things for the right reasons…especially over the last three years.And every time..things went wrong..I punished myself to the point of losing my health and being in constant pain.The last three months it has become a toxic situation to the point that I don’t care what happens to me.Then a friend who does care..sent me this.I will read it every day..and gain the strength from it..to do the things I need to do to learn to love and accept myself enough to learn how to survive and thrive..and learn to enjoy life again.
So needed ty
This is really inspiring and motivational.
We often forget that when we are undergoing setbacks our body suffers too.
Thanks for this wonderful article!
Oh this message came at such a crucial time for me – I woke feeling lost – and asked for help from what I call God – the vast field of creativity – then – this – words to guide me – like lights on the path I walk – my body – my faithful companion – I am listening NOW – I am sorry – please forgive me- thank you and I love you.
Perfect for me for this Mayan day of KEJ, the deer. He represents equilibrium, harmony with nature, stability, certainty, as he stands with legs in each of the four directions. He represents the knowledge of the power of having a physical form. This morning in my meditation at dawn, I gave thanks to my body for serving me all these many years as dancer, hiker, maker of things, singer, writer, reader, mother: all the things for which I needed a physical form. And now, still healing from my second knee replacement, I thank especially my knees who served me well for so long. And I ask forgiveness of them for what I put them through with the surgery choice I made. Today I give great thanks to my body for how it has served me so well, and I pray that I continue to walk in beauty with the body that I have.
Hey, first time on the site
I tend to abuse my body emotionally, and have several negative habits. However, more than meditation, which I took to too passively, a combination of light motions and color meditation has begun having great effects for me.
I’ve often practiced with light pattern visualization, but color perfusing a relatively empty absorptive awareness has created a number of what I call emanations. I need to continue changing my habits and embracing the engagement of society. However, as my meditations take on an active factor in action —(pushups and breath or wandering sight/cupping and loose motion visualization with eyes closed and engaged)
—but also active in mental image, the still state creates an independent —(seeming and quite convincing)
Certainly a degree of healthy eating/sleeping/activity/emotion are all important, regardless of any deeper and living truths. When your open and aware in the still state, small imprints created such as light patterns —(very basic and almost more impressions like sending out in a torus)
—and blue or violet permeating whatever noise remains in the minds eye, an independence develops. I’ve had some very inspiring moments to continue driving an urge to not only explore the dream state further but to actually change.
Don’t want to go on too long, and the explorations are hardly grounded, I don’t journal so it is partly events from unsystematic meditative acts over the years. However, when you can let go of controls —(control of the image itself more than self-discipline)
—while feeling out into the body —(other forms like earth or cell imagery work but I keep most things simpler and don’t ponder the emanations in wider explorations too much)
—that independence of feedback —(body-sense)
within a mind that is not holding focused thought develops a highly engaged communication. Some people will say “just the unconscious” —(still very intriguing)
—yet the culmination of experiences makes me question very much. I try every day to develop the maturity to truly appreciate the depth of importance the communication may hold. You do create it, as you can fele your focus shifting some of the words, but there are times of free flow when the co-creation is too visible to ignore. There is absolutely intelligence in the bodies creation, the more simple inputs like color are understood in the open connection, the more I question just what the body follows.
Wish I could say more, and more of a deeper integrity, but we’ll see!