I have been working with my trauma therapist to make peace with my body. He is a somatic based practitioner, which means he is constantly asking me what I am feeling in my body, both physically and emotionally. He consistently reminds me that my emotions and the messages I am getting from my body are really important to listen to. The message I keep taking away is that I need to trust my body. This has been difficult for me though because I grew up with the belief that my body, my emotions, my “desires of the flesh” were deceitful and not to be trusted. And if it wasn’t me deceiving myself then it was spiritual warfare of some sort. Basically my feelings were potentially from Satan, so don’t trust them! Add to that some purity culture ideas in which my body was objectified as a potential “stumbling block” to men and my virginity was a defining characteristic of my worth, and it is no wonder I feel disconnected from my body and find it hard to trust her.
As I told my therapist that I was afraid of trusting my body because “the heart is deceptive above all things” and so on, he stopped me and pointed out that it just isn’t true. He explained that my body and brain and central nervous system are communicating to me in ways meant to keep me as safe as possible. My body doesn’t lie. He went further and pointed out that actually language can be very deceptive. People can lie. People can use words to manipulate. Words can be mistranslated, taken out of context, and misinterpreted. Language has a lot more potential to be deceptive than does our body. This isn’t to say that our bodies are perfect or that words are always deceptive. But this realization has helped me begin to really open up to trusting my body and healing my relationship with her. While it’s a slow process, it’s important because as I trust my body more, I find that I am trusting God more.
I was meditating on the idea that God made my body out of His love, and called me good. I was thinking about how when I first held my children, I marveled at everything – their soft baby hair all the way to their toes, and how I marvel at how their personalities have formed and they grow and change. I still sneak in their rooms sometimes to watch them sleep. If I do that, how much more does God?! As I was meditating and praying about this, I was reminded of Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
As I pondered this verse, I realized that I don’t actually know what being made “fearfully” means. So I looked it up, and found something amazing. Translated from Hebrew, the word fearfully means: with great reverence, respect and heart-felt interest. Wonderfully, translated from Hebrew means: unique and set apart.
Let that sink in.
God made us with great reverence and respect.
Unique and set apart.
And with heart-felt interest.
He poured His heart into creating us. Our body and ourselves are sacred vessels of God’s creativity and love.
Do you feel this quiet holiness of having been made by God? I mean, really feel it? What does your body say about this?
I’ve been sitting with this idea and really sinking into the feeling it produces in my body. How can I distrust my body, when God made me with such heart-felt interest? How can I disdain her, when God made her with great reverence? How can I question her worthiness when God set her apart and gave her unique desires, needs and talents, specifically designed to reflect Him in a particular way? She is a holy gift from God. I am a holy gift from God. As I lean into this, my body sings and with the psalmist praises God her good Creator for making her in Love.