It's at the conjunction of all these multiple factors - early life interactions, sensory and motor experiences, socio-cultural expectations and medical conditions – where our body image is born. Therefore, the mental image that we have about our own bodies goes far beyond the weight and height, shape and size, and far beyond physical appearance. Our body is like a sacred temple which keeps safe - but in some ways also trapped - the most profound experiences of our lives, our feelings and emotions together with all the physical movements we’ve learned throughout time.
It's often the body that tells a person’s story where words fail to find their way through. Unfortunately, sometimes the story is one of neglect, rejection, trauma, abuse or just of a complex past or actual relationship. These stories often take the shape of a very conflictual relationship with food and/or even with exercise. Restrictive eating, binge eating, purging or exercising in excess as a compensatory method for each calorie consumed, or even building muscle mass as an excessive preoccupation, are only a few facets of one´s deeper feelings. Our painful experiences sometimes find an expression through a psychosomatic manifestation, a condition without a medical explanation, through an extreme discontent with parts of our body or even through self-harm. Through abandonment in excessive work or total neglect.
Healing the Temple
Whatever experiences we might carry with us in our bodies, there‘s always the possibility to improve the relationship that we have with it. At times, the healing comes through movement, through speech, through touch, through nourishing foods, through mindfulness, through rest. Sometimes experiencing affection and new healthy relational dynamics gives us that sense of higher confidence. Exploring our sexuality and sensual pleasures redefines the way we see ourselves, even from a physical point of view, but this too can become an addiction. It is no coincidence that a lot of people feel more attractive when they are in love, as the beloved ones act as mirrors of our most beautiful parts. In this sense, choosing carefully in what mirror you want to be reflected in is profoundly nourishing.
Our body is the temple of life itself: past, present and future, and that’s good enough reason to want to live happier and more at ease in our body. When the functions of the body cease, life itself stops. As long as we are still alive, we have millions of reasons to want a healthier and more sacred relationship with our own temple.