Last week I wrote that even when our bodies/nervous systems are being activated into fight, flight, freeze or fawn AS IF they are under threat (when our lives aren’t actually in danger), our bodies can be trusted.
Further, I wrote that ‘Intensity does not always indicate Truth‘ and that it is important to learn to:
- discern when our bodies are responding to a perceived (vs actual) threat and how to
- return to feeling settled and at ease when not under actual threat.
Today, I want to take this conversation one step further and talk about another cause of confusion that makes it difficult for us to trust our bodies.
The confusion of ‘what we’re told’ vs ‘what we feel’.
Have you ever (now, as an adult, or when you were a child) been told one thing while what you sense in your body is completely different?
An obvious example for me is my mother telling me that __X__ person was good/trustworthy (because he was a part of our Christian community) when I felt distinctly uncomfortable around him (feelings I didn’t understand and couldn’t process/describe at the time).
How could I not be confused? My mother, a person of authority and who I trusted implicitly, was telling me that what I felt in my body was ‘wrong.’
With enough of these and similar experiences, I grew up distrustful of my instincts, my body, and instead looked to external sources for what I should believe/feel, for what was ‘truth’.
Have you experienced something similar?
If so, how can you trust your body now when, as a child, you were taught to believe what others said vs the knowing you held in your own body?
The rejection of the body.
Adding to the confusion, those of us growing up in fundamentalist communities are taught to reject the body (that the body is explicitly sinful and NOT to be trusted).
As it is those older/wiser/in positions of power over us telling us what is real, what is truth, what is good/evil, we learn to discount your own inner knowing even further… even when what we are being told goes against our own body’s wisdom/knowing.
This creates SO much internal conflict, confusion and pain.
The wisdom of our bodies.
And yet, it is through our bodies that we can accurately sense what is happening around us, whether we are in a safe situation, whether those around us are to be trusted, what is true/real/right for us.
It is through our bodies, that we are able to connect with others, with the earth, and with Spirit.
Without our bodies, there is no healing, no whole-ing.
Re-learning to trust our bodies.
As we work to resolve the trauma that keeps us from fully inhabiting our bodies and as we (our awareness/our spirits) drop ever more fully into our bodies, we are able to sense into the world around us from a place of safety, relaxation, and trust.
We trust that we will accurately perceive what is happening around us and that we will be able to respond as needed to any conflict or potential threat that arises.
We know that we can trust what our bodies are telling us when what someone says feels ‘off’ or incongruent in some way. We question/investigate further.
We are no longer in that state of cognitive dissonance and confusion that has been the foundation for so much of our lives up until this point.
We find and inhabit that congruence of mind and of felt sense in the body, that congruence between the knowing of the mind and the wisdom of the body.
Embodiment is the key:
For children of fundamentalists, where there are such embedded patterns of unresolved trauma combined with being actively taught to NOT trust your body, learning how it feels to be embodied, how to recognize when you’ve left your body in some way, and knowing how to return to your body:
- is foundational to being a person and witchy healer who is also authentic, kind, integrous;
- becomes easier as your lineages become well – it’s a toggle back and forth BETWEEN doing our own work around recognizing when we become activated and learning to bring ourselves back so we can ‘feel our feelings’ in a resourced way AND working with our well ancestors to resolve the trauma in our lines (where this pattern of leaving our bodies originated);
- Is what allows the work we do to have tangible effect in the external world; and
- Is the key to bridging the worlds of spirit and matter and to being a witchy healer. The two worlds overlap and it is through our bodies that we have access to both.
This path of both personal + ancestral healing is the one we walk in the Witchy Healer Wisdom School. Along the way we deepen as well into our luminous witchy healing gifts in service to our families, our greater communities (including our other-than-human kin), and the Earth. If this path calls to you, I’d be delighted to welcome you into the school. <3
I’m so happy you are here!
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