In my therapy I've been working through the issues raised by feelings of my betrayal from body. With that, and in writing my personal essay for grad school, there are certain themes that come together.
Connecting body and soul. Telling women's stories. It's not the fitness that interests me, it's the meaning behind the movement. (Fitness is a great by-product, by the way.) It's being with women who want to move, who want to connect their body to their emotions, and vice versa, that is attractive to me.
I've let myself be told how to use my body. I've let myself feel guilty over how I use my body. And it's total bs. We were created to have a body, to be physical. To experience physical states. Our bodies are awesome, capable of so much. Even if something is "wrong" with them, there is still so much right. So much to celebrate, show, and experience.
Bodies can be empowering or objectifying.To worry about how others view my body, and its use, is to give them all the power. When I have the power, it's empowering to use my body, be in my body. When I give away me power (or, horribly, if it were taken), it is objectifying. Sex is not the only means of objectification. Disease (or injury or disability) can do the same thing.
I don't look like I'm sick. So, thankfully, strangers don't treat me any differently. But the people that know do. In some ways, it's nice be approached with a bit more gentleness and care. But at other times, I feel limited by how others view me. Or rather, how they think I should be feeling, acting, doing. Should is not a good word to have others apply to your life. Only you are in your body. Only you have your history, your experiences, your vision. Don't give away your power to someone else's "should".
I refuse to give up my power. This body, my body, can create art, meaning. It helps me explore the world, make sense of the world. It's frail and easily broken, but it's not powerless.
I'd love to hear from you! What have you been told you should be doing/thinking/feeling? How does that sit with your soul? With your body?