Thousands of years ago significant threats to humans’ were from other humans. It’s theorized that men more easily went into “fight or flight" while women and children learned to adapt behaviorally by “freezing or surrendering” in order to avoid atrocities or death. Fortunately, for most of us this threat no longer exists, but unfortunately, these very primitive responses to threat, real or perceived, still exist within us today.
Couple this adaptive physical response with the confusion and uncertainly that occurs as we evolve from being children to adult women, and it’s no wonder that many, if not all women, forge a split between their body and brain. I write briefly about beginning menstruation In my memoir, From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal, because like so many other women I was not only confused but also uneducated about the changes happening within my body, and my brain split from it. This spit makes it impossible to have body care be first nature and diminishes the confidence that is our birthright. Some other reasons your brain may have adapted away from your body and be disconnected from it today are:
- If you experienced abuse, you may have disassociated and be disconnected from it because it wasn’t a safe place.
- You may feel that it abandoned you because of an illness or a physical deformity.
- You may feel that it has a natural response that your brain doesn’t deem appropriate.
Whatever is happening in your body, whether it be a sore throat or consistent shoulder pain, can be used as a compass pointing your mind to clues that will lead you back to being confident. Too busy to pay attention, you may say. I ask, “is your busyness a way for your brain to continue the disconnection from your body?” Do you have leg pain or feel immobile when confronted with difficult situations? Is your spine solid and erect or uncertain and curved? Are you folding your arms in front of you as a guard? An extreme case of long-term denial of the clues the body has presented is evident in older people who have shouldered the weight of the world and are walking hunched over.
Your body hold your knowing, your intuition. Your body is your home, the only home you’ll ever have—the only home that no one can take away from you. No matter how your body adapted, it still holds the key to your freedom, if only you listen to it. It still is an integral part of developing your self-relationship which is key to developing your relationship with others.