The Montfort Group

Becoming Friends with Your Body

Every year, it feels increasingly true that the noise telling us how we should feel about our bodies gets louder. What defines you as beautiful or ugly, desirable or shameful. What defines us as being worth time and space and a voice, or not. What defines us at all. 

Of course, logically, we can respond that we are not only our bodies. But the influence the idea has on our feelings is another thing entirely. 

So, you have feelings about your body. 

I’d be pretty shocked if you didn’t, if i’m honest. I’d be even more shocked to meet someone who has never had any feelings about their body. The fact that you do is not a bad thing. 

Though perhaps ways those feelings have been allowed to influence you may have been actively detrimental to you before, or maybe they are now. Acknowledging that there are (hopefully) at least a few good feelings, I will continue by focusing on the ones that hurt.

What have those feelings taken from you?

Perhaps for you, it is a voice in the back of your mind when you’re with a partner whispering, “Are they really attracted to me? Why would they be?”

Or maybe it looks like counting calories, or skipping meals, or being sure to cover up when you pass by a mirror. 

Or it could even feel like the numbness of dissociating, because if you pay attention to messages from your body you will only be met with pain and shame. 

What can you take back?

The good news is that building a better relationship with your body is possible. The thing it requires is turning towards the relationship you have with your body. And thus also turning away from the relationships you may have with beliefs other people tell you to have, whether those assertions come in the form of words, pictures, or violence.

Take the time to ask your body one question- “What do you need from me?” See how it speaks to you. See what the experience of answering its request is like. 

Of course, beliefs in what our bodies are allowed to do and how they are allowed to look are complex, heavy things being constantly pressured by the media and moral messages out in the world. That pressure is very real, and it’s ok to notice it. 

However, building the practice of turning instead towards your body with compassion, kindness, and perhaps even patience, is a far stronger power. See what you notice when you approach it like a relationship that you want in your life.

See what it is like for your body to have someone care enough to listen.

Picture of Heather Caballero, MA, LPC-A

Heather Caballero, MA, LPC-A

I earned my Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in creative writing from Baylor University in 2018. I obtained my Master’s of Arts in Professional Counseling from Texas Wesleyan University where I specialized in working with individuals and couples. I hold an active License in Professional Counseling for the state of Texas as an Associate supervised by Cory Montfort, MS, LPC-S. Additionally, I am a published author contributing a chapter to Dr. Linda Metcalf’s book, Marriage and Family Therapy: A Practice-Oriented Approach.

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