Being stuck in a loveless relationship usually feels painful, hopeless and exhausting. Last week I invited you to take the first step of resurrecting love: to choose to break vows that keep you mentally stuck. Now for the next step.
[Check out Part I: Where to Start When You Need A Miracle]
Deep helplessness is not only in your mind, but it is in your body. Your body physically carries all of the betrayal, abandonment and pain that you have ever experienced. If you have ever been hurt in another close relationship (and odds are good that you have), your body will want to shut down whenever you are frustrated in this current relationship. You will want to quit and walk away. Your body is trying to keep you safe.
Safety is good. But if you want to resurrect love, you will need to heal your body.
Bessel A. van der Kolk is an international expert on healing trauma and author of The Body Keeps the Score. He insists that people with traumatic helplessness “cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. …Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.” You just can’t get free of the past until you become aware of how your body is carrying the past. As they say, “You can’t heal it until you feel it.”
One of the best ways to become familiar with the sensations in your body is to bring it to prayer or to practice mindfulness meditation. Your goal is simply to notice what is happening inside without judgment, and then to gently release it. Some people quietly use words to guide them, such as:
Breathing in, I sense my breath coming into my belly and chest.
Breathing out, I sense my breath flowing out of my belly and chest.
Breathing in, I notice some pains or tensions in my body.
Breathing out, I release all the pains and tensions in my body.
This simple and powerful action step can be practiced at any time. (Try it now!)
For even deeper healing add movement with this practice, either through yoga or through a therapeutic technique, such as EMDR. There are many helpful resources online to help you take your next step of healing.
It is time to heal your body. Start today by befriending your inner experience and noticing how your body carries the pain that is in the way of resurrecting love. Feel free to contact me if you need support or direction.