Tuesday 3 April 2007
Originally I started my therapy because I wasn’t in touch with my emotions. I didn’t know how to identify what I was feeling, I didn’t know myself at all and I was never sure of anything or rather I was sure I wasn’t normal. I had the impression of being on the way to madness because of convincing myself that the right emotion, the emotion to feel in a given situation was this one or that one. I used to rationalise everything, at the time, but I had the feeling of being incomplete, as though only half living. As though already half dead. I completely ignored the physical manifestations of emotions. I didn’t know that the body also speaks.
For me the body was only a tool, an envelope, something mechanical. For me the body was a mute soldier, ready to endure all that was necessary to endure to survive. It was there and I owed it nothing apart from answering its primary needs (sleep, food, protection against cold, that type of thing), maintaining it a little, and caring for it if it was sick. In exchange it had to be strong and obedient.
My body never took control over the whole of my being. By that I mean that I’ve never had an orgasm like those I’ve heard described and which carries you away in a whirlwind and you can do nothing about it. Of course I’ve already had pleasure from my body. Of course it’s happened that I’ve been paralysed with fear. But in all these situations where my body showed itself, my mind was functioning and could control it, tell it to keep quiet. My body never imposed itself sufficiently strongly for me to hear it. I didn’t allow it.
My true wealth, which I cherished, was my mind, my intellect, my machine for thought and analysis. What made me unique, allowed me to survive, and to build a future, allowed me to live in society, to go forward in life, was my intelligence and intuition. The means of taking hold of my life, of controlling some of what happened to me, that was my mind. For me, the body had to serve the mind, had to be the means of interacting with the physical reality of things, to be its framework in a sense.
Nevertheless, my body was the first victim of my circumcision. It was wounded, mutilated, traumatised. It must have bled profusely, it could have died from a haemorrhage. But it survived, it scarred, it grew, and it developed. In reality I realise my body has always been, more than my mind, the source of my will to live.
In the course of my therapy, I learned to notice its sounds, to distinguish its reactions and to listen to them. That reassured me. I was therefore “normal” and not in the process of dying slowly. But I continued not to notice the messages until I understood their significance. I read in the magazine “Psychologies” this month that “the body never lies, contrary to the mind” and this sentence struck me.
Today I want a different relationship with my body., I want to respect it, to notice its rhythm, its needs, to love it in a different way. I want to be obliging and thoughtful towards it, to pay attention and listen to what it has to say to me. I want to take possession of it as the fundamental part of myself that it is.
Soon it will be my birthday. For several years I've made a habit of taking a day's holiday. On the day it's a respite, I don't work, I have a lie in, I try to do only things which are pleasant. Normally I go to the cinema, eat at my favourite restaurant, take a nap, write, read or lounge about. But this year I have decided to give myself a full body massage, a complete facial, a manicure, and a pedicure. This year it's my body who will take the honours. It deserves it. It's thanks to it that I am here and I will never be able to thank it enough.