Posted by: Kara Luker | December 15, 2022

Divided body

There has always been a divide between me and my body as if we were two separate entities forced to do life together. Almost like an awkward pairing for a three-legged race, stumbling along and falling down repeatedly while watching others soar past us with rhythm and grace. I attribute this to the fact that my body did not line up with what I thought it should be. Nope, not in form or function. How was I expected to partner with such a thing?

From my earliest childhood when I would gladly risk a spanking from my health-minded parents for the chance to get sugar in my bloodstream to my teenage years when the cravings turned to far worse substances and the risks increased exponentially, it seemed like my body was exacting demands that I felt powerless to deny. It was like a traitor, selling out my best for a hit of happiness or comfort.

Then there was the issue of fatigue that began in those teenage years, which was understandable in the restless swirl of substance and emotion when I was trying to figure out which way was up but didn’t seem to improve when I got nourishment, rest and tried my best to meet my body’s finicky list of conditions. It’s no wonder methamphetamine was my drug of choice, wanting to experience the feeling of a “normal” body that delivered the energy it should.

And then, of course, there was the look of my body which never seemed to satisfy my expectations. The shape was all wrong or the size or the proportions, causing me to ignore the needs my body expressed through hunger or to beat it down with strenuous exercise. Never mind the knife I took to it at one point, carving out lines in my arms that can still be seen. My body and I were pretty much enemies at this point so I didn’t feel too bad about it. After all, I wouldn’t have to treat it so poorly if it did a better job of meeting my needs.

That just leaves the promiscuity, which seemed insignificant when there was such a disconnect between my heart and this ugly shell I inhabited. It felt no more meaningful than sharing a pair of old socks with a stranger. Take ‘em or leave ‘em. What’s it to me?

Except it turns out that my body is a freaking rockstar. By some miracle, it is still standing despite the hell I put it through. It survived an onslaught of nicotine, alcohol, drugs and even a heroin overdose. It made it through neglect and outright abuse. It birthed two sweet sons who changed my life and carried me through the loss of one of them. It wakes up every single morning to facilitate this beautiful life I never thought I’d have. How could I ever have considered it an enemy?

Yes, we are still working out the kinks of our relationship, especially when it is tired and I start to panic, but I am feeling so much gratitude for this vessel of life God has generously given me. No longer is my focus on making it look a certain way or even act a certain way. I just want to learn to treat it kindly; to listen to its needs and respond with gentleness and wisdom; to be a friend. I have a feeling that as I continue on this path, my body and I are going to learn to run together with rhythm and grace. And we are going to have the time of our lives. I look forward to telling you all about it.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Cor 6:19-20

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Have you ever experienced a disconnect with your body? What was the cause… and were you able to reconcile it?


Responses

  1. Wow. What an awesome post! You writing is such a treat. Can’t wait to read the book.

    • Thanks dad!

  2. Amazing. I don’t know what to do with that kind of journey but be amazed.

    • Me too!

  3. I too have experienced a disconnect with my body. For years I did not like my body, especially during adolescence. I thought it too skinny and my hair too curly. And rather than a “disconnect”, I felt trapped. I WAS my body, inseparable from it. I think it may be a common malady for us as spiritually fallen beings to have struggles in excess about our identity in one way or another. If it weren’t about inferiority then it would be about pride and arrogance (I’ve tasted a bit of that too).

    The beautiful and freeing answer for me was finding that I am loved by God; that He gave His only begotten Son for my sin; and that He could make me be born again with a fresh and Spirit-based outlook about everything. It took awhile of learning about God’s ways, but now I know as a Christ follower that I am a spiritual being having an often good-but-sometimes-lousy earthly experience! 😆☺️


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