Trust Your Body, Trust Yourself

April 21st, 2011

A friend wrote last month how she is finally learning to trust her body, through kink. I have been at odds with my body since I was sixteen, almost half my life now. I fight it, I ignore it, I push it. But to trust it? I’d rather challenge it and defy it. She wrote she is no longer a mind in a body but a mind that is a body. I like that idea, and so I’m going to start a rambling exploration of my mind and body tonight.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years in bondage, and in rope suspension. One of the first things he taught me was that I have to listen to my body. That I have to communicate to him what it is telling me. Where there was pain, pinching or discomfort. His suspensions were not meant to be painful, the ropes were there to support, not to hurt. This was a bit of a mind switch for me, because the other’s bondage was often painful, was often part of our sado-masochistic play. I had to listen to my body and trust what it told me. I had to be able to judge when I was done, tell him when I needed to come down. I could push myself only so far. And yes, I often tested those limits, pushed myself just a little further than I maybe should have, challenged myself to just one more swing, or just one more spin. I had to trust my body, but I also put trust in my mind’s ability to recover when I pushed just a little more.

If it hurts, don’t do it. It hurts when I do this. Don’t do that. Pain is the body’s way of telling us something is wrong. But I’m a masochist. I enjoy the intense sensation of pain and the effects it has on the body and mind, when it is pain I am choosing to experience. I kneel for half an hour in meditation, some days it hurts, but I usually ignore the pain and push through. I ignore the body’s cry for relief. I play in ways that cause pain, that cause a fight or flight response, and I ignore the body’s protests. My mind overrules my body. My pleasure overrides my pain. But isn’t this trusting, too? Trusting that even though my nerves scream, my body can take it. Trusting that after, I’ll be okay. I ignore the usual signals, and trust that real damage is not occurring, that my body is not as fragile as some might think.

Is it trust? Or just defiance?

I trust my mind within this body. I trust myself to know my limits. I trust myself to judge when it is too much. I trust myself to beg off or say no. I trust myself to know my body. And I trust my partners enough to crumble and fall.

I trust my mind, but do I truly trust my body? I listen to it, I respond to what it tells me. But I often feel like a mind trapped in a body, unable to feel the way I want to feel, unable to do everything I want to do. I trust that it will not break. I push it and challenge it, and I hope that it will not fail me. And sometimes it does, but more often than not, it doesn’t. In kink, anyway. It fails me, day to day, simple things like opening and reaching, but it rarely fails me in play. It limits me in play, for sure, depending on the day, but when I choose an appropriate activity, it holds up, it withstands, it survives, usually as long as I want and need it to.

So, do I trust my body? I do. It frustrates me and I defy it, but ultimately, I trust it. What other choice do I have? It’s my body and it gives me such pleasure to balance out the pain. It does what I need it to do, if not always what I want it to do. And the better I treat it, the better it does. RA is not who I am, just a thing I am dealing with. Trust is earned and my body has put in the work.

Share

One Response to “Trust Your Body, Trust Yourself”

  1. Toy says:

    Trust is a tricky issue. Trusting others seems to come almost easier than trusting yourself… and it’s difficult being able to trust others, so trusting yourself can be nearly impossible some days. I applaud that you are able to trust your body. You have the ability to listen to your body and compensate when you need to in accomplishing your needs, wants and desires. That’s an amazing feat. I tend to go for more stubborn… but that’s why I have two amazing teachers. Thank you for your eloquent insights.