Hi, BigBodyBeautiful friends! This is a guest post by one of the most amazing women I’ve ever had the joy and privilege of knowing. Like many people, Susan (of the kick-ass blog, Mariner to Mother) has suffered deeply at the hands of her caretakers, but what sets Susan apart from others is how she has dealt with this trauma. The difference is her unflinching honesty and responsibility. Susan takes utter responsibility for her healing and her journey here on Mother Earth. I simply LOVE this woman’s presence, her aliveness, and her willingness to work on herself. Please show Susan some love for so bravely putting her story here for us. And, please visit her blog and tell her that Lizzy sent you. XOXO
First, I’d like to thank our dear, sweet, scrumptious Liz for inviting me to guest blog here on Big Body Beautiful.
I’m a former merchant mariner, ship’s deck officer, who came to shore and settled down a dozen years ago. During those dozen years, I became a mother to an amazing and often challenging son. Over the past four years I have been a student of energy medicine, became a Reiki practitioner, and experienced a spiritual awakening.
My childhood looked, from the outside, to be a typical middle class experience, complete with music lessons, summer vacation trips, and playing on various sports teams. However, behind closed doors, growing up with an unmedicated bipolar mother was an experience that was very tough at times. When my mother was manic, she would verbally assault me at the drop of a hat. And when she was depressed, she was often unavailable as a mother. I didn’t have a lot of childhood memories until the past few years, when through doing healing work, some memories have come back. Using a variety of healing methods, I am releasing old fear, anger, and other detrimental emotions that became physically trapped in my young body. And, I’m ferreting out old beliefs that don’t work for me anymore.
One of my favorite healing modalities is hypnotherapy. I’ve had short series of sessions with a handful of different hypnotherapists over the past 13 years, working toward a goal of not needing to use food to numb me from uncomfortable emotions and nondescript feelings. While I was working with the first three hypnotherapists, even though we were supposedly working on food issues, what came forth were some absolutely amazing spiritual sessions: including being healed by an angel. A month ago, I resumed working with a woman, Lia, who synthesizes her extensive training and experience in the fields of psychotherapy, transpersonal psychology, and hypnotherapy.
During my most recent hypnotherapy session, I decided to work on body image. Growing up, I didn’t have anyone to model healthy body image. My mother was always dissatisfied with her body, always on a diet, feeding me the message that she was overweight and not ok. I took that message into my little body and by the time I was 13, I joined Mom on the dieting bandwagon. For the record, my mother was not overweight, and neither was I, back then.
After putting me into deep relaxation, Lia asked me to hover above a timeline of my life and go back to a time where I first had an issue with my body (or dieting). I popped back to eight years old. Someone told me I was fat; probably my older brother, teasing me. Feeling sad and confused, I really took it in. Then, Lia had my current day adult me go talk to my eight-year-old self. I told my young self that she was absolutely perfect just as she was- she was not fat at all. And, that she had a great, strong body that was just right. When the young me heard that, she became very happy and joyful. She gained confidence and strength. I actually saw her aura pop out from her body, signifying that she developed a sense of self and some personal boundaries. She really felt good about herself.
Then, I was prompted to move forward in time to the next time I didn’t feel so great about my body. I was 13 and had gotten my period and was not sure about all of these changes in my developing body. I was very unsure about my new curves and boobs and period. I didn’t feel confident at all about myself, and was confused with all of the changes. When my older self talked to my 13 year-old self, I reassured her that the changes she was going through were very normal and natural, and that she had a great body that was very pretty, that she was cute, and everything was just as it was supposed to be. I told her that she would get used to her new body and that it was a great body. With the reassurance, I noticed that the 13 year-old me became very grounded and centered. The feeling was that nothing could knock her over. All she needed was reassurance from me. Her confidence soared.
Then, I moved forward to when I was barely 15 and just had my daughter. The 15 year-old felt completely ruined in every way. She felt physically ruined, emotionally ruined, just ruined. I told her that she had been through a tough time and got a bad deal, but that she was awesome and perfect. And, because she was only 15, her body would come back to being a cute teenage body with a little bit of healthy eating and exercise. Yes, she will always have the stretch marks, but that’s OK because she brought a beautiful little girl into the world. A little girl who would make a couple into a family, who would raise her well and that she would be happy. I also reminded her that she did NOTHING wrong. It was NOT her fault. At first, the 15 year old got really mad, mad at the perpetrator who molested her, because he had ruined her perfect body. She was pissed!! It took a while, but she slowly came around to the idea that her body was great, and that she totally rocked. She was able to see that she did get her cute body back after some healthy eating and exercise and that it was a great, strong body. Finally, she felt awesome about herself.
Then, Lia had the energies of the various me’s roll up the timeline and join in with present-day me. I felt the confidence and strength of the other me’s, and it felt more confident than present-day me. As the energy of each me moved forward up the timeline, I received a message from them. First, the eight-year-old, who had been waiting a very long time for her knight in shining armor to come riding in to save her, when all along, she realized, it was the adult me that she was waiting for. She was in tears of gratitude, thanking me for saving her. Then, the thirteen-year-old expressed her thanks to me for coming back and rescuing her as well. More tears. Finally, the fifteen-year-old was filled with love and gratitude that I had finally come back and saved her as well. Her message also included, “What took you so long?” Tears and laughter.
Once the transformed energies of the past merged into present time, I clairvoyantly got the message: “You don’t need food anymore. You have all of the me’s holding you up, keeping you strong.” What a powerful message.
From there, Lia reinforced all of the positive, new thoughts and beliefs, rewriting my past and rewiring my brain.
I have learned that with each session, I clear away old, trapped energies. And, in doing so, change happens. It’s a process. Over time, small and even not-so-small shifts begin to add up. Specifically with food, I have already shifted the types of food I eat so significantly from what I grew up eating, that the last time I stayed with my mother for a visit (a few years ago), she was having difficulty knowing what to plan for dinner. She hadn’t changed a whip, but I sure had. And, when uncomfortable emotions come up, my knee-jerk reaction isn’t to go eat something (most of the time). These days, I truly appreciate how amazing my body is; all of the things it does for me without my thinking about them. And, that it is designed as a self-healing, divine vessel for my beautiful soul so that I can experience this life I have.