What Do You Do with Body Memories?

It’s amazing to me, the “things” stuck in my body.

What I mean is this: Stuff happens to and around us, and we think we’re okay. We basically know that it didn’t affect us, or not that much, or we’ve gotten over it (or around it). We’ve talked about it and worked through it, or we don’t even really remember it. Bottom line, we’re okay.

And we most likely are. At least okay enough.

And then, perhaps we heal some more—and are really okay enough—and our body says, “All right, now you’re ready to actually know what happened, and how you felt.” And our body remembers what we may not.

Or maybe I should just talk about me.

As I’ve expanded on in “Raising Myself,” I used to have a visceral reaction when someone came towards me quickly, especially towards my face. Even my young son jokingly pretending to hit me in the face would cause me to jolt and want to scream and fight back viciously, as if to save my life. From my son.

My body remembered something.

I finally went for EMDR trauma therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing—I highly recommend it and it’s hard) and processed and reprocessed, and reprocessed again. My visceral reactions diminished, and might even be gone.

And then my body started “remembering” other things, as well. Or at least letting me know that it was time to get a few more stuck memories unstuck.

I went back to EMDR therapy, and let out more junk. Extreme junk. I won’t go into the details here about how s—t flowed out this time, but anyone who wants to know can contact me directly. (Just leave a comment on the site, or email me at lisa@lisakohnwrites.com.)

I will say that I was astounded at what came out, and how it came out. As my brother said to me (yay again for my brother), I swallowed a lot when I was young. I literally and figuratively just took what was handed to me, never complained, and kept going.

So, what do you do with body memories? Or what do I do? I thank my body (myself) for doing what it had to do to get by. I show compassion for it (myself). I get support from anyone I can, in any way I can. I (obviously) know I’m whole enough and ready to open up and let it out—and go to a licensed practitioner to help me do that. I allow others to love me, and me to love myself, through the process. I soothe myself in any way I can.

And then, as always, I look around at my life, at the world, at the beauty and the love and the awe, and let that in to fill up the places that were stuck, filled with gunk. I look for reasons to laugh and to smile. I look for yellow birds, and green leaves against a blue sky, and sunsets (and rises). I hold my son tight (too tight for him at times) and text my daughter silly messages and snuggle with my husband. I watch the Olympic gymnastics, read a book, meditate, and play.

I choose love.

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About the Author | Lisa Kohn

Lisa Kohn is the author of a memoir, To the Moon and Back, due out September 18, 2018, that chronicles her childhood – growing up in the East Village of New York City in the 1970s and in the Unification Church (the Moonies). Lisa writes of her recovery from the emotional abuse and abandonment she faced, and her now life of hope as a thriving and happy mom, wife, and leadership consultant and coach. You can read more at her website, www.lisakohnwrites.com, where you can also download the first chapter of her book.

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