Whilst at a friend’s house recently for dinner, we decided to relax for a while on the couch before eating, to catch up and talk about how life had been for us since we last spent time together. My friend suggested we make ourselves comfortable on the couch while dinner was cooking, and as we were both feeling a bit tired from a long day and a busy week we decided to lie down, one lying each end with our legs sort of entwined and up over the back of the couch. Both being tactile people, we are not averse to physical contact, which is good considering the position of our legs resting on top of each other’s.
As we lay talking (which was for quite some time), we each enquired to the comfort of the other’s legs and shifted to make ourselves more comfortable, or shifted to ease any pressure on the other. At one point whilst we were re-arranging ourselves, I remarked to my friend how different it was now to care for myself compared to when I was a younger woman and had been lying with a man and rather than disturb him, for fear he would take the opportunity to move away completely, I would lie with my arm underneath him ignoring the numbness, stiffness and encroaching pain in my arm so that I could immerse myself in him and the feeling of being wanted for a bit longer. Not wanting to lose him or the feeling of being wanted was stronger than any consideration of my body.
Expressing this to my friend, we laughed because this was her experience too. She expressed the same feelings and emotions, and we laughed again at the ridiculousness of it whilst being astounded at the total lack of care for ourselves. This was huge as we both came to the same conclusion that back then we felt we would “rather lose my arm than lose my man.”
I’d rather lose my arm than my man!
Seems a bit drastic doesn’t it? And I’d bet most of us would say that’s ridiculous, that’s not what I would choose… but how many of us have lain with a boyfriend/husband/lover’s head or torso on our arm and remained in that position regardless of the numbness and stiffness slowly overtaking our limb, ignoring the pain because of the fear that if we ask the chosen one to move he may move away completely, and we desperately want to hold on – not only to the man but to the feeling of being loved and wanted for as long as we can. So, we manage to put up with the discomfort, pins and needles, numbness and pain we are by now feeling in our arm… the total overriding of our body’s needs in favour of our emotional wants and needs being temporarily assuaged.
As the evening progressed, my friend and I continued to discuss this and wondered whether men had the same experience – of putting up with physical discomfort in the same way in order to extend the feeling of being wanted and loved: being women, we couldn’t be sure but as we were able to think of the many ways in which we remembered overriding our bodies’ needs, to the point of abuse, we knew that we were all in the same boat when it came to disregarding our bodies. Perhaps some of the ways were different for men, but abuse and disregard would be there in their lives nevertheless.
What was once abuse is long gone, but while we are in any way looking for love, appreciation or emotional security outside ourselves, we are in fact in disregard of our true selves. As we discussed this, we both agreed it can be easy to believe that we no longer abuse our bodies because we are not so obviously disregarding ourselves as we once did. The more gentle and loving we become, the more obvious these subtle and finer abuses are still playing out and can be felt in our body – requiring honesty on our part to recognise and then work with these subtler aspects. We agreed there is a need to bring an even greater sense of tenderness and care to ourselves until we have built into our livingness an even greater and more delicate way of being.
Published with permission of my friend.
By Rosemary Liebe, NSW
Discovering self-care and bringing it into my life
The rejection game – how to overcome the fear of rejection
Recently I’ve experienced immense pain following shortly after disregarding myself. The more love I live the more it hurts to abuse myself in any way and my body is getting this point across quiet clearly!!
Appreciation of our essences is a confirmation of our divinity and should never be discounted for how power-full and evolutionary this level of Love brings to us and others through reflection.
So true, we do tend to lose body parts as a payment for living to pictures of how we feel relationships should be and as illogical as it seems, it is seen as so normal by society that we do it all the same.
It would certainly seem that a way to show love to another is to put yourself in a position where you ‘sacrifice’ yourself for another. Yet having done that as a mother, I know no-one benefitted from that because I was exhausted and unable to be as loving towards them as I now know I could have been.
Surely we do this all the time?
” the total overriding of our body’s needs in favour of our emotional wants and needs being temporarily assuaged.”
We eat and drink things that taste delicious for say a few minutes while they are in our mouth and then the taste or sensation goes, so we keep eating / drinking to retain that sense of delight or yumminess. Then our bodies show us in many ways how our mind might have enjoyed what we were eating / drinking but the effect on the body is harming. How many of us have grabbed say a sandwich, a bag of crisps and a bottle of something fizzy at lunch time and just ate it because it was convenient, only to feel the effect afterwards. We develop a bloated stomach and can feel tired or sleepy. Our bodies communicate all the time but do we listen or just carry on completely caught up in our mind?
When we compromise ourselves in order to keep that man we open ourselves up to be taken advantage of. Nobody can take advantage of us if we do not allow them to do that.
In an era before cable TV and mobile phones, dates were seeing a movie in the cinema. The challenge of putting your arm around your date, during the film and once it was there you would have to fight off the pins and needles, numbness from not wanting to be too heavy was like isometric exercises… all to keep that connection.
ha ha yes I remember that and being aware of that pain but not wanting the moment to end so not saying anything to make them more comfortable! Oh dear – what are we like in that need for connection!!!
Isn’t interesting how we want that connection with another but we have completely negated that connection to ourselves. We are brought up to believe that it is only through another person will we find the love we seek. When the complete opposite is true it is only through loving ourselves will we find the settlement our bodies are seeking.
Putting up with pain and discomfort in the belief that this will keep a partner closer is actually putting a pain barrier between you.
This is so true Gill so looking at not how we compromise our body or self regarding another but how we compromise our body/self because we do not deeply care for ourselves in the first place. Which can easily be changed through choice ✨
I can really relate with this and not just getting my arm crushed so not to disturb a partner but how in my life I have compromised myself so another feels good … and I do not feel so great! However I am starting to do this a lot less now which is something I can appreciate ❤️
There was a time, I also made a lot of compromises in this regard just to please my partner. I’m very grateful that today I’m very aware of what my body likes and doesn’t like at any moment in time, in no perfection, but I’m getting better and better.
“The more gentle and loving we become, the more obvious these subtle and finer abuses are still playing out and can be felt in our body –” Our main issue as as a society is that we bludgeon our body so not to hear the inner delicate wisdom forever in our grace.
I agree with your comment anonymous that the more we deepen our love for ourselves the more abuse is exposed. We obliterate our bodies so that we cannot connect to that inner wisdom that we all know and carry with us. I wonder why we do this when its the love that we want the most more than anything.
‘…but while we are in any way looking for love, appreciation or emotional security outside ourselves, we are in fact in disregard of our true selves. ‘ This line is gold. I have often looked outside myself for love and validation of who I am and felt hurt when it wasn’t forthcoming. But what is really going on is I know exactly how I’d like to be treated but am not treating myself in this way.
Rather I’m giving away my power in the hope someone will mind read what I need but when they don’t I’m hurt or irritated. How wonderful to admit this is about how I’m treating myself as I have the power to change this.
Karin I’m still caught up this game
“I’m giving away my power in the hope someone will mind read what I need but when they don’t I’m hurt or irritated. How wonderful to admit this is about how I’m treating myself as I have the power to change this.”
I caught myself out using this tactic recently. I felt hurt because I felt I was being taken advantage of rather than speaking up and discussing the situation, I let it ride, which then built up resentment towards the other person. But I gave my power away in the first place by not speaking up and expecting the other person to know how I was feeling! How silly is that?
When we compromise ourselves in this way we normalise self neglect/abuse. What we reflect is then taken on by the next generation, who learn from observing that this is the rule, not the exception.
It’s interesting though how much self abuse/abuse we will tolerate when there is an emptiness we want another to fill.. the fact this is so common says a lot about where we are as a society and how far we have yet to go.
This morning in an esoteric yoga session I experienced a depth of love and self-care for myself that was so sublime and so all encompassing that it became very apparent that no other person would ever be able to make me feel the way that I can.
I’d rather loose the man, I’m quite fond of my arm, it comes in handy a great deal.
I find it a deeply loving example when someone honours themselves to the nth degree and also shows the same level of honouring to all others. This offers an opportunity for us all to experience how amazing this feels and see how possible it is to live this way.
How many accommodating ways do we live in life rather than living and walking our truth for all to see, because shying away from our essences has been a life-time pursuit that needs to be exposed for the energetic lies that way of living is.
Until the lies of the way we live are pointed out Greg we do not realise just how we are pulled around by our noses so to say. There will come a time in everyone’s life when we can see and feel the lies we have been fed for eons and start to reclaim ourselves back from these lies we have accepted as part of life.
When we don’t compromise on the love we hold ourselves in then we are able to offer so much more love to our partners, friends, family etc
Yet, compromise is one of the main currencies of life… is it no wonder our standards drop and life ends up in the mess that it is in?
It’s interesting to observe where in our relationships we compromise to fit in with others or to not rock the boat for whatever reason.
From my own person experience Rosemary, I too as a man have many times let go of what I know is true for me just to keep the peace in a relationship. As a man the way I see it played out is shutting down of my own sensitivity, pushing through and being strong giving the illusion I can handle anything.
Chris I can relate to what you are sharing. How many of us still stay silent just for a quiet life. when actually we are giving our power away and while we continue to do this we will never learn the lesson that is being shown to us. Instead we rely on pushing through and getting on with it, over claiming ourselves with our sensitivity and our power.
Compromising ourselves for the sake of pleasing another, is simply not worth it, for neither person is truly benefitted.
Thank you for showing me how far I have come in my life that I would not choose that for myself.
Being dismissive and/or dishonouring to our bodies is the first step away from our responsibility to each other. If I am prepared to treat myself with disregard then this is the foundation for all my interactions and everything I do, which has a far-reaching impact.
We know when we are compromising ourselves because there is a niggle inside that tells us.
One of my favourite things to do at the end of the day is to have a cuddle on the sofa with my wife.
If we’re not living the truth of who we are then we’re living a life of compromise.
‘I’d Rather Lose my Arm than my Man’ – your loss. I’m keeping my arm, I find it quite handy.
When we compromise ourselves in any way we are not bringing all of ourselves to the relationship and allowing a reflection that is not true.
The things we do for ‘love’ including putting our body into really uncomfortable positions to the point where arms start feeling numb!!!! Just wondering what are we afraid of? That if we love ourselves without compromise another will not love us. Or why are we afraid to say how we feel like ‘my arms really uncomfortable can we move positions?’ I love that this blog has started this discussion.
Yes. Talking openly about our habits and behaviours is really important. We then get to see how so many of our beliefs are ridiculous.