Here’s the latest installment from our series of Cosmophilia Featured Articles, which are open to all readers. In this piece, Maria Jawan recounts her personal journey back into her body, through various therapeutic modes (including free-dance) after having dissociated from it for many years. Read the full article here. — Amanda P.
by Maria Jawan
Let me shout this right now from the rooftops: This is not about waiting it out! Life is not about “transcending” our bodies, disrespecting them, dragging them around like empty sacks, waging a relentless war against their needs; it’s about inhabiting them.
It’s not about putting up with numbness and frustration, fantasizing about all the good things that will come ‘eventually’, but claiming our right to joy, authenticity and contact through feeling our every cell, right now. Claiming tenderness, caring, loving touch, and acknowledging the beauty of our bodies.
These are basic rights, they are blessings to give and receive in this life, and we all deserve them.
I’ve spent my twenties and most of my thirties trying to do ‘the right thing, at the right time, in the right way’, while in practice disengaging from all activities pertaining to the living — relationships, fun, a job I could actually enjoy. I’ve lived for more than a decade in an empty house, alone, in contact with very few people, having sex only once in a while and only after being considerably drunk.
This has created a huge and very painful void in my life, made bearable for what now seems to me a surprisingly long time by living in my mind. I hoped that sometime, after I’d had enough therapy to ‘solve my issues’, or after I’d finished my PhD, things would finally fall into place.
I’ve felt like I have no right to experiment with or enjoy all the things so natural to the people around me — falling in and out of love, meeting someone new, having fulfilling jobs, having babies — but also simpler pleasures like going out for a drink, going to the movies or on vacation. Not only that, but I was also convinced I had to transcend all these experiences, and the feelings that come with them of course, as if they were natural and valid for everyone else…but not for me. I even avoided discussions about my personal situation regarding love or sex, utterly embarrassed that I almost never had something worth reporting and slightly baffled at how the whole thing seemed to work for almost everyone except me.