Bodies and the Importance of Feeling.

I would like to start this post by pointing out that this time it will be an atypical one. We normally write about ourselves and we have continuously used this platform to share with you our deepest struggles and our greatest accomplishments. Today, stemmed from the previous mentioned, I would like to challenge you to do some introspection and to focus on yourself. What is it that makes you feel the most ? How do you connect ? How do we connect ?
Less than six years ago, I was going through one of the most challenging stages of my life. It was a time filled with grief, violence, regret, and disappointment. I was disoriented, had low self-esteem, and was completely traumatized. The scars of those years are still visible and I am in a constant search for inner peace and forgiveness. More than anything and more than anyone, I want to finally learn to forgive myself. Although I have come a long way and I am happy with the person I have become, I am sporadically haunted by the sneaky and mischievous ghosts of the past.
As a former victim of physical and psychological abuse, I have unconsciously shut myself off. Every time I believe I have taken two steps forward, I take one back. I struggle to feel, to trust, to connect. Healing takes time and, although painful, it can also be a beautiful process. I would like to share with you part of my introspection, because -today- I focus on bodies and the importance of feeling.
Many times I ran with bleeding feet, empty aching stomach, menstrual cramps, and weak ankles. I was hurting, I was desperate, and the anxiety took all of my breath away. The mountains gave me shelter and had a curious way to scold me and hug me at the same time. I appreciated that quality and was immensely grateful for it. However, back in those days, little did I stop to check on my burning blisters or my aching feet, I was so in my mind, I forgot that my body was -in a way- there. I wonder now if that was a way for me to block away the pain, and not the obviousness of the moment, but the one I was experiencing in that stage of my life. I was so obsessed with trail running, I reached a point where I was being irresponsible and not taking proper care of my body. I wanted to block away all of the pain and was successful at it. I must point out that all of this goes beyond me ignoring a blister to get all the way to the finish line, it represents my evasion of the time and my desperate need to disconnect.

I feel the most through touch, I connect and disconnect through it. As a physical person, when the body is hurt, its ability to connect shuts down. Today I work on feeling, to the touch and to the soul.

Thank you for being part of our journey. I would love to read you and know in how many other ways we can feel and most importantly, connect. 

Much love,

Gaia (Co-writer) theDIHEDRAL




36 thoughts on “Bodies and the Importance of Feeling.

  1. RhapsodyBoheme says:

    I’m glad you have learned to take better care of yourself and I can relate with you. We always put ourselves last and push sometimes beyond healthy measures. In the end we can’t be good for anybody else if we don’t take care of ourselves. xo

    Liked by 5 people

  2. saftythird says:

    I know this reality all too well. In fact, as I write this, I’m rehabbing some serious injuries as a result of pushing too far. But I guess we learn to respect our bodies boundaries eventually. I think it’s just a learning curve, and as time goes on we become better and find a balance that warrants peak performance. Keep up the hard work!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Fred says:

    Sounds like you are not connecting to your body. You are treating it as a disposable means to an end and not a priceless end in itself.

    Most people are so far disconnected from their bodies they don’t revere them as they should. All bodies are God’s (or Mother Nature’s) creations and deserve respect and love. They are your mind’s only connection to life. Nothing is so liberating as to say, “Here I am, warts and scars and wrinkles and all and it is still good and wonderful!” Even if you are only saying it to yourself.

    The next time you do a long hike or jog in the middle of nowhere, take a hint from my avatar and do it as close to naked as you dare. It may start out scary but after a while it will be quite a rush, like “runner’s high” squared. And if you keep going beyond that with an open mind and heart, **you’ll forget you are naked**. When that happens, you are finally connected to yourself.

    When there is nothing but beauty around you, when the physical needs of your body, the warmth of the sun, the coolness of perspiration, the sounds of the wind in the trees and the birds and insects calling, and the occasional glimpse of wildlife are all you are aware of, life is at its best. You can never get closer to nature than this.

    Don’t forget the sunscreen if you’ll be out very long.


    1. thedihedral says:

      It was just like that Fred. I found that out the hard way but thankfully I was able to open my eyes ! Every day presents a new challenge and I am willing to face them !

      Thank you for the advice and I’ll make sure to wear lots of sunscreen haha.
      Take care,


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tiara Youngblood says:

    Thank you so much for sharing a part of your journey. Being reminded about the ghosts of the past is definitely not a pleasant place to be, but I’m glad that you managed to share the most vulnerable truths of life in this piece. Please do continue to explore your strengths, whether it be focusing on your own emotions or being able to help others reflect on their own, just as this post has helped me think more about my own.

    ~The strongest people have experienced the most pain.~

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thedihedral says:

      Thank you Tiara, for taking some minutes of your day on reading this piece and reflecting on it. I am beyond grateful and moved that it has helped you.
      Let’s keep on growing and loving !



  5. Argus says:

    Especially love that opening image ~ brilliant!

    Your story seems almost a universal in the bloggosphere. I don’t know enough to advise, beyond suggesting that you seem to be taking your remedies to punishing levels—why punish yourself if it’s not your fault?

    You asked what makes me feel the most? An honest answer would be “Being alone in nature”. I always did a lot against the rules, but calculating risks and being prepared to accept consequences of misjudgement I went ahead anyway. Nature was always kind in return, and therein lay peace.

    Do your thing, yes; for improvement, yes; for escape, yes; but not to excess.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. florenceandtheai says:

    I’m an odd duck. I’m extremely introverted, bordering slightly on misanthropic, but I have to be giving some part of myself to feel most connected. I need a lot of time to myself to recharge, but it’s only around other people that I feel the most “whatever” it is.
    Thank you kindly for the like. I’m still figuring out this whole blogging thing.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Orenda Wellness says:

    Dear Gaia,
    holy shit thank you. im struggling with feeling atm. i posted now my experience here:

    i can pretty much run through anything and fuck im sick of pain. today im hobbling. my bike trainer’s been hinting at breaking and today she went. i ran knowing i shouldn’t – i ran monday this week for first time in ages and knew that two runs so close together would be shit. and shit they were.

    this post is comforting. im struggling right now, hurts to walk. ego is angry, i am sad, soul is exhausted.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. writegardener says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog which inevitably led me to yours. I learned the hard way over 15 years ago that my body speaks to me in the only language it can. And if I don’t pay attention to it, as was often the case, it would get louder and louder. If I still didn’t listen, it would simply quit. Like saying, “I’m not going anymore.” Frantic, I would then take notice. Because I had to. It was a very steep and lengthy climb back to good health. Now, I am more inclined to eat when I am hungry (and preferably something healthy), and rest when I am tired. I have now gone beyond that to pay attention to how I feel — in particular places and with particular people. It is a journey in which we are all learning together and on our own. Thank you for your honest sharing. Warm wishes as you continue honoring your self.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. hdjustice says:

    Thank you for ‘liking’ my post. As many others I am sure, it led me back to you.
    In reading your post, it makes me think of how we disconnect ourselves from so much that, while not especially pleasant, could make us stronger, more resilient and better to cope with the next thing that comes along. It is hard, but I am glad you are aware and have come a long way. I am sure you are an inspiration to many others who have yet begun their own journey. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Brave Explorer: Badass Women's Guide to Solo Backpacking says:

    This parallels much of the same sentiment that those with body dysphoria deal with. The shame we feel often forces us to detach from the mind body connection. You speak, in summary, about self compassion and self care that is inclusive of body. What a paradox to use your body to heal your shame, but to be detached from the needs of the body. I know that healing only comes from being able to appreciate the limitations of my body. At some point, I am not going to be able to run out into the woods to hike 20 miles or backpack. You, I, the rest of the beautiful souls literally cannot run from ourselves, so the need for other tools is evident. I am still finding them myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sara Wright says:

    “I wonder now if that was a way for me to block away the pain, and not the obviousness of the moment, but the one I was experiencing in that stage of my life.”

    Running, psychological or physical eventually catches up with us.

    I too have experienced much psychological pain and for most of my life ran from it by staying in my mind and abandoning this body of mine. I have come to forgive myself for this abandonment, for that was all I knew. However, today, under duress, my tendency is always to take flight from the pain by leaving my body. The problem now is that it is so automatic to do this that it occurs unconsciously. Vigilance isn’t enough ; sometimes I simply have to endure those periods.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Angela says:

    I’m going against the masses and say that neglecting your inner self is far, far more detrimental than abusing your body. Our inner being, everything that we are stems from inside, no amount of running, no amount of working out, no amount of food or shopping or..(insert your vice) will change that inner dialogue. Learning to look inside ourselves to heal, learning to love ourselves as we are, raw, emotional, damaged beings is where the true peace will come from. Our bodies are vessels nothing more, it is what is inside that truly matters and when we find the peace from within the body can shine on the outside.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. thelavainnah says:

    Very sorry it had to happen to you. As I had experienced quite the same thing myself, I would say that you were not alone. You never were. Just something to get you by. Sometimes, knowing that you’re not the only one facing it alone helps. Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pazlo says:

      I hold with those that think as Angela does. I’m not against taking care of the physical self, it is a necessity, and joy can be experienced more fully when pains (physical/mental/emotional) are muted.
      The accursed human brain is flawed with an instinctive trust. Trusting instinct shared by all animals that raise and teach their young. The trusting instinct causes our minds to believe all the things we see and hear. Brain presumes the teachers are honest and caring and straightforward.
      Sadly, many human teachers of offspring (which is to say ALL human adults) are philosophers and dreamers of non-reality, they are hawkers of wares, they are harlequins of self-absorption, corrupters of minds, thieves. No doubt some may even mean well, but how can one teach what one knows not? Even the “brightest” minds, present or past, have been raised in this unpredictable and inconsistent sea of brains searching since birth for teachers, and trusting all they hear. If you can find a human that has never interacted with other humans you may find a pure teacher. One that will tell you how to eat and shelter and procreate. There is nothing more to our existence in the reality of this universe, no different than all other living things.
      We, our pasts, our teachers, ourselves, have taught one another that there is a great mystery, a great suffering, a great higher calling which we are bound by duty to seek and see.
      From the start, we are hobbled with this non-reality.
      There is hope.
      If you can find yourself…YOUR – SELF – alone…just you and the cosmos.
      Not what society expects or your brain wants or what the TV says you should be or feel or look like.
      There is no place in our Great Cosmos for inequality or non-reality.
      We can fool ourselves and torture ourselves with the over-reaching thoughts of this over-active brain.
      The Cosmos will simply roll on, roll over us like molten lava flows to the sea.
      When you see that you are a tiny, insignificant meaningless speck in a giant cosmos of wonder, you will realize how important you truly are. Your speck is as beautiful and wondrous as the greatest and grandest displays in our universe, and is born from them. Nebulae and starfields and galaxies so distant you will never see them, yet you are a part of it.
      This is my true inner peace.
      You don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to be beautiful, you don’t NEED to BE ANYTHING at all to belong in this cosmos.
      The Desiderata tells us “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars.”

      Welcome home,


      Liked by 2 people

  14. dtills says:

    I can relate to your post as I started running to deal with a traumatic event in my life. I needed a way to deal with the pain and running, for hours, seemed to be the only way I could sleep at night. I had to be physically exhausted to keep my mind from churning and dwelling on my new reality (one I did not choose for myself). I have always used exercise as a coping mechanism, and thought of it as a healthy way to process life in general. As I work through this life transition I have been better about taking care of my physical self and have enjoyed training for half marathons, but still have to hold myself back during anxiety episodes, so I don’t over do it. It is a process and I need to stay on top of it, it would be nice to have more than 4 toenails! But I can’t give up activity and am grateful that my old body has held together so far!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Bald Beagle says:

    I covered up my emotional problems by working my brain too hard (before I quit grad school). I’ve had many successes, but it’s time to chill. Especially since I’ve been diagnosed with a rare degenerative neurological condition that is so far asymptomatic, thankfully (and some horrifically traumatizing but also other wonderful things that I won’t talk about in online.) Keep plugging along.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Create Space says:

    It is quite obvious to me that a lot of people are ‘feeling’ your post. By reaching out, sharing your story and connecting with so many others you have stirred up feelings and prompted introspection & feedback! Maybe you see now how valuable/capable you are, how much you count/the role you have? Keep going!! Not running from… but towards! X

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Alec Harper says:

    What’s the old saying? “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?” Nothing so satisfying than a complete rebuild from the ashes. Makes you realize that you are much stronger than you think. I also found Burns’ “10 ways of twisted thinking” a very provocative and ultimately liberating list. Helped me land much faster on my feet. Now, I don’t even worry about achieving “perfection”… I’ve learned to forgive myself the dumb decisions of youth as well as to forgive my parents. Retired at 55 a couple of years ago, sold off the crap I did not need, moved to a remote location in Colorado to live a more spartan lifestyle: a second chance. Great post. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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