How do I start to love my body?

Updated: Feb 23




So many of us who were raised in toxic religious communities were deeply impacted by purity culture (If you’re not sure what that is, I’ll leave a definition at the bottom of the post. *)




Because of this we often feel disconnection to our bodies, or just don’t know where to begin when it comes to loving our own bodies.





We were told our monthly bleeding was gross, impure, or dirty. This was enforced with bible verses and the general culture of our leaders and then peers.


I remember one instance where my mom told me that she basically made a deal with Jesus that she wouldn’t start her period anywhere besides a bathroom (to spare her the embarrassment of blood on her clothes) and that he had kept his promise. I remember thinking “that's so great, I’ll just do that too” and praying that I too, would be spared embarrassing periods. I was pretty disappointed when Jesus didn’t come through for me the same way he had apparently done for my mom. I do not in any way blame my mom for this, but it was then I learned that it would be horribly shameful if someone else could see that I was on my period. "Don't let anyone else know," is what I understood.



There’s no question about puberty being challenging to everyone, in many ways. Our society's culture is steeped in religious tradition and narratives, so whether or not you were raised religious I don’t doubt that you were still given similar messages.



The unique thing about Purity culture and the Evangelical Christian culture is that it was written in our sacred book, and then talked about from the pulpit. God himself had declared us dirty. Our male leaders spoke about women being “unclean” on their periods. The amount of shame this puts on those who bleed is so painful.



I put together some questions and exercises below that I have found helpful on my own journey. Healing is a process, and I just want to give a gentle reminder that everything your mind and heart have felt and experienced is stored in your body. Your body needs as much healing as your mind and heart.


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Journal Prompts:


What were you taught about your body growing up?



What do you believe about your body now?



What do you want to believe about your body?



Write out a list of 20 things your body does for you.


Exercise:


Stand in front of a mirror with as little clothing on as you’re comfortable with.

Touch each part of your body and thank that part for what it does for you.

(Example: touch your arms and thank them for allowing you to give and receive hugs).

If a part of your body has suffered chronically, or in an especially painful way, try saying something neutral, like "I know you're doing your best." or "You have been through a lot, and thats hard."



Now sit down somewhere comfy and close your eyes. How does it feel to sit in your body?

Can you feel your toes? Your legs? Your ears?



I hope you found this enlightening. I would really love to hear your experience with these questions and exercises. Please leave me a comment, send me and email, or DM me on instagram.


With Love,


Christina C,

Life Coach





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*** Purity Culture is the phrase used to describe the movement within Evangelical Christianity that became obsessed with "Virginity" and sexual "Purity." Specific pressure was put on those raised as women to remain "sexually pure" until marriage. The practice of Courtship (several chaperoned dates with a person your families approve of), and the a proposal of marriage. The woman is very passive, and meant to be submissive in everything except fiercely protecting her own "purity." Purity Culture is responsible for a lot of Rape culture, and victim blaming. In short = it's a fucking nightmare.

The man who sparked and profited the most on this movement is no longer in support of the movement and has expressed deep regret for ever promoting this.

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