Am I or Do I Have a Body

Am I or Do I Have a Body

Story submitted by Helena Gwyn, Illustrations by Jan Broekhuizen

Ten years ago, when I, having recently passed 30, with as catalyser gender confusion and a burnout, started walking the conscious Path to my Self, the aforementioned question was vital to not have my search end with a physical transition. 

From the academic approach I initially received the idea that a human is only or at least mainly a physical and material body within which everything happens or from which anything can be measured. The ‘solution’ can also only be found there. Everything outside of it is a concoction of the mind. The so-called gender identity must therefore situate itself inside the head as well. Some kind of alternative brain connection or a thought with which we identify ourselves. 

Although thoughts and emotions, with which we do in a certain way give shape to our reality, influence each other and although in the West we are conditioned from a young age to have a rather binary portrayal of humankind, I experienced this opinion as constricting. The deepest essence of ‘Who I Am’ did not feel like it coincided with my body and most definitely not only with ‘an idea’ or thought, conditioned or not. 

Within more spiritual approaches the opinion often shifts from ‘I am’ to ‘I have’ a body. One sometimes speaks of a Soul or something similar. But who or what then is that Soul or that ‘I’ who has this body? Do they even exist? And what does this mean for the experience of life with this body?

Here as well I kept running into a constricting approach. Suddenly the body wouldn’t matter to the same extent anymore. Or I had to just accept it as it is. That would be Self Love. But what do you with that deeper feeling that isn’t right? Where would that be? And if it doesn’t matter, can or is it allowed to be otherwise or to continue without this body?

Regardless of whether it is ‘I have’ or ‘I am’ a body: How do I do this, live as myself? With body and if possible Soul. When am I truly my Self? When do I experience real alignment?

My quest, this process of Self-actualization, has not come to an end yet. Maybe that end doesn’t exist either. Or I’ll return to the Beginning. 

In any case I desire to grow from within to a more holistic approach to this feeling and to full-fledgedly Be my Self, preferably without external modification or manipulation. 

I experience clearly and consciously that both my body as well as the projected human image are not aligned with ‘Who I Am’. Self acceptance and a deeper Self Love comprise of embracing everything in your Self. Both the body as well as the deeper feeling and the friction between the two. But also the untameable Joy that springs up in me when I among other things show my expression fully, even though it doesn’t ‘fit’ the ruling image of humanity.

Because of that growing Self Love I’m in a sense grateful for this form with which I, through my current holistic puzzle, embark on this Earthly experience. Without the friction between feeling and form, I would never have come to the deepening that this experience has already brought me.

Nevertheless, I would deny a part of my Self if I had to submit to that friction. It’s there for a reason, is what I feel. Maybe it has its root in a still-to-heal trauma and I will grow through it only to a full acceptance of what is. Or maybe from and on top of that acceptance through Self Love and awareness a whole new form of my Self and Human Being will grow. 

Time will tell. In any case, for me absolute Being Human happens at the intersection of all those dimensions of existence, both the tangible and intangible. And the core of it is, untouchable, in your Self.