The people described in this blog are composites of many different clients with whom I have worked. Names and identifying characteristics are fictitious, and any resemblance to a single person is coincidental.

The soft animal of your body

“I just can’t let myself rest.”  “I can’t accept praise.”  “I can’t allow myself to trust.”  “If someone is mad at me I feel so bad about myself.”  “I feel guilty a lot of the time.”  “I feel I’m trapped, like don’t have any choices.”  “If I can’t reach my partner I feel all alone, like no one loves me.”  “I can’t let my guard down, just in case…”

All these people are waiting for something.  They are waiting until they deserve to have what they long for.  They may not see it that way, but in their automatic dismissal of their wants, in their unquestioning obedience to their ideas of how things work, they make themselves wait, sometimes forever, to let themselves live the life they are meant to live.

The soft animal of your bodyAre you waiting?  Are you waiting until you will finally have been patient enough, or perfect enough, or “strong” enough, or good enough, or otherwise have earned enough points to get yourself out of whatever subconscious hole you believe yourself to be in?

What if you are already deserving?  Yes, you.  What if there is nothing you need to do before you have a right to give yourself rest, to feel self esteem, to trust, to feel good about yourself, to feel free, to feel loved, to feel safe?

There is a story we make up as children to explain the places where our world does not meet us with the warm interest and nonjudgement we need to feel safe and loved.  And that story helps us cope with the difficult feelings that rise up in our little bodies and the painful flood of chemistry in our immature brains.  We tell ourselves we are not safe, not good enough, that we are bad, imprisoned, unloved, unlovable….  And we then spend the rest of our lives trying to correct that deficit so that we can finally have what we have always deserved.

Listen to the words of poet Mary Oliver:

  • You do not have to be good.  You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.  You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Over and over I invite you (and myself) to approach the body, listen to the body, feel the body, so that we may have the powerful authentic life that awaits us.  There is nothing to make up for, nothing to repent, nothing more we need to “do”.

Your body longs for happiness.  Longs for the safety and love that will let it breathe and move and feel and taste and live.

The wait is over.  You are already everything you need to be.  You are already free.  You are already good enough.  You already deserve to feel good about yourself.  You are already loveable. You are already loved.

And you are already so worth it.


The soft animal of my body is asking for a break from my blog writing for awhile, so I welcome you to review my earlier posts (more than 120 entries over the past three years) and even more important, I invite you to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.  I will be back late September.

With love, Sandra


Photo Credit:  Photogoddess

Dr. Sandra Parker, copyright 2009 - Dr. Sandra Parker. The stories & quotes in this blog are fictional. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only.
(translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)

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