Other People LYBFL Podcast Episode Art

Other People, that you might not know or have any kind or type of relationship with, are in the way of your body liberation.

Because they’re making the laws.

They’re creating the systems.

They’re upholding and enforcing and reinforcing all of the things that confine you and keep you believing the status quo.

And I recently realized that though these things are true, they require your buy-in for them to have power over you.

Other People are in the Way of Your Body Liberation

by Tiana Dodson

This is the crappy part, because it is an incrimination of us that says we are also part of the system and oppressing ourselves.

But regardless of how the language of the of systems of oppression and diet culture try to make it your fault that you buy-in to these systems that you are wrong and bad, unworthy and unlovable, none of that is your fault.

It is not your fault.

Because you’ve been told these things since birth. You were born with a trauma passed down through the generations because none of this stuff is new.

You were not given a chance to find yourself free of the constraints of oppression and supremacy.

So if you buy into these systems, of course you do. You have had no other choice because Other People are in the way of your body liberation.

You were not given a chance to find yourself free of the constraints of oppression and supremacy.

Other People have already laid a path for you and started pushing you down that direction by the indoctrination you received, by the conditioning, by the social norms. All of those things push you down this road of continued reinforcement of the status quo of domination, supremacy, and hierarchy.

So if you believe these things, if you have given that power to them, it’s because you didn’t know there was another option.

You didn’t have any idea.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

None of us do.

Yet there tend to be cracks in the Matrix.

There are little glitches, where we if we are willing, able, and capable of seeing them, that we’ll see these glitches and think, “Wait, hold on. That doesn’t add up. These things don’t make sense. I don’t know if that’s actually true anymore.”

And some of us don’t have the capacity to continue down that rabbithole trying to chase down the questions, “Is it true? Could there be something different?”

Not all of us have that option or opportunity.

Some of us are really needing to continue the performance of the status quo because that is where our safety lies.

That is where our belonging, our acceptance exists.

And for some of us, we cannot survive without that existence, without that belonging and acceptance.

Because the truth  is that even though Other People are the threat to our body liberation, the actual threat is not belonging.

The actual threat is being tossed out.

The actual threat is being absolutely and utterly alone without support.

And that kills people.

The actual threat is not belonging.

Having support is so necessary and so important.

It’s the thing that makes sure that we keep moving forward each day.

The thing that that keeps us wanting to be here for tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that, because we have connections.

Because we have relationships with other people.

Because there are things that we care about and that we receive joy from.

That need to belong, that desire to belong is just survival.

That is your instinct.

That’s the conditioning that you can’t get rid of.

You may not have been given the opportunity and the space to question how you are belonging or the cost of your belonging to the status quo, because it hurts you, because it causes you pain, because it forces you to perform versus finding out who you actually are.

Because it’s a luxury.

And it’s daring.

Because it can be dangerous to question the status quo and your place in it.

So we keep performing because we need that belonging. Every single one of us does.

Because it can be dangerous to question the status quo and your place in it.

Other People are in the way of our body liberation simply because the consequences of not belonging are dire.

But the truth is that Other People can also be the way to our body liberation because there are people who came before you who started the disruptions in their own lives and had that ripple out to touch others and dislodge them from the necessity to perform and hold to the status quo that reinforces hierarchy, dominance and oppression.

These people dared to question.

These people made the space for themselves through the sacrifice required of them to actually dream and start to create something new and different where they could be who they wanted to be.

And in them doing that, in them taking those risks, and sometimes sacrificing their lives and their livelihoods for them, they made space for other people to follow after them.

They dug the tunnel that, if you just find the entrance and have the daring, the bravery, to step into and continue following, you could find that space for yourself.

But none of that is easy.

This is why we need Other People.

We need the trailblazers, the people who are going to crack open the facade and dig the tunnel for us to follow through.

We need the trailblazers, the people who are going to crack open the facade and dig the tunnel for us to follow through.

But we also need people around us who are willing to hold our hands and link elbows with us and move along those tunnels, move along those paths with us.

To help hold us when we’re not strong enough. To be there with us. To help us continue our questioning. To continue to have the discussions and hold us in our anger, and our fear, and our longing, and our grief.

We need those Other People because we need to be able to learn how to do those same things.

To hold Other People in their anger, and their longing, and their grief.

We need to be able to both be witnessed in our joy of exploration and to also witness Other People’s joy in their exploration so that we can find that there are other ways to do the things that we want to be doing.

We need Other People and we need spaces where those Other People are creating home, safety, and belonging for us outside of the systems of oppression and dominance and hierarchy.

So yes, Other People are in our way.

But those Other People require us to buy-in to the unfortunate fact that they hold power over us, that their status quo requires us to bear fealty to it, to continue to be loyal, and to continue to tithe and serve it for the price of belonging.

But if you want more than the limitations of the captivity of the status quo, then you also need Other People.

These Other People might look different and might be different people completely. 

But we are never ever doing this work alone.

You might discover the work on your own because of a trail blazed by someone else before you.

But you cannot move forward in this work of liberation by yourself.

It is not possible.

We are never doing this work alone.

We have to look at what is wrong out there in the world so that we can critique it and try to figure out how to make something better.

What can we build? What are we working toward? What do we want? What can we dare to dream about? 

And it’s complicated and it’s messy and none of us know what the fuck we’re doing.

So I invite you to take a little time to think about who is in your life that fits into these camps. 

  • Who are the people who are holding you in versus who are the people committed to breaking you out?
  • Who are the people who are maybe holding you in in one way, but breaking you out in another? (There are probably so many of those.)

Reflecting on who the Other People in your life can be a way to help you better begin to see how your body liberation journey is affected. And, just maybe, it’ll help you find steadier footing on your path. Good luck!

If you are interested in continuing this uncomfortable and messy conversation with me, feel free to join my list below.