I recently had a friend who has been blessed with pretty great physical health for most of his life; a couple of small day surgeries, a minor motorcycle incident, a bit of a struggle with keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly, but overall, in pretty good shape; ‘suddenly’ struck down with severe pain. He couldn’t remember doing anything to cause this sudden onset, and he was pretty shaken with how much of life became intolerable, due to this pain.
I see this happen, again and again, in my practice, people who have never had an issue physically, suddenly get sick, or experience pain, and they don’t know what to do. It’s as if they have been living with a body all these years but never paid attention to it.
Sound like a familiar relationship pattern?
The same thing happens in many relationships. You get past the initial ‘in love’ phase, and then things just tick over for years, until suddenly, BAM, you are getting a divorce, or in serious trouble. Often you feel dazed, not understanding how this happened out of the blue, and wishing you could just take a pill, and make it all go away.
So back to the story of my friend, his first reaction was shock, then anger and frustration. I mean, how could his body betray him in this way? What did he do to deserve this kind of treatment?
It wasn’t fair.
And of course, it doesn’t seem fair, just like your partner suddenly proclaiming that you never pay attention, and they are unhappy, and maybe they are leaving you, isn’t fair. The question is, is it preventable? Were there signs?
And again, of course, there were.
There are always signs if you know what to look for.
The trick is to know what to look for, or as in the case of my friend, go looking for the signs after the fact, and see if you can unravel the real issue.
In the case of your body, as in a relationship, it is about noticing the small changes and paying attention. Were there warning signs, tightness, aches, and pains? Even numbness or a sense of detachment to parts of your body can spell trouble down the road. A lack of self-care, not eating properly, drinking too much coffee or alcohol, not fitting in your daily walk or meditation... all of these can add to a downward spiral in the relationship with your body.
You can last for awhile on empty, months maybe years, but just as in a partner relationship, the bond between you and your body has to be nurtured.
Have you asked your body lately what it wants? What brings your body pleasure? What feels good?
Sometimes we have become so distanced from our body that it has to speak out loudly, with pain or disease even. This is not the true betrayal, the true betrayal likely started a long time ago.
The true betrayal was YOU not paying attention to your body, not paying attention to those small signs of discontent.
As in a partner relationship, our body rarely collapses suddenly without cause. The trick is to listen and cultivate a partnership with our body from the beginning. Or at the least, from Right Now!
How can you make a small step towards your body and your pleasure today?
Give yourself a hug, rub your feet, put some nice cream on your skin?
Take a few minutes and tune in to your inner feelings and sensations, ask yourself what you need and see if you can give that to yourself. Think of it as a date night!
Let me know how that goes,
With love, Ailsa