Do You Need to Apologize to Your Body?

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I did.

For a long time, my body was trying to talk to me.

It was trying to tell me, ever so gently, that I was pushing it too far. That I was not paying attention to the signals that I needed to rest.

I was good about giving it nutritious, clean  food, and my body was grateful. It showed its gratitude by keeping me pretty healthy all my life, and at a fairly even weight all my life. During those times when I ate a bit too much junk food, Body put on weight, making me uncomfortable in my clothing. I didn’t want that, so I quit the junk food and my body shed the pounds. Effortlessly, I might add.

I was also good about giving it exercise. My body was happy about that, too. It obliged by keeping me energetic and fairly flexible.

(If you listen to your body, you see it is totally on your side. Your body is all about you surviving and thriving. It is always striving to keep everything in balance and functioning according to design.)

Now my body is desperately trying to tell me there was one thing I lack, one important thing that could make or break everything else.

I need more rest.

Not only more sleep, but more rest.

I hardly knew what that meant. I was used to go, go, go. Wasn’t that why Body was giving me so much energy, after all?

For years Body has patiently tried to instruct me that that energy needed to be restored periodically. Body was very patient with me, reluctantly obliging my pushing through the fatigue by pumping out more adrenaline and cortisol. It tried to tell me there would be a price to pay down the line.

I wasn’t listening. I took the extra energy boosts and figured I was OK. That “second wind” in the evenings was just what I wanted to get my creative work done. Thank you, Body.

Body shook her head and sent another quiet reminder that there would be a toll to pay eventually.

Now Body is growing more urgent. Like the email that pops us saying “your bill is due on such and such a date,” Body is telling me that my time is almost up. I must change–or else.

I don’t want to know what “or else” looks like. I’ve written about the wake-up call I got when I read about what happened to Mark Virkler. He ignored his body’s signals, too, until–he had a heart attack. That was his “or else.”

My first step in being able to listen to my dear Body was to pinpoint what “heart issue” was causing me to ignore Body. When I read a section in Dr. Jonice Webb’s Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect, I found the answer. Since my parents were not in tune with me emotionally, they did not pay attention to my signals that I needed rest. So I never learned to tune in, either. In addition, my first weeks were spent in the NICU, fighting for my life. “Rest” then would have meant not surviving. Or so my heart came to believe.

Once I began healing that “heart issue” first through healing prayer and The Healing Codes, I was ready to start listening to Body.

Body is doing her best to help me. She gives me signals, for instance, when I’ve been sitting at the computer for too long. That pain in my neck means I need to get up and move–preferably taking a break to do some of the exercises my physical therapist gave me for my neck.

Periodically checking in and asking, “How am I feeling in my body? What does my body need right now?” does wonders–when I remember to do it. I have a sticky note in the bathroom to remind me (and one in my office, to remind me that I might have to use the bathroom!).

At a certain time in the evening, way earlier than I want to stop, Body starts giving me signals that it’s time to quit everything and close down. I no longer seem able to keep on pushing past that fatigue point.

In order to listen to Body, I have to change some things. I am seeking ways to Do Less. I work in a more focused, intentional way during the day to get things done, and am more vigilant about allowing distractions. I am trying to focus on what’s the “One Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary.” Body tells me that One Thing is rest.

Specifically, more brief rest times throughout the day, and getting to bed earlier at night. “That ‘second wind’ time is best used for the rejuvenation that will come from the deep sleep cycles between 10pm and midnight,” Body tells me. (She can be very specific.)

When I tune in and let Body call the shots, she’s very, very happy. She gives a lot back to me for  my obedience: energy, joy, patience, greater flexibility and a sense of well-being.

One thing she did ask, ever so shyly. “I would appreciate an apology,” she said. “I’ve worked very hard for you all these years. I’ve carried you through so much, protected you, and I store all the events of your life. I’m really glad to do so, and I’m glad that you have been working on healing and releasing the negative images, beliefs, and memories. Can you thank me for all I’ve done for you? And can you apologize for the times when you didn’t listen to me and I tried my best to serve you anyway? Can you apologize for all the warnings you ignored?”

“I’m so sorry, Body, for ignoring your signals. Forgive me, please. Thank you for all you’ve done for me, all these years. Thank you for how smart you are–you know how to do so many things automatically without my even thinking about it! How can I not trust your wisdom? Help me to listen better. Help me to make your work easier.”

Have you ever felt your whole body smile?

If you would like some help in listening to your body and healing the things that get in the way of your best life, consider getting some coaching. Even if you feel you don’t know how to listen to your body, your body will talk to me through my energy testing. Once you start listening to your body and loving it, it will love you back in unforeseen ways!

 

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