"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Listen to Your Body

The advice I received when I exited the hospital two weeks ago was, "Listen to you body!"

I have never been very good at listening to my body-- maybe that is part of the reason I ended up flat on my back with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 10 years ago.

My body takes second string to the other "voices" of my mind, my heart, my wants (or will) and my sinful tendencies. I can easily listen to and hear the many Stephanie-shoulds... the many, many "ought-tos". I compare and judge myself.

To actually listen to the cues that my loving Creator, my Father, has put in my body is a concept that I have struggled with most of my life.

Exhaustion and fatigue come as a second/third/fourth reminder of a general "tiredness" that was the first, gentle nudge to take a rest. What if I just listened more to that first sign of "tiredness"--- of body, of mind, of spirit and or soul? ...never having to get to that exhaustion and fatigue.

Anxiety and "overwhelmed" are second/third/fourth reminders of that general feeling of calculation and control (list making!) red flag that Father God has shown me. What if I heard that "list-making" and "planning" as the first sign to sit for a moment and rest, trust and release it to my Father's hands. Would I never get to Overwhelmed??

I have even found this journey difficult when learning to rightly relate to food. What if I just ate when I was legitimately hungry and stopped when I was truly, physically "politely" full? What happens? I know this one; because in my battle against gluttony and food-lust, this as been the best cure: wait for the God-given clue of a growling stomach and stop when you are full. ...then wait for the growl again. Simple enough, right? For years, this has been my passport to freedom from food's domination. And yet, even here, I have other voices--- other hungers--- that call out and tell me to listen to them!

So, as I recover from my operation, I keep trying to figure out the "when" about this recovery (I want some rules please!)... when can I start to cook, to clean, to walk further and to sit for long periods of time? When should I do this or do that? And, then, my sweet husband reminds me that there is no formula. OH! how I like my formula and rules. There are only guidelines and my body to lead the way--- how ambiguous is that??!

So, I have to be aware of my heart and it's deceitful desires to trick me! And, I have to listen to those love gifts that my kind Father has given me and my body.

Me and my UNIQUE body... which is different than "hers", "his", ...yours. Don't we compare, too? ...which adds to the noise of those other voices.

I can listen to those first, God-given clues of tiredness, calculating, and hunger. ...and maybe I will avoid the exhaustion, the anxiety, and the gluttony. Now, that would be a sight to see!!

Help me, Father! Only You can teach me this. Make me truly aware of my heart, my lusts, and my shoulds. Make me aware of my body and how you have uniquely created it. Teach me and lead me forward in this, I ask.
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