My two kids grew up hearing, “You know your body best. What is it saying?” Even as young as two, three years old they knew what their bodies needed. It is a gift I am glad I gave them.
When living with a chronic illness, we often blame our bodies for the pain. We send them hate messages. However, it is my belief that our bodies are incredible and want good things for us. They are our partners in life. As good partners they are often sending us messages to slow down, rest, take the day off, relax, reduce your stress, and eat better.
Like my kids, I am generally pretty good at listening to the messages my body sends to me. The right combination of medications for my body as allowed the inflammation to take a break, but the fatigue that comes with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be awful. My body understands that when I go outside my boundaries (not always ones I have set for myself but ones that RA feels I need), it starts giving me messages. When I have done too much physically, I wake up feeling it in my hands, feet, and knee. When I let stress take over, my body starts shutting down and I am no good to anyone. Sometimes I ignore my body and keep going. However, the consequences are rarely worth it.
The body amazes me. It seems to have figured out what I am capable of doing as an introvert, a woman living with a chronic illness, and as a person who is 50 years old. Sometimes my mind likes to break off from the rest of my body and think for itself. It tells me to ignore the messages the rest of my body are giving me. My mind says, “I can do one more thing.” Nope. When my mind works alone, it always fails me. I have to listen to the messages my body as a whole are sending me. It always knows best. I just have to listen hard enough that I hear the message.
What about you? Do you listen to your body? Do you appreciate the wisdom it holds?