Monday, June 6, 2011

Making friends with your body

Contrary to the stories, I see nothing noble in "toughing it out." That may be a Protestant work-ethic I was raised with, but taken too far it becomes soul-shattering. Taken too far, it can kill you. There's nothing noble about that. There have to be reasonable limits.

I hate what my body does on a regular basis. But it's a dangerous thing for me to hate my body. That hits some psychological buttons there. My body is part of me. I'm hating part of me. Ew.

So what do I do? Because, as far as I'm concerned, my body may as well be Pol-Pot or Stalin for what it does to me. Even though my body treats me like that, I can't allow myself to think of it like that. I make an enemy of myself.

The best answer, believe it or not, actually came to me in a vision induced by a level 10 migraine. I was in complete white-out, even though it was pitch dark in the bathroom at night. I was resisting taking pain pills. I was in the shower trying to treat with ice packs and heat. And in that white-out I saw myself---a version of myself---holding the hand of a very young version of me (about 5). And I asked myself:

"Would you allow this child to be in this level of pain?"

"No! Absolutely not!"

"Then why are you doing it to yourself?"

I broke down in tears and took the damn pill. Because I'm not cherishing myself when I allow myself to suffer and there's an option to notI don't need to push myself hard needlessly. I can think of my body like a sick child rather than a dictator. Then I can't forgive it for the burdens it places on me. Then I can even make friends with it.


  1. So true, so very true. I have to stop and ask myself - if this were your friend, how would you judge / treat / advise them? We are so much nicer to other people than we are to ourselves!