It’s so frustrating to have poor health, to be in pain, or to have a body that doesn’t work.
I know what it’s like to feel angry with my body. It betrayed me by not allowing me to do the things I wanted to do – even rest comfortably.
And I was aware I didn’t look real good either, but there were plenty of times I wouldn’t have cared about that if I could just stop being in pain.
How are you ever meant to make peace with your body when it’s uncooperative, unwell, or doesn’t look the way you want?
See things from your body’s point of view
Your body has its own consciousness. It perceives the way you feel about it, and reacts to your emotions about it.
Louise Hay describes the body as a ‘faithful servant’ working round the clock to keep you alive. How would you feel if you were working hard for someone every day, doing your best, without a word of thanks or appreciation?
What if the only attention you were ever given was to have a fault picked out?
How do you expect your body to feel when you ignore everything it is doing right and focus only on its perceived failings?
If you are relating to an employee, pet, or a child, the more constructive approach is to focus on the positive. It’s the same with your body. Notice and express appreciation for everything your body is managing well.
Focusing on gratitude creates an environment that encourages healing.
This is NOT about dismissing your suffering. I’m not suggest you paper over the pain and say it’s not so bad. This isn’t about lying to yourself about how you feel, so you can just suck it up and get on with it.
This is just about taking a few minutes to acknowledge and appreciate what is going right in your body. Even if that’s not a lot right now.
What is there to be grateful for?
Sit quietly, and close your eyes if you are comfortable doing so. Slow down your breathing and tune into how your body feels.
If you feel niggles or discomfort or pain, acknowledge that and allow it to be there.
Then go beyond that discomfort and begin to think about the things that are going well in your body.
Think about the mobility you do have. You can breathe well enough to still be alive, so be grateful at least for that. Do you have some sight and hearing? If so, that’s a good thing. Is your skin largely intact? Do you have some hair left? Does your digestion function at least a bit? There must be something about your body that is working okay or not causing you trouble.
Be grateful for the unseen organs that work all day and night secreting chemicals, processing food, growing, repairing and replacing. Be grateful for your trillions of microscopic cells turning over and doing their thing. And for the subconscious depths of your brain that controls the whole process.
You may not have fashionable thighs, or wonderfully functioning lungs, but maybe your gall-bladder is top of its game! Thank your body for all the work it does.
Can you remember a time you got sick or injured and then recovered? Think of all the cuts and scrapes you have had in your life and the great job your body did of growing the skin back together each time.
There have probably been many times you were exposed to some kind of illness and your body fought it off before you even noticed. Thank your body for always doing its best to try to return you to health.
You wouldn’t still be alive if it weren’t for your body’s daily efforts.
The warning system
If the fuel gauge in your car was on empty, you wouldn’t be angry with the car. You would just accept that the car needs more fuel now. You also wouldn’t expect the car to continue operating without fuel simply because it wasn’t convenient right now to refuel.
Ill health is often the body’s warning system telling us we need to change something we are doing. The body doesn’t deserve your anger for simply warning you that it needs something.
Ask yourself honestly if you regard your body in an adversarial way. If so, it may be time to gently drop that extend a hand of friendship. To listen to it, instead of silencing its voice all the time.
Thank your body for the feedback it gives you. Even if you don’t enjoy the form that feedback comes in, acknowledge it as valuable information. Information that, when heeded, can steer you in a direction that will be in your best interest.
Louise Hay said that illness is always an invitation to love your body more. This isn’t to say that ill health is your fault for not loving your body. It means that loving your body when it is ill, damaged or malfunctioning will provide an emotional environment that is conducive to healing.
Choose to make friends with your body
Pat yourself on the hand or arm and reassure your body that you are now going to be kinder to it, less critical, and more appreciative. Tell your body you look forward to working together with it to create more health and happiness for you both.
It does sound a little strange, but I am a big believer in talking to my body. Yes, out loud (in private!). I will pat my own arm and have a friendly chat. I may need to explain something that is going to happen to it (such as an operation or medical procedure). I might then suggest to my body how I would like it to respond (eg. stay calm and repair the resulting wound). I’ll reassure it that the procedure is not an attack, and is intended to help us. And I thank my body for always doing its best.
If you have a pet, you may have noticed that lovingly explaining circumstances to pets seems to puts them at ease. Pets can’t understand language but they pick up on the intention you are transmitting.
Your body doesn’t understand language either, but it picks up your attitudes and feelings like a pet does. Putting your feelings and intentions into words helps you to become clear about them. Clear emotional signals are stronger and more easily transmitted.
That is why it is useful to speak aloud to your body, pets, plants, and other things that have some kind of consciousness, even though they have no understanding of language.
‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’Wayne Dyer
You can choose to see your body as the gift that it is. Instead of dwelling on everything wrong with your body, you can see the fact that you have one at all as a blessing. Having a body allows you to participate in life on Earth.
I know life on Earth often doesn’t feel like much fun. Believe me, I really do know that. When you are deep in the suckage, that can be all you see. But being in physical incarnation is an incredible learning opportunity, and it doesn’t have to always suck. In fact, simply accepting the all the hard stuff as a learning opportunity is sometimes the catalyst for turning things around.
Simply because your body is the vehicle of your incarnation, it has immense beauty and value. Beauty that is beyond any arbitrary metrics and standards that you or anyone else might subscribe to.
You can choose to see what is already going well with your body and express gratitude for that.
You can choose today to be open to the possibility of making friends with your body.
You can choose to see your value beyond any appearances.
Give it a go, and I’d love to hear about your experiences with it or if you have any questions.