In the quiet of my walk this morning, there was this reoccurring thought that kept floating in and out of my mind, “Is your body your servant? Your master? Or your partner? Many people would say ”my body is me”, but, for those of us who have had chronic pain, debilitating illness or injury or perhaps an addiction problem it may not seem so cut and dry. When we are in the prime of our life, the body is often an afterthought, we simply can’t imagine it not doing what we “tell” it to do. During this phase of our life I would say that our body is our servant, and except for a few bouts of the flu or an occasional cold, we blissfully order our body about. Often, depriving it of adequate nutrition, sleep, either giving it no exercise or drive it merciless into submission. On the other hand, for many of us, the body may be our master. For example, the body craves sugar, we give it a donut and before we know it the body is in control of what we eat. The body may have chronic pain in a certain part, perhaps your lower back, the body decides when you can sleep, if you can exercise or even if you can work!
At what point does the body become your partner? Or as one friend put it to me, a “Reluctant Partner”. Making peace with your body is a process that many of us Baby-Boomers are right smack dap in the middle of! I would suggest to many that you start to treat your body as you would, your beloved child. Learn to listen to it with compassion and understanding. To treat your body as you would your beloved and aging pet, understanding that somedays, he feels ready to take on the young pup next door and run, play and move with joy, but other days a simple walk around the park would serve him best. But to also, find that balance that listening to the body does not allow it to become the master. Life truly is a journey, not a destination, where are you in this journey? Are you ready to move into the part of your journey where your body is not either master or servant.
If so, I would propose to spend a little time each day truly reflecting and “listening” to what your body is telling you. Learn to say “no” when it is trying to be the master and to become compassionate and proactive if the body is refusing to be the “servant” allow your journey from this day forward to be one of “partner” even if it is a reluctant alliance! The journey will be worth it…or as another friend often tells me, better than the alternative.