You can’t always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside. ~Wayne Dyer
When I entered my 20’s, I was oblivious to how stress can affect the body. I didn’t even think about stress until I was in my late 30’s. I didn’t grow up in a community that talked about wellness and self-care. My adolescent years were more about getting people saved, memorizing my Bible, going to church, being a good little girl and obeying my parents and elders. Looking back, it felt like it was all about external performance and had very little to do with me knowing my true self.
At 20, after attending college a few times, I was offered a scholarship to join a church leadership school for young people. I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life so this opportunity seemed like a decent proposition. I moved in with a family from the church and relinquished my freedom to be a part of this program. A few months into the program, I started having serious health issues. I was at the doctor’s multiple times over the course of that 1-year program. My mom was sincerely concerned for me, but I just kept going to the doctor hoping he’d figure it out. I never thought for a minute that it could be from all the stress I had endured in my teens and early twenties.
For the next 15 years, I stayed in that church. I was heavily involved and I suffered many more health issues during those years. Never did I think it was from stress until I was 40. At 36, I finally left that church after years of slowly realizing that I really didn’t like who I was. I didn’t feel free to be myself and authentic and I experienced reoccurring illnesses. At forty years old I was able to dissect all of my years there and finally acknowledge that stress had been the factor of why I had been sick.
In this day and age, it is so easy to get on the internet and find out what the causes and remedies are for any kind of health issue. I know because I do it all the time. I still have health issues that seem to pop up here and there and I am always trying to figure it out, externally.
But this morning I woke up with an epiphany:
Focus on your relationship with your body, Jill.
What is your body telling you it needs?
What is your body telling you to eat?
Is your body telling you to go on a walk? Do Yoga?
Is your body telling you to meditate?
Is your body telling you to take a bath?
Put aside all of your research on google.
Put your time and thoughts into knowing your body.
How easy it can be to ignore the very temple we came here to inhabit! We search outside of ourselves relentlessly, and all the while true wisdom lies within.
Stress is so insidious. There can be absolutely no physical signs of it wreaking havoc on our bodies. And then all of a sudden, it does affect us.
Our greatest ally is ourselves. Our body. Our spirit. Our heart. Our mind.
Our greatest work in life is to slow down and start listening to ourselves.
“Body Trust is a birthright. You were born with an inherent trust for your body. Somewhere along the way you became disconnected from that way of knowing. Body Trust is disrupted by trauma, oppression, illness, and social constructs of gender, race, beauty, health, and weight. We often come from lineages of people that have been disallowed body trust. Body Trust is an invitation to return to a relationship with your body and yourself that you want to be in for your lifetime—flexible, compassionate and connected.” ~Be Nourished