Friday, December 19

trusting the corpus

I have a philosophy lately that goes like this:

Give the body what it wants.

I heard a girl mention a few years ago that she could not stop craving dairy for a few days in a row. She decided that it was because her body needed it, so she was listening. I have been thinkin about that lately. I think my body is smarter than I like to give it credit for. I sometimes subscribe to the medieval paradigm that the body is evil and should be punished, deprived, and brought into submission.

However, I realize, in my more enlightened moments, that the body is a gift, and it is good, so the messages it sends to me are good and helpful too, as long as everything is working properly. If my throat is dry and my body tells me it's thirsty, I probably am. If my stomach hurts after I just ate a whole bunch of cookies, I probably can trust that my body is telling me that wasn't the best idea ever. If my lower back starts to hurt on a regular basis, my body is telling me that the abs are gettin a little flimsy. My body is smart, and it sends my brain messages that I can trust.

Learning to interpret these messages is sometimes like learning a foreign language. My body speaks differently than my mind does. It sends me messages through the senses. Sometimes I think it's hungry, but it's really just thirsty. Sometimes I think it wants ice cream, but it really wants a well-balanced dinner. Sometimes I think it wants to lie down, and it really wants to go for a run. Learning the language of my body takes good listening and practice.

So a few weeks ago when my body told me it wanted french fries all the time, I ate them. When it told me it wanted hamburgers three times in one week... I ate those too. Last night when it wanted to move around, I jumped and danced around my apartment with the cute little girl I was babysitting (she has moves!). And yesterday when I went in the break room to partake of Christmas goodies and my body told me I didn't really want any of them, I didn't eat any. I am feeling a nice new peace about the way my body and I are communicating. I just have to learn to pay attention to what it REALLY wants and not what I think it wants.

Which brings me to a quote Jason sent me today, which I share with you as my thought for the day.

"Not only will the righteous desires of our hearts be granted, but also the unrighteous desires of our hearts. Over the long run, our most deeply held desires will govern our choices, one by one and day by day, until our lives finally add up to what we have really wanted." (The Believing Heart [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1986], p. 26.)

I will spend the weekend and this Christmas season reflecting mucho on what I REALLY want.