There has been a movement towards body positivity and acceptance in our culture. It is becoming more and more mainstream. There is more public outcry against photoshopped models presenting the beauty standards of our society, more acceptance of natural beauty and diversity, more focus on being healthy and fit rather than just skinny. This is fantastic. We should be accepting of the differences in our bodies that make us unique and beautiful, however loving our body is so much more than just being accepting of our appearance.
Just like it helps to understand where a person is coming from, when we want to have compassion for them, it helps us to have compassion for our bodies when we understand what is motivating and driving it and what it is going through. With this perspective it becomes much easier for us to forgive our bodies and cut them some slack.
The human body is an AMAZING thing. It is the vessel that we, as infinite consciousness, get to interact in the material world and with others. Our body is the mode in which we have our human experiences. We are our body but we are so much more.
Think of your body. It was grown from two cells, one from each of your parents. From the moment of conception, your body knew what to do. The cells began to divide, began to line up and fold over in an orchestrated dance to form layers. Those layers became tissues, those tissues became organs, those organs became organ systems, and those organ systems together formed you, a baby, with a personality. A human being.
This is amazing and powerful. What is that power that coordinated your body to grow from two stranger cells into one, whole, being? In chiropractic, we call that power Innate Intelligence. The mission of Innate Intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a living thing in active organization. We are born with this power. An automatic force that breathes us.
Our Innate Intelligence is like a loving mother. It cares for us day and night, no questions asked expecting almost nothing in return. When it yells at us, or puts us in time out, it is because it loves us and is doing it for our own benefit. It is teaching us how to behave so that we will be healthy, successful and happy. And yes, our mother does have needs. She needs proper movement and nutrients. The more cared for the mother is, the better she can care for us. When we eat crap, deny ourselves the sleep we need, think negative thoughts or stay sedentary, it’s like we are being picky eaters towards our mothers, having a temper tantrum, or running towards a hot stove with our hands outstretched. Our mother may have to yell at us to get us to stop doing things that harm us, but this is not her failing us, this is her protecting and helping us.
Just as in adolescence many of us go through phases of distrusting our parents, wanting freedom from them and maybe even disliking them, the same goes with our relationship to our body. We see our body as betraying us, holding us back or being disobedient. We begin to only focus on the parts that we dislike, that bother us or constrain us, and we forget to have gratitude for all that our Innate Intelligence is doing for us.
By the time we are adults, we generally pay no attention to our Innate mind. Since it is doing everything for us without us needing to be conscious of it, we tend to let it dutifully serve us without ever even seeking to pay attention. Many people never stop to wonder, what is controlling my heart beat at this very moment? Unless of course something goes “wrong.”
Most people only start to pay attention to the innate, automatic happenings, when they are no longer automatically happening perfectly, and this causes the person some sort of discomfort, which finally makes them pay attention. We don’t think about our lungs until we can’t catch a breath, we don’t think about our digestion until we get stopped up, we don’t think about our back until it is aching.
Here is the thing that you must grasp, by the time you are experiencing the pain of something, your Innate has been trying to maintain your body in active organization, in other words, keep you alive, without your awareness already, and has only called your attention to the problem because it needs you to become aware so that you change your behavior.
I hear patients all the time apologizing for their bodies, talking crap about them, saying that their bodies are failing them. But that’s not fair. If you are going to say mean things about your body when it is hurting or not working right, that means you have to also say kind things about the parts of your body that don’t hurt and are working right.
What if when we felt a pain or symptom, rather than being in the phase of “Oh no, why me” and feeling victimized by our body, we were in a phase of introspection? What if we thought “what did I do to make the job of my Innate Intelligence so difficult and what does it need from me right now?” And to take it even further, what if when we had a backache instead of wallowing in the pain we started to list all of the functions that were working well for us and expressing gratitude for that?
If you are alive right now, your body is doing much more right, than it is doing wrong. Your body is continually sustaining you in existence. It is your greatest ally and it WANTS you to be in a state of health.
The reason that chiropractors are successful with helping people function better, get out of pain, and prevent dis-ease is because chiropractic adjustments reconnect people with their Innate Intelligence, allowing it to function at a greater capacity. We can tap into our innate, listen to her before she starts to scream and actually help her, help us by loving our bodies enough to take care of her.
This is what true self love and compassion look like. It goes beyond just accepting our appearance. When we see our bodies and the power they contain as an inner magic, a loving mother always with us, serving us night and day, it can motivate us to help her do her job. Take care of her, she loves you! #loveyourselfback