Friday, April 5, 2013

moving beyond symptom management into getting FILLED UP

I'm fighting allergies right now, having neglected my habit of daily consumption of locally grown honey for a few months.  So I'm back to the honey and meanwhile living in a generic Zyrtec haze to help combat the worst of it.  

In the midst, I continue to discover new things in my relationship with this body that I no longer hate.  

First of all,, I discover that I am able to hear my body in ways I never could before.  I never used to be able to sort out questions like is it a cold, or is it allergies.  That's because I didn't know how to ask my body questions and listen for its answers.  All I did was:  
  • suppress the noticing of symptoms until those symptoms were screaming so loud they could not be ignored
  • notice symptoms and assume the symptom was the problem
  • go stand in the pharmacy, reading backs of boxes and bottles until I found the right combination of symptoms, and buy that one
  • take the meds, hope it helped, and make no other changes other than maybe slowing down in activity
  • wait for it to get better
 Now I've learned to ask, to tune in, to listen for answers, to pay close attention to all things.  In doing so this time around I noticed:  itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy throat, itchy ears, itchy skin on my face, even to the point of almost a rash.  And my body frantically producing drainage to try and help.  ALLERGIES. 

Secondly, I'm not just about stopping symptoms anymore.  Symptoms are just symptoms!  Indicators of the problem.  Measurements.  Not the target.  So, back to the honey. 

But also, I noticed (by accident) the difference that water makes.  I've been drinking (mostly hot) water - as much as I can - in a pretty aggressive fashion.  What I noticed:  when I'm in glug-glug-glug mode, all that drainage stuff stays clear and thin and just does its job.  Sure, it makes me cough as it runs, but hey - I didn't even used to be able to feel that the cough was related to drainage, so this is progress!  

On the other hand, when I slow down on drinking water, bad stuff happens.  That drainage stuff is no longer clear or thin and very quickly I'm all plugged up, I'm choking and I can't breathe.  But when I noticed it was trending that way, I went back to massive water consumption and - voila! - back to manageable within less than an hour.

Maybe you've noticed this all your life and are asking why I'm writing so many words about it tonight.  All I can say is, this stuff is still pretty new to me, this noticing of what my body is telling me, and it just blows my mind, how clearly it can tell me what's going on. 

I can't help but notice this is consistent with what I've been learning in the "learning to love my body" journey.  If I fill up on insanely healthy food, I feel better, I don't crave junk, and I lose weight.  If I flood my body with water, it drives out the things that want to collect and cause problems.  

And in my spiritual life, if I fill up on God - consume His word as voraciously as I used to consume a bag of Sterzing's potato chips or a Snicker's bar - linger as long at prayer as I used to linger in front of TV and movies - turn my idle thoughts toward Him in as obsessed a manner as I used to have when I turned my mind to darker things - something good happens.  I fill up on Him, and I lose my appetite for those lesser things.  I flood my mind with Him, and He drives out even the muckiest muck from the foulest corners of my mind.  

FILL UP.  GET FLOODED.  With GOOD things.  Then there is not room for all the old imposters, all the old devices used against us, all the lesser things that seek to derail us.  FILL UP.  I'm loving that strategy.

For now...excuse me, please.  I gotta get another big mug of hot water with lemon and honey.  :-)

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