I kid you not, if my body didn’t hurt as it does, I think I would go days, perhaps weeks as a “floating brain” moving throughout time and space like the “Great and Powerful OZ”. Seriously, the body is very clever in it’s demand for attention. Whether seeking pleasure or enduring pain, my body wants to be known within the whole of who I am. I can numb it with pharmaceuticals and food, mold it through exercise, or adorn it with finery, but at the end of the day, it seeks remuneration for the many ways I use it to escape.
As the years pile on, and my physicality just doesn’t comply with my demands the way it used to, I find that my body simply refuses to be ignored any longer. It literally has dug it’s heels in, insinuating itself upon my consciousness, (and I have spent a fair amount of time and energy being mad at it for this).
As human beings we are hardwired for pleasure. Our bodies seek pleasure, in part, to remind us to “feel” – to connect us to the sense of awe and sacredness of what we knew in our youth. Have you ever watched an infant try to pick up a “Cheerio” for the first time? The fingers, the Cheerio, the table, the DROOL all become players in this simple act. The focus is astounding! It could literally take a good half hour for one whole Cheerio to mouth transaction to occur. As small children, our entire frame of reference for the world and beyond is articulated through pleasure centers in our bodies. Somehow, as we become more “seasoned” at being human, we simultaneously become desensitized to the tenderness of movement and awe for all the mechanisms that make us function, yet our desire for pleasure does not dissipate, it grows! Our bodies, in turn, become mere machines, responding to the brain’s commands in rote succession, until we hardly recognize ourselves as anything but a bunch of thoughts. Pleasure is fleeting, and is not felt with the same depth, nor does it provide the same fulfillment that it once did, and the body, feeling cut off, yearns for ever more connection. This cycle can continue for only so long before either emotional or physical pain sets in.
The physiology requires balance – and will stop at nothing to get it. The body wants an integrated give and take relationship with the whole self, including with that sense of awe it experienced as a child. I have begun to look more closely at the ways my mind severs itself off from my body. For now, it seems, pain is my body’s way of saying “WAKE UP!” and mending this split. My body will no longer tolerate being a stranger, merely carrying out marching orders – it wants to be known, it wants to “feel” from a place of balance, not just in the extremes of pleasure and pain.
Wake up sleepy head.
With wishes for WholeIness,