Difference between listening to one's body and listening to the needs of one's body
I so often hear people say "I listen to my body" used every which way that I thought I would write this article for clarity.
This term is most often used by those who listen to their desires or whims in order to ignore their guilt. For example, a person who is very hot may decide to drink a beer instead of water. In doing so, she listens neither to the message nor the needs of her body. If she listened, she would know that when her body is thirsty, it needs water. I must confess that I myself did this for many years when I was in pain in my lower back. Each morning, back pain woke me and pushed me to get up. I was convinced that I was listening to my body by getting up. But that wasn't so...
These examples represent people who aren't listening to their bodies. But what does it mean to listen to one's body?
LISTENING TO YOUR BODY is to be attentive to all messages you receive from your physical, emotional and mental bodies. These messages tell you how much you listen to their needs.
LISTENING TO THE NEEDS OF ONE'S BODY means to give it what it needs. Physically, it means giving your body food when it is hungry, rest when it is tired or allowing your body to sleep when it is sleepy. Because the other two bodies are much more subtle, it is more difficult to identify the times when we do not listen to their needs.
That is why I recommend you become aware of your physical body first. It is always a reflection of what's happening in your other two bodies. So as soon as you feel uncomfortable in your physical body, you'll know you're not comfortable in your other two bodies and you may not be listening to some of their needs.
When there is discomfort, whether physiological or psychological, it is always a message to the effect that we are not listening to one or some of our needs.
If I may return to my sore back, the message I received was that I NEEDED TO STAY IN BED LONGER, to rest more. But I didn't because I maintained the belief that I had no right to REALLY get some rest as long as all my tasks were not finished. When your body hurts, take time to check what the pain prevents you from doing and being. You will discover THE TRUE NEEDS OF YOUR BODY. In my case, the pain prevented me from staying comfortably in bed. So I needed to be comfortable in my bed.
Listening to your body is to recognize that it speaks to you. Thank it for helping you discover your true needs. In doing so, you can also practice real love by giving yourself the right to listen (or not to listen) to what is needed in the moment. Discovering what you need does not require you to take immediate action, but being aware that your ego stops you from listening should help you fill your needs eventually.
Of course, you have the right not to listen to your needs if they are beyond your limits for the moment. Be aware of this and accept yourself. In doing so, you will listen to your needs more and more and love yourself in the process.
As you learn to listen to the messages from your physical body, you will more quickly identify the needs of your emotional and mental bodies, even before your physical body reflects them. You'll know you've listened to the needs of your emotional and mental bodies when you no longer feel guilty or are no longer controlled by your fears.
The more you accept yourself with your strengths and weaknesses, the more you will listen to the needs of your three bodies and become a spiritually fulfilled person.