Heeding the Symptoms

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The wise advice of ‘listening to your body’ is not ground-breaking or new, but it has ramifications that are profound – rippling through rhythms of life, decisions of value and hopes for future aspirations.

Recently I came across a new understanding of the word ‘symptom’ – ‘an unpleasant truth that we cannot speak’, apparently originally arising from the word ‘prophet’. In a spell-binding podcast series with Rob Bell, Pete Rollins breaks down philosophical understandings of the divine and our frameworks of viewing the world and this one is blowing my mind.

When we choose to ignore the symptoms – the tired back, the ulcers, the ease in which we fall into frustrated rages – we miss the ‘good news’ that these prophets have come to tell us. ‘Make a change, re-examine your life, try something different‘ they whisper encouragingly, then insistently until we can no longer close our ears to their deafening cry.

I’ve had to rearrange my own life of late – physical exhaustion requiring daily naps, slowing down my pace to sink into the beanbag and watch the children play. It has been difficult initially, but the ‘me’ that has arisen in the midst is a lot happier, content, energetic and able to adjust to frustrations with more ease.

Turns out our bodies can know a lot more than we do at times… we just have to listen.

This post is part of a link up with an amazing community of writers at Five Minute Friday. We free write for five minutes each Friday on a prompt. This week’s prompt is ‘listen’. Join us!

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10 comments

    1. Oh me too- it is a lesson learned over many looong years, particularly being a person who has traditionally found worth in what I ‘do’ rather than ‘who’ I am…

  1. Oh Amen, my friend! Our bodies are actually extremely smart… praying for you! (And thanks for the reminder of Rob Bells’ podcast! I am always hit and miss in listening to those but I love to randomly pick an episode and listen in when I can! I will look for this one!

    1. So appreciate it, Karrilee! Let me know what you think of the podcast – I love Rob Bell’s interviews because I think he has a knack for drawing out information in an engaging way… don’t love his other ones as much, but everyone is different!

  2. Oh, Emma! I can totally feel your tiredness. As a mom of four teens now, I promise you that “It gets better!” (different, yes, but better)
    YES – slow down and sink into the chair. Listening to our bodies is so good.
    NO – don’t beat yourself up for not meeting your own expectations. For what it’s worth, the pics you post of your kids are amazing! They look happy and content and well-loved. You’re doing a great job!
    Courage, my friend!
    Shauna

    1. Beautiful words indeed, Shauna! I so appreciate your hard fought wisdom and perspective, it is like gold in these chaotic days of young kids 🙂

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