Remember last week’s essay What do I want? Whenever we express an intention, we will be challenged to come through on that intention. This week, my challenge came in the form of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Unless you have been living under a rock those past months, you will know that this challenge is about throwing a bucket of ice water over yourself in order to raise awareness for ALS. As I heard a dear friend nominate me in his video, I felt a huge drop in energy, I actually instantly felt sick to my stomach. My body screamed ‘NO!’. There was nothing rational about this ‘no’. It wasn’t even about not wanting to do this. This ‘no’ wasn’t about the bucket with ice water or about not wanting to raise awareness for ALS, because I have witnessed what ALS does and it ain’t pretty. I really do wish health to everyone, and most of all hope, hope for a cure, for a better life, for a better future. We all need hope.
The only logical thing I can come up with is that I have felt pressured to do what other people wanted me to do for the greater part of my life and that nowadays my inner-being protects me by revolting to anything that makes me feel pressured. Whatever reason there may be, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I have promised myself to listen to my body, to follow its guidance. In a way, it would be so easy to throw a bucket of ice water over myself, record a video and put it on social media, because I do care, and also because I do not want to let my friend down. But that would mean that I would consciously negate my body signals, something I have done for too long, something that has led to burn-out, depression and illness. I cannot do that anymore. I have promised my body that I will listen to the best of my abilities and follow her guidance. And that is exactly what I am going to do. I do not have the luxury to not listen. Trust is gained, it takes years to build and only seconds to break.
picture by Joachim Aagaard Nielsen