By Ingrid Ward, West Auckland, New Zealand
My body began speaking to me very loudly from an early age with symptoms that included a blocked or runny nose, lots of itching in various parts of my body, and digestive disturbances like diarrhoea and bloating. But I can hardly ever remember these reactions or symptoms being put down to food, except for the hives being blamed on a certain variety of apples and the swelling of my lips and mouth on eating crayfish: when my body spoke that time it was listened to immediately, as the reaction was severe. That was the last time crayfish was eaten, as to eat it again may have had a rather scary outcome.
In the 1950’s when I was growing up, food intolerances or allergies weren’t spoken or written about very often, so there was very little information to help people know about the intricacies of their bodies, and we certainly didn’t get taught much about the body at school. You just ate the food that you were presented with and anything that the body tried to tell you by way of subtle (or not so subtle) messages was likely to be overridden, as most then didn’t understand that food could be the issue behind many of the body’s ills.
So on I went eating what I was given without question and not surprisingly the suffering, along with the messages from my body, continued. I can remember suspecting that milk was the culprit behind the runny nose and excess mucous issues, but milk, in this little country of 10,000 dairy farms, was considered to be liquid gold and essential for the strength of our bones, and to say you didn’t want to drink it was almost sacrilege. Those bottles of warm milk that waited for us at school every day were my worst nightmare with my body speaking so loudly after each one, not just with nose issues, but with headaches as well. With the continual nose issues and sore throats, my tonsils finally gave up and at age eight they were removed, but I continued to drink milk and so my body kept talking. I have a feeling that I slowly began to accept that everything I was going through was actually normal, so I stopped talking about it.
Then there was the regular Sunday afternoon headache that I know now came from the cream that was placed in huge dollops over the special Sunday dessert. The messages usually began several hours after the ingestion of this eagerly awaited delight, but it was ignored as jelly and cream was too lovely to cast aside.
The digestive issues, including regular bouts of diarrhoea, were more often than not put down to contracting a ‘bug’. The only reason for this that my very puzzled mother could come up with was that I was not washing my hands enough, but having to wash my hands every five minutes was not something that a young child wanted to do, so I didn’t. I know now from the knowledge and wisdom I have acquired over the last 17 years that this digestive reaction came from the gluten in the bread I ate, but that discovery was a long way off.
And the itching! Oh, that continuous scratching until my skin was raw from being raked by my finger nails, itching which my body was trying to tell me was from sugar! But who would want to give up the sweet stuff? After all, everyone else was consuming it so why shouldn’t I? Mind 1 – Body 0!
Looking back, I can see that there were times my body struggled under this continual abuse as I was regularly stopped in my tracks with an illness or disease. That makes sense as it would have been exhausted trying to process products that it couldn’t deal with so it had to stop me somehow to recharge, but sadly its wisdom continued to be overruled by a mind that had its own agenda; a mind with a high IQ that was considered to be a marker of intelligence.
It wasn’t as if the people around me were un-intelligent either. Just like me, they hadn’t been brought up to understand their bodies, just as those before them also hadn’t been. The doctors that I saw regularly were naturally considered to be wise and so we expected them to have all the answers to our questions, but none seemed to know how to decipher what my body was trying to say. In retrospect, that was understandable as the fact that certain foods could cause health issues probably hadn’t been a part of their training.
Over the years I had a moment or two when I began to get a sense of what my body was telling me and took dairy, or bread, and sometimes a little of the sugar out of my diet, but even though I started to feel a whole lot better, it didn’t take long before they found their way back in again, usually as a result of what was going on in my life. The dairy, gluten and sugar-filled food had become a comfort, a way of numbing myself and a way of filling up the emptiness that I was living with and, without the food, I didn’t know how I would be able to exist.
Then at aged 50, I finally got it; I had one of those light bulb moments that turn your life upside down. I came across a book that could have been written by me: the story of a woman’s life that totally mirrored mine, and the moment I finished it, I did not hesitate to change the way I was eating, and what I now know to be my true intelligence, the intelligence of my body, was given full reign. Out went the dairy, the wheat and the sugar, and over the next few months, up went my energy levels and the quality of my health, and slowly, but surely, down went my weight. I could almost hear my body sighing with relief! It was finally being listened to.
But although much happier than it had ever been, my body was still whispering in my ear and it wasn’t until the gluten was finally removed and I began to address the many emotional issues and the exhaustion that were behind my eating patterns that my body’s whispers became less and less. These final pieces of the puzzle were supplied when, in 2005, I began to attend presentations by Serge Benhayon, founder of Universal Medicine.
These presentations contained bucket loads of light bulb moments, as well as many confirmations, especially around the foods that my body had tried for years to tell me that it couldn’t deal with; finally I was listening to what I now know to be true intelligence, the intelligence of my body.
I know without one iota of doubt that if I had been brought up to know my body as I know it now and how to understand its messages, to respect it as the all-wise and wonderful vessel that it is, my life story would read very differently and that would have been so very welcome. But as the saying goes: “Better late than never.” Now I know that by finally acknowledging the innate wisdom of this amazing body of mine, I no longer allow myself to be led astray by my wayward mind.
With the wisdom of my body leading the way, my mind is brought into line, so that the two may work in harmony as one, allowing space for my soul to express through me as whole body intelligence.