When Ego Doesn’t Submit to Body

The ego that refuses to submit
to the demands of the body
will eventually have to submit
to the powers of nature.

—Marion Woodman

 

Can you recall a time when your ego refused to submit to the demands of the body?

Maybe you tried to function on just a few hours of sleep for days, weeks, or months, or you ignored an intuition that you needed medical attention. These are just a few of the ways one can ignore the demands of the body.

The word “submit” (in reference to the demands of the body) evokes a much different feeling than words like “attend,” or “listen.”  To submit to the demands of the body suggests a hierarchy of importance in which ego must be placed below the body in rank order.

Since mind only exists within the body, it is fitting that body must be elevated, attended to, and honored.

When the ego rules and does not submit to the demands of the body, it is a definite sign that the inhabitant of the body does not honor it as a sacred vessel, but rather treats the body as object.

What are some of the ways the ego refuses to submit to the demands of the body? Here are a few:

  • Not giving the body proper nutrition, or giving it inadequate nutrition.
  • Not seeking healthcare for a medical or mental health problem.
  • Not getting adequate sleep.
  • Not regularly moving the body.
  • Ignoring or denying signs sent by the body that it needs attention.
  • Ignoring or denying pain, including emotional pain that causes physical symptoms (for example, anxiety).

When it comes to the body, the powers of nature — especially the law of cause and effect — are many. Illness, injury, accidents, and the physical consequences of addiction are several examples of what happens when the body is ignored or mistreated.

The force of these powers will often match the level of neglect, minimization, or denial of our body’s many messages and signals. The most powerful question is, “Am I listening?”

Invitations for reflection, exploration, and action:

    • Are there any ways in which my ego is refusing to submit to the demands of my body?
    • If so, where or how did I learn to override my body’s voice?
    • What one small action can I take now to submit to the demands of my body?

 


© Vicki Tidwell Palmer (2021)

Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman’s Body and Soul (©1998)
By Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick
(Reprinted with permission)

*This post is from the Coming Home to You Series. Visit this page for the backstory of the CHTY Series.

 

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The deepest experience of the creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing.”

Rainer Maria Rilke