I have heard, within alternative health care, that we each know our own bodies best. That we know our children best. That we each know what is the best food, exercise program, and herbal treatment for ourselves. And due to top-down hierarchical structures that boss us around and manipulate us, it makes sense to want to rebel against this crap and take control of our future in every way. But I am not so sure it’s that easy.
I believe 100% in our own body sovereignty. I do. I own my body and it is always my decision to make. You own your body and you are free to make decisions about your healthcare and self-care, if you are not harming anyone else. Informed consent is lovely. And as parents, of course we are charged with the decisions about our underaged children’s care.
But. Do you really know your body best? I have occasionally found myself unable to view my body and health objectively, and have found talking to someone else to be useful in helping me get a new perspective. We don’t always have access to unbiased knowledge about ourselves. Humans get stuck into ruts, into patterns and pre-conceived notions. It is not necessarily that someone else knows me better, but that they are able to point out, to give voice to certain things that I am unaware of or afraid to mention….issues I may be dancing around, feelings I may be afraid to expose.
Certain things I have just, over time, become accustomed to.
It is about getting more than one view, more than one angle. Seeing with new eyes.
We repress truths, we avoid realities. It is human nature. It isn’t bad, it’s just reality. And we have projected all kinds of external crap onto ourselves, onto our children and our loved ones. Even our dogs. Our hopes, our dreams, our fears, and the criticisms of 3 or more generations, all handed down in a messy little package.
I certainly get a barrage of my own parents’ baggage every time we talk–the idea that those closest to you can see you the most clearly is just not always 100% accurate.
So there may be value in getting another’s perspective, a trusted person or people, perhaps a counselor or a practicing herbalist, not some douchebags on Facebook or Instagram. There is value in seeking counsel form a trusted but un-biased elder or a grounded healthcare practitioner. There is value in adding others’ input to your intuition and research, and coming up with a solid integrative picture of the issue you are facing.
We can follow our dreams AFTER we have examined them. We can believe in ourselves AFTER we have built a character to believe in. And we can know our own bodies best AFTER we have accepted that sometimes it is not that simple.
There is value in trying something new, a way of eating or a movement practice outside of your “type”. Value again in going outside of your comfort zone, in opening your mind and asking good questions. And ultimately, there is value in learning how to give and receive feedback, open to possibility, open to a transparent future.