Listen to Your Body and Soul (originally posted 5/2018)
Have you ever had that moment when your body and soul are trying to tell you something but you just can’t quite figure out what it is? There is something you are supposed to know, yet you are just too busy trying to get on with your day and life that you don’t take the time to stop and listen? Finally, when you do figure out what it was, you wish you had listened because it would have been better to know sooner.
This morning, I am going to share a personal story that reminds us all of the importance of listening to our body and soul when it is trying to speak to us.
About eight years ago, I woke up one morning with a very weird feeling. This particular morning I sat up in bed and all of the sudden a voice inside of me told me that I needed to schedule an endoscopy (a procedure where they go down through your throat and take a look at you from the inside). I had been on acid reflux medicine for many years and had an endoscopy done back when they put me on the medicine, but that was six or seven years prior. The doctor had never told me I was supposed to have them periodically to check things out because I had been on the medication for so long. However, this particular morning my inside doctor was speaking loud and clear.
For once I listened, promptly found a gastrointerologist and made an appointment. Within a week I was scheduled for the endoscopy. I expected it to be routine. I was young…well younger in my 40’s, healthy, feeling fine and absolutely no symptoms. When I sat down with the doctor post the procedure, I was floored by what he told me. He spouted out a bunch of words I couldn’t understand and recommended that I see a specialist within the week, which I did.
To make a very long story much shorter, I discovered that I had a gastro intestinal stromal tumor (GIST) which was very rare at the junction of my esophagus and stomach. I had never even heard of these tumors and went to work doing my research. Anyone who has had anything will tell you that researching what you have on the internet rarely is good experience. I learned that there wasn’t a lot known about these types of tumors because they were so rare, that catching them early was key and that they almost always turn to cancer.
Fortunately for me, I had a great set of doctors. I underwent surgery where they removed the tumor and a piece of my stomach where the tumor was located and waited patiently for the lab results to come back. Finally, the news came that we had caught it in time. It was benign and they were able to remove it with great margins. Today, other than having an endoscopy every five years, so far no return of the tumor or any new ones.
I learned a lesson that day to always listen to my body and soul. It often speaks to us and lets us know that it needs attention. It is incredibly important that we take the time to stop, listen and devote the time and energy to understand what our body and soul are trying to say. I listened that morning. Because I did I am still here doing the work that I was supposed to do in this lifetime.
The next time your body and soul are trying to send you a message, whatever it may be, listen. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, it makes it impossible to take care of others. When we believe in our own importance and remember that we have a purpose for being here, even if we haven’t discovered it yet. In time we will, if only we choose to listen.
Have a great weekend and remember to be the reason someone smiles.