Thursday, December 8, 2011
I always feel a little sad when I hear people talk about their bodies as if the physical is only a shell meant to carry the soul for a little while. Just as sad is the idea that the body functions as a stick or a vehicle on which the all-important head can ride around. Every practice that mortifies the flesh seems absurd to me.
Many people expect their bodies to do their duty, as it were, without question, perfectly. These people become very annoyed when they're sick or in pain, as if the shell and/or stick has betrayed the contract between mind/body. When, I ask you, did the body sign on to perform at 110% no matter what? The mind is such a bully!
I'm talking about the people who are eternally sleep deprived, who eat non-food (processed and/or junk), don't exercise or exercise way too much, refuse to drink water, etc. I feel sad when I think of these people who are unwilling to provide even the basics for good health, yet expect to feel great nevertheless.
Some of us are downright mean when it comes to the body. We're supposed to weigh a certain amount. A few extra pounds is a travesty! A failure! A DISASTER! Weighing the wrong amount (whatever that is, depending on the individual) generates, in many people, incredibly destructive self loathing. Similarly some folks panic as they begin to age. The tortures aging people put themselves through, to "stay young" (not possible, hey?) It's alarming. For heaven's sake!
The body is a temple, a throne in which the soul resides for awhile. The body is the spaceship that makes possible the journey of life. The body is also, in and of itself, an ongoing miracle. The more I learn about anatomy, physiology, kinetics, the immune system, hormones, digestion, circulation, respiration, the shenanigans of the nervous system and how all these different aspects of a living body somehow work together to get us from point A to point B - no matter how poorly we treat ourselves - the more I am in awe and amazement. Don't even get me started about what generates the systemic cooperation, the arrangement of genes in the DNA helix inside EVERY CELL IN YOUR BODY!! It's a magic code inherited from your ancestors, with markers that signal the switching on and off of certain signals. Wow. At the very least we owe our bodies some respect, yes? I say yes.
Today while looking in the mirror, check out and appreciate what's RIGHT about your body, will you? There's more there, going FOR you, than against you, I promise. Shalom!