Love Your Body, Heal Your Mind

Ever had a moment where you felt an opposition to your body? I’ve enjoyed conversations with family, friends and, even strangers, where someone expressed negative opinions about illnesses, injuries and body images. It leaves me to wonder why as a species we have such emotional responses to the behavior of our bodies.

We blame the media for projecting images of skinny people living adventurous live styles for the moments we feel self-conscious. But is the human mind so limited in processing images and self-perceptions that looking upon a thin person deprives us of personal joy? 

Now, the media is compassionate to our fragile mindsets and politely casts heavyset actors in health food commercials and as lead characters in romances. But, then again, is the human ego so naive to believe one body type is superior to another?

Not if you’ve ever had health issues. I exercise, eat like a monk in the Himalayas, and yet, I’ve received test scores outside the range of ideal performance. Viewing a heavyset person selling leafy salads delivered to my home doesn’t inspire me to buy into the concept that the shapes and performances of our bodies are a direct result of what we consume and how we treat them. It certainly doesn’t inspire me to exchange lettuce for the wide range of fruits and hearty portions of vegetables I consume each day. 

The actors portraying characters in commercials and onscreen don’t establish my ideal body type. I doubt they do for you, as well. More likely, the theories shared within your local community plays a key factor in the body images of those around you. 

Most people are focused on their own weight and health. Certainly, if you have a friend who is disappointed in her thighs, she tends to notice when someone else has thighs like the ones she wants. That isn’t the same as deciding you’re a failure because someone else succeeds. 

We are made in a Holy Image and therefore have an innate ability to perceive each other’s spiritual attributes. 1 Samuel 16:7 provides, the Lord sees not look on the outward appearance, but looks on the heart. By knowing one another as the perfect spirit, we find love when we look to another.

For every skinny person who feels overweight, there is a large-boned person who feels fabulous. For each person who watches his diet to avoid a health issue, there is another who puts forth no effort, appears to be unhealthy but never seems to suffer. If you ask for opinions about what is ideal, you will receive a range of descriptions with regard to health and image.

According to 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, you are God’s temple and the Holy Spirit dwells inside you. “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is Holy, and you are that temple.” When you are in opposition to your body, you destroy a temple placed in your custody.

The issue of body consciousness is about how you relate to your body and its way of expressing your mindset. The body seems to behave on its own. It develops unanticipated characteristics. While we make an intention to treat our bodies with respect, and to cherish them the way we do a temple, we find ourselves at crossroads as to how sacred a temple can be without essentially being treated as an idol, a pagan god. 

These conflicting emotions stem from adversarial thoughts we carry toward our bodies. If we are given a negative medical prognosis, we tend to attack our shells. We pump ourselves full of chemicals and pesticide quality nutrients in an effort to overpower our physical selves. When we outshine an ailment, we applaud ourselves or having the intellect to devise a drug or remedy, yet is it necessary? 

In truth, yes, at this age and time. We are at a place, as a global community, where we operate under physical laws requiring each of us to take responsibility for the state of our bodily affairs. During another era, we neglected ourselves of nutrients, yet managed to remain vigorous and healthy. For instance, Huguenots were imprisoned for a lifetime. They were locked inside dark boxes, and denied sunlight. They ate one bread per day, and still, they survived for decades. 

Whenever I decide to let go of a few pounds, I muster through three days of reestablishing my eating habits by reminding myself man doesn’t require three square meals per day. He can go several days without food and water, and be perfectly fine. Cavemen, even settlers, couldn’t access fruits and veggies all year. Even when stored, food rots.

The key is to connect with our bodies the same way we establish a bond with a pet, family member, or friend. We turn to another when feeling discouraged. In seeking a solution to our needs, we crave for another to fill our emptiness. When sick, we long for a cohesiveness with another to restore our energy. We seek a healing comfort outside ourselves because we sense an inability to rise to that level of affection toward ourselves. 

We need to offer affection to those in need. When you are depleted and ill, your reserves save for self-recovery. The same intensity of love you put forth in caring for your pet and those you sympathize with should be turned inward. Send love and comfort to yourself. 

If you love your body, you heal your mind. The moment you feel inadequate or ill, consider new ways to love yourself, and the rehabilitation will flow.

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