Thursday, September 15, 2016

My Body is Physical and Spiritual... What about Everything Else?

I grew up in a Christian household.  I was raised to believe that premarital sex is bad.  Tattoos are bad.   Alcohol is bad.  Drugs are bad.  I was taught these things were bad because my body is a temple and God resides in the temple.  Therefore, sins like sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll were not allowed.  (Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I was taught that taking time for yourself and self-care was selfish and narcissistic. I was taught to be a people pleaser and to go out of my way to help others, even if it went unnoticed.  In fact, if it went unnoticed, it was a greater blessing to God because if it had been noticed, the praise would go to me and my head and not to God. (Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. - Philippians 2-2-5)

I'm not saying any of these things are wrong but I was never taught in order to fully serve people, you have to take care of yourself too.  While my body is a temple and I am to honor God with how I live my life in the physical world, I was never taught to properly take care of myself because spending too much time taking care of myself was a sign of vanity.  Because I never learned this lesson, I struggle with the people pleasing side effects of trying to pour from an empty cup.  I give until I run on empty and then have to find ways to fill the void.

This is where I lack in my Christian faith because I've always been taught that God is the answer to my empty cup and if I would just spend more time with Him and His Word, I would never feel moments of loneliness, emptiness, and feeling lost. My faith knows where I will spend eternity, my faith knows that I am loved unconditionally by my Creator, my faith knows God is in control... so to me, an empty cup is not a sign that I need to focus on my faith.  An empty cup is a sign that I need to properly fill my body.

My body is a temple.

My HUMAN body.  My body is both physical and spiritual.  This body needs rest, food, and physical touch.  This body needs love, kindness, and compassion... from others and myself.   This body needs to heal.  This body needs so much in order to be a temple for God.

When I first started doing yoga, people thought I had abandoned my faith and that I had gone off the crazy end because I was meditating.  Ironically, yoga has helped me keep my faith instead of abandoning it when I started questioning my existence and purpose behind it.  It was during my yoga journey that I discovered how important self-care and self-love are in life.

I couldn't be a temple for God to reside in if I didn't love myself.  And I didn't want God in a body as unhealthy as mine.  He didn't deserve to be in that mess of self-hatred, anger, and hurt.  I didn't treat my body like a temple.  I treated it like a death trap.

I was never taught to eat like my body was a temple.  The more I learn about all the chemicals in and on our foods, the less I want to put them in my physical body because of health reasons, but looking at it in a spiritual light (thanks to profound incite from Joel Salatin and his book, The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs), I wouldn't bring anything but the best food to God's temple, so why do I put harmful foods in my body because it costs a few dollars less?  I'm starting to look at food as a moral issue.  Is food as much of a spiritual issue as abstaining from premarital sex or getting a tattoo?  I think it is up there.

In Genesis, we learn that whatever God created was good.  He created food and in the beginning it was pure.  Now, what we eat in this day and age is hardly classified as food.  To get back to God and his creation in the physical world would mean eating purer and cleaner foods.

I believe it was C.S. Lewis (not positive) who said "we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience."  The more I live and grow, through yoga, through clean eating, through self-love.,.. the more I realize EVERYTHING is spiritual, and we are lucky enough to be a part of it.

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