I have been thinking about my relationship with my body for a while now, as it has not always been the healthiest of relationships. Some teachers in my life have tried to tell me my body is a prison which limits my spirit. Others have taught me my body is the love of my life. What I know is that my body is what it is at any moment of my existence and it is what houses my spirit which lives within it. Whether it is a panacea or a prison, I have come to this place where I must appreciate and enjoy it for what it is while my spirit is in it. I am also mindful that while my body may constrain me at times, it is also the vehicle which enables me to do what I was created to do. As my body has changed significantly over the last 10 years because of two herniated disks, degenerative arthritis, neuropathy, knee problems, foot drop, and the list goes on, I am mindful it is still important for me to take care of what I have as it is still the vessel in which I am living and it is the vessel the Infinite uses to assist me in doing ministry on this earth. So in that respect it is a sacred endeavor.
For me, one of the most spiritual moments of my routine is my time in the bathroom. While most people do not consider going to the bathroom a spiritual experience I do. First, because I am mindful I am still able to use the facilities independently, something I no longer take for granted. At the same time, I am reminded that my body has worked all night to filter out that which does not belong in my system and that which does. It reminds me how the Infinite is working in me and through me even as I sleep. Taking a shower is another spiritual experience for me. Taking a shower for me is purifying as I can feel myself washing off everything that is not of love and light. It is a time when I can sit and experience the freshness of the water, give thanks I live in a space I can do this, and be mindful of all those who have worked to ensure I can even do this. It is a time that I remind myself that I was created by love, in love, to be and offer love to others.
For the longest time, I took advantage of my body. I did not take the best care of it that I could. Now that my abilities are limited, I am so much more aware of the importance of expressing love for my body and my self. Walking is no longer something I enjoy doing as it is painful at times. However, I am learning to do it anyway because it is healthy for other parts of my body like my heart, lungs, and other muscles.
As don Miguel Ruiz Sr says “I am here to enjoy life to its fullest!” My current health is what it is. I can choose, however, what to do with it in its current condition. Am I choosing to allow myself to focus on my dis-abilities or my abilities? Am I choosing to focus on what my body is no longer able to do or what it can do? Each day, I ask myself am I doing the best I can with who I am and the abilities I have today. It does not matter what others think is my best. What matters to me is that I know I have done my best.