Wonderings on the various things that make up each of us, that encapsulate the life’s we choose to live.
How well do we take care of ourselves? Life is a chaotic and crazy mess of obligations and goals, major and minor, every single day. We often find ourselves going and going from place to place without taking a moment to rest and recharge our battery, so to speak. How are we doing mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically? Each of these areas is an essential characteristic of each of us, yet with how busy life can be, we often have to prioritize some over the others. Many of us have a natural preference for one of these areas, choosing to go to the gym rather than read a book or choosing to go to church instead of taking a nap and badly needed day off work or choosing to focus on work instead of making friends or finding a romantic partner.
My natural preference is for mental and spiritual things- often the things I learn are tied to emotions through the study of human nature or humanity in general so I often fulfill my need for that area, though I still falter in that area due to my disinterest in actively creating friendships or finding a romantic interest, but I definitely fall far short in terms of physical care. I’m an introverted bookworm who would rather stay indoors and read than go outside for a run or go visit with a friend- it’s not that I don’t love being outdoors or spending time with my friends, I just enjoy staying at home in my bubble more and so that is where I spend much of my time. I make this choice everyday and am happy with it, yet I can’t help but wonder if I should change. I have this body that can run and skip and jump, that can dance and ride a bike and swim, yet I rarely take the time to do so. Am I taking my body for granted?
Religiously, I believe that our body’s are a gift given to us by God and are made in his own image(for, to me and my religion, God is not a personage of spirit, but of flesh and bone like us, eternal and perfected). I believe that before I was born on this earth, my spirit waited century after century for a chance to come down here to learn and grow- yet I focus more on mental and spiritual things than I do physical. I was reminded strongly this week of how little I pay attention to my body when I began my first few days at a new job. I walked to work each day, spent my time there on my feet walking to and fro completing various tasks, and then after my work day, I walked home- and my body ached. Even now, I still ache: my shoulders are tense, my feet are sore, my knees hurt, and my eyelids are heavy. I’m exhausted from it all as I went from pretty much no physical activity to a days of practically nothing but that. Such things are common in life and I’ve experienced it before over the years when my life schedule changed suddenly, yet I was struck by it all this week.
We all learned it in school growing up: objects at rest stay at rest while objects in motion stay in motion. This week, I did a complete 180-jump and my body made it known quite clearly that it was not happy with my decision and it annoyed me. Think about that- I pushed my body past its limits and I actually got irritated when it rebelled against me and did not recover as quickly as I wished for it to! The human body is an incredible thing- people spend their life dedicated to understanding it as much as they can; how cells are created, how our heart beats, how our brain works, etc.. If you stop for a moment and just think on all that your body does every second of every day on a micro level, it is mindblowing! Even when we ourselves are not participating in physical activity, our body’s are still hard at work, fueling our mental games and emotional connections. They are the engine that fuels it all, really, and we should be grateful that it works so well at all rather than growing irritated when it does not work as fast or as perfect as we want it to or cries out when its overworked. I’m rambling now, so I’ll cut to the chase.
Where does our focus falter, where does our attention slip, what essential thing do we ignore far too often? Mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical- those are the parameters that we are left with at our core. Do we let our mind’s grow idle, our hearts go empty, our souls unenlightened, our body’s grow weak? Whichever it may be for you, I invite you to ponder on it and take the time to correct that, even just with something minor like reading an interesting article, speak sincerely with another person, praying to God, or going on a simple walk- you have more time available to you than you think, even in this chaotic world. Don’t let it all pass you by without taking the chance to broaden your horizons in one of these areas. That is my charge to myself and to you today.