24th March 2020
3 John 2 (KJV) 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
1 Corinthians 10:31(KJV) 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 3:16:17 (KJV) 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
The three scriptures above mention looking after your health, being aware of what you eat and drink (or what you put in your body) and ensuring the body remains a temple that God can reside in. This chapter will look at these three subjects in-order to aid us care for our body.
Thich Nhat Hanh a Buddhist Monk, was asked 'How do I love myself'? He answers in a youtube video titled 'How do I love myself'. 'To love yourself ' he says 'is to remember that you have a body' he goes on to say that we can sit at the computer for two hours getting stressed, while there we are not remembering that we have a body. We are to remember the importance of the body and that we should look after the body in doing so we are showing ourselves love. Our aim should be to relieve tension or suffering in or to the body.
The bible scriptures at the beginning of this chapter reminds us to look after our health, eat drink well and remember that our body is a temple of God and thus we are to look after it.
If that is too far fetched for you. One should treat the body as if it is a new puppy!
It should be fed, nourishing foods with occasional treats.
It should feel love, and made to believe that it also gives love.
It should feel pleasure.
It should exercise.
It should interact with others.
It should be taught how to survive in the world/environment it has entered, by keeping it safe while teaching it what may cause harm.
Exercise, is important. I must admit I do not have an exercise regime, but ensure that my day does not consist of more sitting than standing and moving around. (This is not always possible, as I write and will be sitting for hours) I will take the stairs instead of the lift, I will and walk where I can, instead of taking the car. I do not proclaim to be an exercise guru, but know that it is important that to do some form of exercise, even if that means getting out each day for a walk, this could be around your own garden, up and down your stairs a few times during your day, or even a little light house keeping. There are exercise regimes for every part of the body. There is a wealth of information out there, on keeping your body healthy.
The Care of Body
We are aware of the hygienic care we are to take, in attempts to care for our body. We know how to care for our skin, nails, hair etc. We are aware of taking care of what we put in our bodies, be that food (good or bad) or drugs (good or bad)
We are aware of the importance of acknowledging what enters our body and the reason it is allowed to enter. Lets take eating: In my book ('The Exhorted Soul', (2019), Angela Scott, Amazon,chapter 12, Soul Care) I asked you to be 'mindful of what you eat. [..] Being aware of what you eat, will ensure you enjoy the actual act of eating. Take the time to appreciate your food, be mindful of where it comes from and what it took to reach your table'. I encourage you to be mindful of why you are eating, is it because you need nourishment? Or are you over indulging? Do you eat more when you are sad or happy? Are the foods you are eating fatty, lean, full of sugar or 'diet', and does it matter? Are you eating meat, fish, diary or non of the above, and does it matter? Have you considered where your foods come from? If you feel guilty about what you eat i.e how much or how little, this line of questioning may make you feel worst! To care for your body, just like the puppy, you would check the can of dog food to ensure it was suitable. We should be mindful of the anything we put in our body.
Consider what you call drugs! This could be caffeine, (defined as drug as it stimulates the central nervous system) Tyramine found in cheeses cured or smoked meats or fish, some overripe fruits and chocolate etc. The blood thinners found in leafy greens, the beta-blockers found in meat. I could go on but you get where i'm going with this...You may consider these drugs good for you, and most of them may be, but to not consider them at all, is an act of not caring for your body. Do you consider harmful drugs? The ones that could portentously cause harm if not taken as prescribed? Sure you do, when you are given a prescription to fill, you get it from the chemist and administer it as instructed.(Well I hope you do) After which, that rash or that pain subsides. The same could be said for medication you buy 'over the counter'. It would appear that we are then, conscious of the harm these drugs could potentially do to our body, and is an act of care of body as we are taking care of the amount we are administering to ourselves and also considering the length of time we will takes these drugs.
Then there are those drugs that we know, do harm, but we take every day, and for many of us, have been inflicting on our body for years....like nicotine, this not Care of Body. Some of us indulge in other drugs, although they are legal in some states, may have a diverse reaction to the body, and over prolonged use, could cause all manner of illnesses. Care of Body would have us seeking help to stop any habit that could cause harm. I am not saying that this will be an easy tasks, I am just bringing it to your attention!
We all know someone who, when given a compliment about their body will instantly say 'oh but, I don't like my legs' or 'yeah, but I think my arms are'.........too small or too big, they will then begin to show you what they are talking about, as if you are about to agree with them, by saying yes you're right, your legs, arms or whatever body part they uncover to show you, is too big or too small. I often wonder if they have every thought of what their life would be like if that limb or body part was amputated?
Here's my thoughts on what to do if you are unhappy with parts of your body. You should do something about it, which could mean, losing weight, gaining weight or seeking professional advice. Disrespecting your own body, by grabbing parts of it, and proclaiming that you don't like it is not showing Body Care or love.
In a world that attempts to 'show you' via social media, what you should look like. We are to acknowledge that we are unique, so having more fat on the underside of your left arm than your right arm, for example, makes you unique, having less fat on the inside of your right calf than you left calf makes you unique. Back to that puppy mentioned above, have you ever heard anybody who has a new puppy state 'The puppy is lovely BUT it has a tuff of brown hair under its chin' or the 'The puppy is lovely BUT it's tail should be longer' Any new puppy mamma or pappa will admire the uniqueness of their new puppy. See yourself as unique and you will begin to appreciate your differences. We could ask, why are we comparing ourselves to others, but we know that we have a need to belong! Belong to the 'healthy crowd' or at least to be seen (whatever that looks like for you) as healthy. For me, I feel that I could lose a little weight, my reasoning...I'd look and feel better in my jeans! That's just being honest with you. What do you feel you could change in-order to look or feel better? Also consider, who you want to look better for? If it's yourself, all is well, if its for your Instagram followers, we need to talk firstname.lastname@example.org
What does your body communicate to you?
Is your body happy with how you treat it?
How does it feel when you take it into hostile environments? Work, smoky rooms, into cold weather, into hot weather or even 'home'?!
What does your body say to you when it's tired? And do you hear it?
To care for your body is to love self. To love yourself, one would assume that there will be some sort of communication between what the body wants and what you are willing or able to give it. I believe that communication should be at least hourly preferably minute by minute. One should be asking their body. How am I feeling? How am I feeling? The answers you'll get back will sound a little like this: 'I'm cold, I'm too hot, I'm tried, I'm hungry, I need this or that' Do you get the jest? We have all heard those statements or requests from our body. This is where the acts of love or body care comes in. You act as soon as possible to what your body has communicated to you. You go get a jumper, you remove clothing, you get rest,food or where possible it's needs. We are assuming that you are in a situation where adhering to the requests of your body is feasible, moral and legal. There are times our body tells us other things, for example its time to leave this job, house relationship or friendship. How long before we show our body love by adhering to those types of communications? mmmm It can take a little longer than just getting a jumper from the cupboard! I mentioned intuition in my book ('The Exhorted Soul', (2019), Angela Scott, Amazon,chapter 12,Soul Care) here you are asked to listen to your intuition, as it looks after our well-being and keeps us safe, pointing us in the direction we should go. This internal compass is never wrong. Take the fact that danger may be lurking, we tend to feel it! We also are aware when 'something is not quite right' this could even be felt when speaking to someone who is lying! That 'just knowing' feeling came from within you.
The body will use itself to communicate, by sending blood and hormones to different parts of itself in order to allow you to run or fight, the need to eat, drink or sleep will not be communicated. The body will become hot or cold when trying to get a message across to you. Many messages are sent to alert you that something has to change in-order for optimum to be achieved. We again, are aware of this, yet we often don't take heed! We push ourselves to extreme limits of tiredness (I've done this myself, having my children remove a cup of tea from my hand as I had fallen asleep in from of a small fan heater touching my leg and the tea about to fall). Not an act of body care
Keeping your body in a hostile environment, which could be a place of work, or within any type of relationship is not body care
Body care is trying to relieve suffering, pain, that uneasy feeling, stress and tension. Remember the puppy, if you wouldn't do it to a puppy, you shouldn't be subjecting yourself to it.
Stress and tension should be avoided. We live in a world that makes this almost impossible. But being aware that your body is a temple, will be your cue when stressful situations arise. Find ways of keeping calm, find ways to diffuse certain situations, if you are talking to someone and you notice that the conversation is getting a little heated, take a step back. The only way you will be able to take a step back, is by being aware that the conversation is becoming heated, and not take the stance that you will get your point across. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, constantly ask yourself, 'How am I feeling'? Your body will respond. It would then be up to you to decide whether you act on what your body has told you or not.
In the Mental Health chapter we discussed the importance of learning or being aware of what threatens our Mental Health, we are to “bear in mind what may cause one person stress may not cause another person stress, we are all different. In trying to pinpoint what could be 'stressing you' consider how you feel, at home, at work, throughout your interactions with others etc..Whatever stresses you...Identify it, and do what you can, to avoid it or put strategies/or coping mechanisms in place to make the situation less stressful”. The chapter goes on to give you tips on how to maintain a positive mental health. In attempting to keep or thieve for a positive mental health is Care of Body.
This chapter took its lead from my interpretation of the three scriptures 3 John 2 which states 'Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health'. [ ] 1 Corinthians 10:31 'Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God' and 1 Corinthians 3:16:17 which reminds us that 'ye are the temple of God'[ ]
For me, the three scriptures mentioned above, looked at our health, in that it asks us to be aware of what you eat, drink (or what you put in your body) and ensuring the body remains a temple that God can reside in.
We then looked at the answer Thich Nhat Hanh gave to the answer 'How do I love myself'? He said 'To love yourself is to remember that you have a body' If we remember we have a body, I suggest, we treat our body as we would a puppy, amongst other things we would exercise, take good hygienic care of ourselves and be conscious of what we put in our body.
This chapter talked about Body Image and asked you not to disrespect your body, by grabbing parts of it, and proclaiming that you don't like it, but to accept your body as it is or do something about changing these parts we feel is not as we would like it. But spare a moment to ask yourself, why do you dislike this part of your body? Has social media got anything to do with your reason? What does your body say to you about that body part? Would you hear it speaking? The body speaks to us always. It tells us when it is cold, hot, hungry or tried, to mention a few. Should we listen and adhered to what our body is telling us, we would realise that it is asking us to do things that will ensure that we are taking care of ourselves, our body would never tell us anything that does not serve our well being. Our bodies tell us to treat it as we would a puppy!
In order to honour the God that resides in our body and to keep our body as a temple, I believe we should endeavour to seek good mental health, to stop stressing, try to relieve or find ways to combat tension, this could be tension found in relationships or stress encountered from the environment you find yourself in. Be aware of all your interactions and ask yourself 'How do I feel' Do this often and you will always be in a state of caring for your body.
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