I’ve been thinking a lot about bodies lately. And by bodies, I don’t mean I’ve been checking out them boys at the gym and wanting to introduce myself whilst lifting 250 pound weights. I mean my own and how much of a wonder it really, truly is.
I haven’t been the best at treating my body well over the years. Battles with my eating disorders have been constant and have stretched forth for years at a time and I had given little thought to how my body was a gift instead of the enemy. Or how my eating disorder had nothing to do with my body at all but instead it was there because of the hatred that had developed within myself. It was not because I could not cope with our media-saturated culture; I developed it because I could not cope with the experiences happening in my life. My body was the target of the emotions and mental illness that became storms inside of me that I could not seem to escape or be rescued from.
But as I think about this, especially during a time when my eating disorder thoughts are more whispers in the wind instead of full on lightning strikes, I think of what a miracle my body is for still being here. Still showing up. Still becoming healthy. Still forgiving of the years of battle I’ve put it through. Still healing. I full-heartedly believe this is the case because my body is intertwined with my soul and my soul is divine; my soul is resilient because it is eternal and my body is amazing because it was created by the greatest Creator.
A philosopher by the name of Clement wrote:
“For what enjoyment of nature is there,…what relish of the elements, which is not imparted to the soul by means of the body? Is it not by its means that the soul is supported by the entire apparatus of the senses-the sight, the hearing, the taste, the smell, the touch? Is it not by its means that it has a sprinkling of the divine power? The flesh, which is accounted the minister and servant of the soul, turns out to be also its associate and co-heir.”
I love this because in it he teaches that our bodies are allies with our soul. We are to work together in order to progress and become.
A philosopher named Origen wrote:
“You (the soul) could not have reached the palm-groves unless you had experienced the harsh trials; you could not have reached the gentle springs without first having to overcome sadness and difficulties….The education of the soul is an age-long spiritual adventure, beginning in this life and continuing after death.”
“Adam was created for development.”
I need my body, my soul needs my body. Another philosopher named Tertullian once explained that so intimate is the union of the body and soul that it is uncertain whether the “flesh bears the soul, or the soul the flesh.”
I am thankful for my body and the purpose that it is. I am thankful that I can reach my full potential by having it. I am thankful for its weaknesses and flaws (not all the time, #nawwhatimsayin) because it helps me to become all that I am meant to be, if I CHOOSE it.