One of the things I’ve been giving a great deal of thought lately is the relationship that we humans have with our physical bodies. It has taken me quite a while to understand and accept it, but I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that I am not my body. Now I realize this may seem to be a strange concept to some—and I understand their skepticism, for I was once a bit doubtful myself.
What I suppose I should say is that we are not the body itself—rather, we are the conscious awareness that temporarily resides in it. OK, I guess that’s probably as clear as mud. First, let me define “conscious awareness” as being the part of you that recognizes itself as you. The part that sits here reading this and thinks, “Hey, he must be talking about me!” That conscious awareness is not your body, but the energetic spirit (some may refer to this as the “soul”) that lives within and animates it. This part of you does not depend upon the physical body to exist, it merely uses the physical body as a vehicle to experience the physical world.
My favorite analogy for this concept is that we are not like a car, we are more like the driver who drives the car. Just as a driver will do with an old car, when our physical body dies, we simply get out and move on. That is, the part of us that we recognize as “us” takes on new form (spirit form, if you will) and may even, as I’m coming more and more to believe, eventually acquire a new body through the reincarnation process. So if this really is true, then the next time around I’d really appreciate having a high-end luxury model—one with all the options. I’ve had quite enough of this base-model “clunker” I’m currently commuting in, thank you!
But seriously, I’ve come to realize it’s exactly that kind of thinking and attitude that may be one of our greatest problems. As human beings, we don’t often recognize these bodily vehicles as the “miracle machines” they truly are. Think of all the fantastic things we can do with them! We can crawl, walk, run, climb, or swim to any of so many delightful places on our wonderful planet, Earth. We can appreciate the spectacular color of a sunset, the warm touch of a loved one’s hand in ours, the good night whisper of a small child, the sweet tartness of a fresh-picked berry, or the delicate fragrance of a blushing rose. We can feel the tug of emotions that seem to reach far beyond the physical—the ones that touch the very depths of our souls. We may experience these when we witness the passing of a loved one or a dear friend, the thrill of a child’s first awkward steps, or the pain of someone who is suffering. Such profound emotions also spring forth with love’s first kiss or when we’ve been stirred by an especially powerful piece of music. Our ability to experience these things—and so many more, is only possible because of the wonderfully worn, relatively mobile, and faithful collection of cells and tissues that we call our bodies.
It’s a shame that so many of us don’t well appreciate this most physical aspect of ourselves. Oh, sure, we feed them, bathe them, rest them, and at times “primp” them, but we don’t often love them the way we should. In fact, far too many of us (and I’m certainly guilty of this as well) treat them as an abusive parent might treat a child. Sometimes we may look at them in the mirror and wish they were taller, thinner, stronger, or less wrinkled. We may grumble about our aches and pains or curse our receding hairlines and expanding waistlines as we grow older. If someone were to tell you such things frequently (and that’s what many of us do to our bodies every day), how would you feel? Well, that’s exactly how our bodies must feel too! They know what we really think of them—and yet they love us unconditionally anyway. They’ve been with us since before our hearts made their first beats and before we took our first breaths. They’ve been with us through childhood, our teens, and our journey into adulthood. They’ve accompanied us through all our trials, tribulations, and triumphs. They’ll even be with us when we take our last breaths. And when our soul essence finally leaves them behind, they’ll slowly return to the dust from whence they came. Doesn’t that kind of service and loyalty deserve some respect, care, and even love?
I should think so. As a result of my “awakening”, I’m now much more aware of the physical aspect of my being. I’m working harder to recognize the beauty, health, and efficiency of all the cells, parts, and systems of my body for the amazing wonders that they are. I think positive thoughts about my body, bless it, and thank it for its selfless service. Now, when I experience an ache or a pain, I try to understand what it may be trying to tell me and learn from that experience. In several of her books, Dolores Cannon mentions the importance of simply talking to our bodies in a positive way, each and every day. Taking care of them, acknowledging them for what they truly do for us, fully appreciating them, and loving them is the least we can do to ensure their—and indeed, our continued good health and well-being.
And truly loving this most physical aspect of yourself is just one more way you may show your appreciation for one of the most elegantly complex, wonderful things that makes up our Universe—you!
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