A little over a month ago, my pain level was through the roof. There was a weekend where I barely got out of bed because my entire body hurt and it was too much for me to bear. Things probably would’ve improved if I had gotten up and moved around and stretched, but I simply didn’t have the energy.
Then it hit me: I hadn’t been taking good care of myself.
I have this weird tendency to forget that my body is something that needs to be cared for. Instead, I opt for convenience over everything else, eating what’s closest and only when it’s absolutely necessary. I can get so focused on working that I forget about things like working out and stretching and strengthening my muscles. My tendency is to do what feels good at the time, not what is actually good for me in the long run.
So, to remedy this fact, I started doing a modified Whole30. I drastically reduced the amount of sugar and carbs I was taking in and began eating more green things. And, to the shock of everyone who knows me, I began cooking too! And I haven’t burned my apartment down, so that’s a huge win.
While on the surface this might seem like a purely physical exercise, it’s been so good for my spirit, soul, and mind. This has been such an important reminder that no part of me exists independently of all the others. My soul is connected to my body which is connected to my mind which is connected to my spirit. Even though I think we all know this fact on some level, we still manage to segment ourselves into little parts. We buy into the lie that we can just be one part instead of one cohesive unit.
So how do we identify this lie?
And how do we reintegrate the various parts of us back into one?
For me, this has ended up being a stewardship issue. We usually talk about stewardship in the context of our money or other resources that we’ve been given but there’s so much more to it than that.
The Lord gave each of us the bodies that we have been given and we are responsible for them. Some of us were dealt great hands and have bodies that work optimally, while others have great bodies that came with some issues. But, no matter what we start out with, we’re responsible for what we do with the bodies that we’ve been given.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
The concept of stewardship, for me, has been the biggest help in trying to reintegrate the various components of myself back into one. I don’t need to take care of myself to look good or to be Instagram-ready, but I need to take care of myself as an act of honoring the Lord. God made us as fully-integrated human beings; just as he is three-in-one, so are we. This is a beautiful and complex example that we are made in his image and it’s our privilege to figure out how to steward that well.
Do you tend to compartmentalize yourself?
How do you reintegrate the various parts of you back into one?