Over recent years I’ve found myself more and more intrigued by our bodies and specifically how they relate to the rest of our selves. Often I think it’s our bodies that are left out of any spiritual or emotional reflection and yet, it is the physical place that houses all of us. As an Enneagram 8 I experience the world through the lens of my body and given the learning we’ve been doing around this – cheeky plug for our events – it’s led me to really delve deeper into the ‘body’.
Jack bought me ‘The Body : A Guide to Occupants’ by Bill Bryson, for my birthday and I’ve found it such a worshipful experience.
Well let me explain.
Exploring, learning and discovering – all that my school years didn’t teach me or that I’ve failed to remember – has led me to such a place of awe and wonder about how we are created, the nuances and details that our Creator has placed within us in order for us to function in everyday life.
I’m sure I’m not alone in having a rocky relationship with my body; frustration, confusion, ignorance, rejection, disappointment. And yet, as I walk with Jesus and seek his resurrection power in all aspects of my life – I’m keen to discover how that seeks to restore my relationship with my body. How do I come to a place of acceptance, responsibility and awe about this place where ‘Rebi’ is in physical form?
I’m often in conversation with my body – hello, type 8! – and this reflection has challenged me to be kind as I speak, to work with, not against, this space I inhabit. I was challenged by the question asked by Dr Hillary McBride during a seminar on the body ‘would you speak to someone else the way you speak to yourself?’ Mic. Drop.
Repeated times in Bill’s Book, he reaches a point of embracing mystery – whether he’s describing our fingerprints, our eyes, the reproductive system – there comes a point where all the science and discoveries fail to explain the deep mystery behind so many of our bodily functions. I think it’s in this place of mystery where we hold the truth that our bodies are ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 6:19).
And yet, there is also a huge amount that science has discovered to help us care and respect our bodies. As the physical space we inhabit on this earth, there are choices we can make that help us to honour and be in harmony with our very selves.
And for me this was hugely releasing – I wonder if somewhere in the tension between the mystery and the knowledge is the place of peace with our bodies. This leads me to a place where I can’t treat it with disregard or ignorance – there are some decisions that I can be empowered to make which helps to make my body a place of health – yet holding the mystery means that I can’t control or explain every twist or turn in the journey. And it can be a true place of worship and connection with our Creator.