Sunday, July 3rd, 2011...7:34 am
JULY 2011: ‘Bodycare’
This month, consider the challenge of paying greater attention to your physical body – and at the same time, detaching from it.
Your physical body works best with kind attention to what it needs: rest, exercise, healthful foods, and proper care. And yet, as much as we identify with our physical self, your body is not you.
If you take excellent care of your body, you enjoy the benefits of having few if any limitations in your physical world. At the same time, maintaining an attitude of non-attachment to your physical self challenges you to identify with your inner being – your spirit.
Know that you are much more than simply your physical nature. In fact – you are a divine spiritual being having a human (physical) experience.
Some time ago I began seeing a new client. He was destined to spend the rest of his adult life in a wheelchair - the result of a car accident that occurred while returning home from his soccer game. At the time of the crash, he was 26. He had been working as a financial auditor – and was given much responsibilty and autonomy at such an early stage of his career. As he spoke about what must have felt like a lifetime ago, I could feel the obvious passion he still felt for this profession; one indeed he was well suited for.
Today, life is very different. Even the timing of our sessions means that my client has not eaten all day and refuses the water I offer. He explains that he does so because he has no control over his bowels. While he remains sufficiently independent, living on his own; he is paralysed below the waist. He describes living a solitary life. Married for a short time, his wife (whom he met on-line three years ago and who moved from another country to be with him), recently left claiming it was “more difficult than she might had ever imagined”. While he was initially bitter (and even hateful), my client has begun to forgive, understanding that “it was a lot to ask that someone should want to be with him, giving up so much of what they could do” because of his physical limitations.
My client attends support meetings with other wheelchair patients at a nearby hospital. By his reports, the statistics are certainly grim. Most individuals who become parapalegics also inevitably become divorced. Of the 15 others who were part of the support group when my client began attending, only 3 remain. While new individuals continue to join, my client informs me that 12 of the initial members have since committed suicide. A physical body now vastly tranformed, makes for an almost unbearable life.
He too admits deliberating the idea of taking his life. What has kept my client going these last 12 years has been his “Mother’s love and care” (his Father has recently passed), and possibly (although he has not admitted so) the hope of finding love again.
During this month, make an effort to reclaim appreciation of your physical self - and yet at the same time – become somewhat detached to the significance of your physical body.
July offers us a perfect time to rethink lifestyle and dietary habits, to create goals – as well as the resolve to improve our ‘bodycare’. It may be perfect timing to remember with gratitude the ease to which your physical body performs.
You might also consider not attaching your whole nature – your entire self image – to how you view and display your body.
Know that your body is indeed important, yet it remains only the ‘vessel’ of your human existance. Instead, consider your SPIRIT.
Embrace the opportunity to live as a spiritual being ‘in action’ and live showing the world your true nature - the divine element of your inner self.
As for my client, he has been considering a return to university – to retrain in the field of social work. He wants to help other wheelchair injury victims, by reminding them of their true nature – to be a shining light in the world - simply as they already are.
In doing so, I imagine he will reclaim more of his whole self.