Body Parts: Time to Take Inventory
I don't know about you, but whenever I take a shower I get an opportunity to check that all my body parts are present and correct. I am fairly confident that I would notice if anything was missing. Once I have confirmed that everything is where it should be, the next thing is to ensure that all items are in working order, you know, functioning properly. Again, having lived with this body for a good number of years, I am quickly able to detect a malfunction in one of my attachments or body parts. Each part has an intended use and when it does not operate as it should, it stands out glaringly for me to recognize and hopefully take steps to rectify.
Yesterday, I had an opportunity to once again take bodily inventory and I was shocked with what I found. I had problems with several body parts all at the same time. I was practically falling apart at the seams.
Let's start with my ears...
Over a period of time it appears that I had allowed my ears to stop functioning in the way they were intended and it was causing problems in my relationships. Only the day before my ears were apparently blocked. My wife had been trying to tell me something that was of great importance to her at the same time as I was watching a playoff hockey game. Because I deemed that my viewing was more important than what she was telling me at that particular time, I chose to allow my ears to block out what she was saying. After all, I get to control what I listen to don't I? That is all well and good, but my ear failure in this instance, led on to a relationship breakdown because my wife felt that I was not interested in what she had to say. This body part breakdown is easy to rectify thankfully. I need to be aware that other people (in this instance my wife) are trying to share from their heart with me and my relationships are harmed by my not listening.
"One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears - by listening to them" ~ Dean Rusk
It's really important to listen to other people. I wonder how much I have missed out on in life by not really listening.
Then it was my eyes...
On the day of my self-examination it occurred to me that my eyes were not functioning in the way they used to either. I realized that as a result of life's circumstances, the way I was seeing things had subtly changed over the years. My faith in the goodness of people's intentions was no longer present. Instead I only saw them through my eyes of cynicism and mistrust. When someone complimented me on something I did at work, my initial reaction was a question as to what their real motives were in their comment. My vision of life had become misaligned. I had been bitten too many times to be optimistic any longer. I no longer recognized the beauty in others or even in nature itself.
"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed" ~ Albert Einstein
I needed to rectify my eyesight and allow myself to see the best in others instead of the worst. To see the glass as half full again instead of a global drought in the making. That starts with me.
Moving on, I examined my feet next...
Wow, even my feet had problems. They just didn't seem to want to take me to the places I needed to go anymore. Again, just the day before, I had an opportunity to get involved in a community event that meant I would have to go out of my normal routine and attend a meeting on my day off to plan the event. I decided that my day off was more important to me than taking my lazy butt to the meeting and making a difference in the community.
"A spirit in my feet said go, and I went" ~ Matthew Brady
I came to the realization that my feet would take me where I told them to go, so to fix my broken feet I needed to fix my broken attitude. I needed to go when there was a need to go.
My chest was broken too...
Inside my chest I could feel my heart beating which was actually reassuring me that I was still alive considering that my body was disintegrating all around me. Yet, as I listened to it's beating I realized that it too was malfunctioning. The once strong and true heart that had never failed me was starting to do just that. The compassion I had enjoyed when serving in the poor areas of Mexico with my youth groups was missing. My heart was more willing to look away from the homeless man on the street than ever before. It was feeling cold and hardened. Even in my close relationships I could feel the barrier of self-protection standing there, instead of my heart being open and vulnerable, to love without condition, laying myself bare before those for whom I cared.
"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead" ~ Oscar Wilde
I needed to perform open-heart surgery, but on myself. I needed to take the biggest obstacle out of the way of my heart – and that obstacle was me! For my heart to truly love unconditionally I needed to take my opinion out of the equation and to give no regard to what I would get back out of the relationship, whether it be with my wife, my kids or a stranger.
Lastly, I checked my mouth...
It was when I checked my mouth that I saw that my body meltdown was of epic proportions. My mouth seemed to have a mind of its own. It would spout off sarcasm, words spoken in jest, quick witty comments with no regard to the feelings of the other person, words lacking faith or substance, and wild opinions with no basis. My mouth was in a poor way. It wasn't that I was spewing obscenities, but the words I spoke were akin to sewage poisoning my own life and the lives of those that heard them. When had I lost control of what my tongue wanted to do? When had I slackened of the leash that had my tongue tamed? It was a subtle thing, but very evident nonetheless.
"If you keep your mouth shut you will never put your foot in it" ~ Austin O’Malley
I needed to fix my mouth. The simplest way I concluded was to keep it shut. I concluded that the problem with my mouth was about 6 inches long. It was the connection between my mind and my vocal chords. If I could successfully sever that connection, or at the very least put a check valve in it, I could repair my damaged mouth. So that's what I did.
My body inventory report
The conclusion I came to is that a thorough self-examination of our own body is essential to ensure proper operation of all area of our lives. I just did mine and am going to schedule my next one for a weeks time on my calendar. Not that I only shower once a week, coz that would be a little icky!