The Human Body - Vehicle for the Soul
If the mind is the repository for the soul and all that makes a person who he is, the body is the vehicle in which this repository is transported through life and from one location to another. Traveling around in the human body as it does, the soul is well protected in some ways, but extremely fragile in others. The human body is engineered to repair and rebuild itself. It has amazing recuperative and regenerative powers. However, it also appears that we are preprogrammed to age and die. The soul is dependent on a variety of factors to maintain the integrity of its vehicle.
I theorize we have a finite amount of resilience, like a bank account. Withdrawals on this account begin at birth for most of us, even before that for persons with heredity conditions. Everything we encounter takes its toll on our reserves. Injuries, disease, accidents, bad decisions, lifestyle choices, etc. make withdrawals. When we are out of “funds”, we die.
Is there any way to make deposits? Perhaps. A healthy lifestyle, good hygiene, avoidance of risky behavior, exercise, and a strong dose of luck can increase the account. But I believe it is true that no amount of deposits will ever balance the withdrawals. It is a disparate equation. We lose “funds” no matter what we do. Our only choice in the matter is the speed with which we deplete our accounts.
When we are young, we heal faster. But that doesn’t mean that a withdrawal hasn’t been made. As we age, the healing process slows. And it has been found that stress interferes with healing. While it is impossible to avoid stress entirely, it is shocking how often we place or keep ourselves in situations that cause us great distress. Each time we are stressed, we withdraw from our account.
Often we focus on the exterior of our bodily vehicles. We spend hours on decorating our bodies with hairstyles, clothing, makeup and the like and pay not nearly so much attention to standard physical and spiritual maintenance. Exterior detailing might make a small deposit in our account via a boost to our spirits, but does little else for our longevity. I could suggest the time would be better spent on exercise, meal planning, situational changes, or meditation to soothe our inner being, but I am as guilty as the next person of gearing my allocated “body time” toward grooming rather than health.
Every cigarette we smoke, every cupcake we devour, every surgery (elective or otherwise) we have, every heartache or angry moment we endure, every worry, every injury – they all take from our account and we can never replace what was taken in its entirety.
So, what can be done? We have a measure of control over the depletions from our reserves. A practical approach would be to guard your account with vigilance. Don’t get in the car with that drunk driver. Don’t dive off that cliff into murky waters. Avoid risky behaviors that can lead to injury or illness. Be clean, wash your hands regularly. Eat right, exercise, take vitamins. If you are in a bad situation, find a way out of it. If you can’t get out for whatever reason, find a new perspective, a new way of looking at it or dealing with it so you can protect yourself as much as possible from the fallout. A former employer of mine once said, “Don’t eat for enjoyment. Eat to fuel your body.” Good advice; and he proved its veracity by living well into his 90’s with few health problems. But, on the other hand, he rarely experienced the heady sensation of rich chocolate cake melting on his tongue or the bubbly thrill of champagne tickling its way through his body!
A more fatalistic approach might be to say “the hell with it” and live wild and free for life is short, and the pursuit of pleasure is intoxicating. There are those that cry with passion, “Eat that pile of bacon, take that bungee jump, drink from that bottle, accept that ride from the mysterious stranger.” Many people stop those behaviors when they realize how precarious is our hold on life and health. But there are also those who never stop taking chances.
Most of us, however, seek a balance between the two. We alternate between guarding our account with wisdom and splurging with impulsive abandon. How will you treat your dwindling reserves? It’s up to you.