After taking some time off, it’s good to be back. During my time off I took time to reflect on what really matters. You might think that this would be an easy question to answer—family. I discovered it was not that simple. Of course, my knee-jerk response was, “My family.” But it quickly followed that if my family was important to me, then being there for my family, to provide and care for them was equally important. If providing for my family was as important as my family, then being fit in all areas: mind, body, and spirit, would carry the same weight.
This gave rise to a new appreciation for the ancient text, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” To really love my family, I had to discover what it means to love me. This notion is easily repelled because of its selfish tone. It is easier to understand it from the reverse…the only way I can really love my family is by loving myself. When my family sees me loving myself so that I can provide a better life for them, then I’m doing more than just providing, I’m teaching.
The one constant in all of this is love.
I soon discovered that the way I loved my mind and body, came from how I loved my spirit. In loving my spirit, I gave up the need to understand, and know. Loving my spirit meant letting go of the feeling that I had to have all the right answers about who I was, and why I was. Yes, I even gave up the sense of purpose, because there was only one purpose—love. All I needed to do was to accept that there was a deeper part of me that was not put there by me, or even my parents. The essence of me was formed by God. Purpose belongs to God. Revealed and understood purpose belongs to God. The only thing left for me was to love. In loving my spirit I felt the presence of God. I was not alone in the universe, I was not alone in the community, because I was not alone within myself…I was with God and God was with me. Being with God means being with grace. Being with God means I am not responsible for generating this love I have within me, this love I have for me. This love is generated by God and was given into me, for me. From the place within, this love grows. Its growth is of its own doing. I don’t make it grow, it just grows. This love growth is unstoppable. It keeps growing until it spills over into my mind…
I am love
Loving my mind means allowing negative thoughts to float away…even if just for a moment. It means freeing my thoughts of blame, regret, fear, and frustration. It means accepting with great appreciation who I am right now. In that single moment, there is no one else—I know that’s challenging, but only at first. When you really get that those you love need you to do this, it gets easier. Loving my mind means letting go of time. I had to free my mind from all the pain and regret from my past. In that moment I was free from the pressures of tomorrow, next week, etc. This is a moment when there is no, “right and wrong”…there is only love. In this moment I allowed myself to be perfect. I discovered that in this perfection there is freedom, and in freedom there is perfection…
I am perfect and unapologetically me.
Loving my body gained momentum when I started loving my mind. Interestingly, the process of loving my body was not all that different than loving my mind. It involved accepting, in that moment, the reality that my body was perfect and whole. In that moment I was not broken, diseased, or even undesirable. Loving my body meant accepting that I am beautiful. When I say beautiful, I don’t mean some synthetic, nebulous idea of, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” No. I am actually the essence of beautiful. I am full of beauty, so much so, that beauty burst forth—through my smile, my gaze, and even the way I walk—beautiful. In this loving moment, there is no mirror of yesterday, nor are there images of a future body. There is only this perfect body now. In this moment of loving my body, even the pain is my body loving me back. Pain is my body telling me where it is healing and getting stronger. Pain is my body telling me, “Thank you for remembering me.”
I am perfect and my body is complete.