Mind, Body, and Spirit
By Freda Emmons
Sometimes I feel like a little kid, struggling to learn the art of balance in the process of mastering the huge skill of bicycle riding. I lean one direction a bit too far and have to make a quick correction and readjust my efforts. Then, something else catches me by surprise and I’m struggling all over again to balance this fledgling life-skill. The process of learning to balance on a bicycle enough to move forward and not crash relates completely with the life-long process of balancing all the various aspects of one’s life. I have even on occasion, felt quite overwhelmed by life events and had to step back, rest, and then try again to regain my balance. Once the balance happens, there is great freedom and forward motion toward life goals.
Generally, a great many aspects of life can be loosely identified as either things of the mind, body, or spirit.
The physical aspects of the body, such as illness, pain, or physical limitations are very tangible and therefore are fairly easily identified and dealt with. If, however, an imbalance in our physical self is allowed to linger without being addressed, everything feels a bit out-of-whack.
The more challenging aspects of thoughts, emotions, and longings prove to be a bit like a puzzle. Taking the time to identify and value all the things of the mind brings a sense of value to life. Ignoring or devaluing the deep, inner-self, even if it comes out it negative self-talk, keeps imbalance in play and halts any effort to move forward in life.
Things of the spirit are similarly difficult to pin down. There is a portion of life within that reaches out in this somewhat ethereal way, to grasp the ultimate meaning of life, to have a connection with the Creator of all life. It is faith; in every culture on Earth, there is this striving toward God. If this striving is addressed and a connection with God is made through faith, the greatest peace and balance of all enters into life. If ignored or denied, this need of the inner-spirit tends to bring imbalance to all of life, as if a hole is sucking everything into a void.
Learning that exhilarating skill of balance in riding a bicycle is a stepping stone to the very real skills of life that truly enhance the enjoyment of life. Embracing the intrinsic value that every person has as an individual is a huge, foundational issue. Working through the pain of abuse or other trauma, to address the devaluing effect of victimization, is essential to rebuilding balance in the emotions. Learning to take care of the body, with healthy eating, bathing, and exercise, is like that moment when the physical aspects of riding a bicycle are successful and forward momentum is possible. Even in the situation of physical pain, making an effort to work with physicians Even in the situation of physical pain, making an effort to work with physicians or well trained health and wellness professionals to mitigate the pain as much as is possible, allows for a balancing of what is happening with valuing the physical body. The spiritual effort of embracing faith in God opens the door of deeper understanding, on a level that is beyond the mind and body. It is even possible to seek the wisdom of God to assist with balancing life even better.
One of my funniest memories is riding my bicycle full-speed down a long hill, singing with joy in my heart. I was caught by surprise when a bug flew into my open mouth, clear to the back of my mouth and I couldn’t get it out! The balance had been in great flow; I was having the time of my life and then, “wham!” life hit me hard, right where I did not want it. I was thankful I did not crash; I was able to keep the balance of the bicycle, but the fun was just not there anymore. Similarly, there are seasons in our lives when things happen that cause imbalances, financial problems, illnesses, even the death of loved-ones or friends. When we are caught off-guard, the very best thing to do is to rest and take care of yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to gain balance and perspective once again. Valuing the totality of your life is the basis for moving forward to fulfill the goals and dreams you have. Balance is healthy, life-affirming, and propels you onward.
Author and Inspirational Speaker
1. Flame of Healing: A Daily Journey of Healing from Abuse and Trauma
2. Resurrection Hope
3. Millennial Hope
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