"19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
Our bodies are gifts from God, we should treat them as such. We should cherish them and love them and CARE for them. By loving God, I promise to love myself and those around me. And by promising to love myself, I promise to take care of my Mind, my Body, and my Spirit in order to nourish my God-given Soul. I love the words, "God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." It makes me priceless, rare, oh-so valuable.
This means several things to me:
1) I must learn to love myself for who I am, all of the beauty I have to offer and all of my imperfections (because they are beautiful too). God made me this way, He worked long and hard, He paid a high price, for me to be this way. Every corner, every pore, every wrinkle, every pimple, my dark skin, EVERYTHING... are gifts from God; He molded with love.
2) I must take care of my body... did everyone get that... I must TAKE CARE of my body. I must nurture, and love it, I must honor God with [my] body. I must nourish my body with food that will keep it healthy. I must exercise (this includes my mind) in order for it to be strong. I must practice good self-care and and hygiene. I must get sufficient sleep so it is well rested and energized. I must learn to listen to it in order to give it what it needs, this also means slowing down when I have to.
3) I must respect my body. This is important to me because for a long time I didn't do this, I didn't love and honor myself enough to. This means that I don't self-harm in regards to drinking and smoking as well as sexual and other physical activities. This also means I must demand respect from others and if they are unwilling to honor me, then I am unwilling to have them in my life.
4) I must love and respect others. How can I demand respect and love without reciprocating the honor? We hear in the Bible over and over, "love your neighbor as yourself." It's not called the Golden Rule for nothing. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. Watch your words and watch your actions. Love others for who they are, their perfections and imperfections and never judge a book by it's cover. Remember, we are all children of God. (Gosh this one was full of clichés... but their clichés for a reason, right?)
Now please, don't get me wrong, it took me a loooong time for me to feel the way I do about my body. I used to be teased all into college about my "beauty mark" (thanks mom for making me call it that), my "chicken legs," my "acne", my "nose", my "hairy arms," etc.. Who's to define beauty? Society? Hah! Yeah right if I'm going to let a bunch of female and male chauvinist companies with a one track mind (--> $$$) tell me what I should look like in order to be and feel beautiful! For the longest time I would allow other's opinions of me to determine how I felt about myself. Little did I know, their opinions were only a mere reflection of their own insecurities... simply taking it out on others. And to be honest, I still have moments of unclarity and moments when I don't like what or who I see in the mirror, and that's okay it's normal. The important thing is being able to move forward, pray and ask God for whatever confidence, clarity, and strength you need in order to get through it. And most importantly, forgive others when they hurt you and always forgive yourself... after all, we're human, isn't that enough?
I am a Goddess and my Body is my temple.