I’ve been reading ‘Embracing the Body’ by Tara Owens, and today we will begin to discuss it on The Hope Diaries book group page on facebook (everyone is welcome, so leave me a comment if you’d like to be added to the group!).
The premise of Tara’s writing is that we are intentionally embodied beings, and the fact that we are physical is an integral part of our spiritual being.
We are made in the image of God, and Jesus came in the image of man. The consequences of this are enormous.
“If God becomes human, he’s taking on something that we thought was full only of decay and betrayal. If God becomes human, it means that the very stuff of our lives can be infused with the holy, the true, the good. If God becomes human, then there’s something essential and true to be found in the human experience – there’s something essential and true to be discovered in our very flesh and blood, bone and sinew.”
Tara writes early in the book that our bodies tell us the truths that our minds try to hide – when we get butterflies in our stomach we may tell ourselves in our mind that we are not nervous about the conversation we’re about to have, but our body knows the truth.
“Our bodies are in integral part of our selves and tell us what we most deeply believe – even when our minds and hearts are telling us otherwise… Our bodies don’t lie, and what they tell us about how we perceive reality is the key to stepping into actual transformation in Christ.”
I almost didn’t get past that sentence. It bears repetition:
“Our bodies don’t lie and what they tell us about how we perceive reality is the key to stepping into actual transformation in Christ.”
I realised that I frequently use my mind to overrule the truths of my body. Whether it’s ignoring the ‘I’m full up’ message as I comfort eat another chocolate bar, or refusing to acknowledge that the heart palpitations, which occurred over months when I was holding unforgiveness, were not a normal feature of the every day life of a 40 something, I am good at telling my body that I don’t want to listen to it.
But what if Tara is right ?
What if listening to the truths my body tells me, is the key to stepping into actual transformation in Christ?
I want that transformation so I’ve started listening.
Maybe it’s through listening to my body that I will see God do immeasurably more than I can ask and imagine?
I’ve started to believe that my body is not just an earthly casing, but an intentional heavenly imagining
I have to confess to being a little nervous. I’m not sure I want to know the truths I’ve been burying. But I also feel confident. I know that God does heal and change us, and as if God knew I’d need some evidence before believing, I have realised that since deciding to choose forgiveness of myself and others six weeks ago during my retreat, my heart palpitations have stopped.
I want to be intentional in my truth seeking, using my body as a tool provided by God to help me discern the right paths.
I’m excited about experiencing God more fully.
Would you like to join me?