Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dying for Our Sins - take two

So, as the title suggests, and since Easter isn’t over yet, here is another take on this dying thing.

Is “dying for our sins” kind of like “dying for a smoke”? I mean what is with expressions like that? I am dying for a smoke. Yes, my friend, you are. You are dying, for the sake of having a cigarette. Like I would have been dying for my sins if I hadn’t gotten a whiff of what dying was like and revised my crazy ways 5 years ago.

Without knowing it I was willing to die for the foods I was eating, for the laziness and habit of not exercising, for the option to take the birth control pill that threw my hormones out of whack really early on in my life (don’t do that junk anymore, trust me!!), and for various and sundry other things. We are all dying for our sins, for our addictions. In a world so committed to having what we want when we want it, where we get to buy now and pay later, we don’t even bother checking the price tag. Yeah, well, in the case of our bodies, what is it that we will have to pay later on? Owing to our self-indulgent habits, some of us will have to pay with our lives. And, yes, all of us die eventually, but some deaths are easier than others (is it in too bad taste to take JC as our for instance?). And having dabbled in the direction of one kind of death, I have come to realize that I really don’t want to make my final exit down that road if I can help it. So now I search for ways to make sure I can help ensure a gentler path.

And it is not just choices we need to make about our physical world; there are also choices we have to make about our mental and emotional worlds. Taken to the extreme, I think it is a bit new age-y, but it cannot be denied that our thoughts and beliefs are very powerful. It was while I was in chemotherapy that, with the help of my Co-Active Space Leadership Program Tribe, I noticed a rather unfortunate message that I had been sending my body for years. And I mean YEARS. As I mentioned above, I started taking the birth control pill when I was young. And it took just about a month to throw my body out of harmony. Now at the time, young as I was, I knew I was immortal, and so why concern myself with a minor upset to the body. So it didn’t bother me that I was now experiencing pre-menstrual symptoms all the way from ovulation to menstruation, EVERY MONTH. That is two weeks in four. Count ‘em, two. So as of that time forward, my breast ached painful for half of my life. Ouch. And did I have compassion for the lovelies? No, I was annoyed by them, rather than seeing this pain as being something that should concern me, I saw it as something that got in my way. Every time I would move, they would hurt, every jiggle (not that they are big jigglers), every step I took, every sudden movement (not to mention every affectionate grope by my various boyfriends over the years, try explaining why I wince when they touch me, ah the joy), would hurt me. Over time, starting in some unconscious place inside me, but eventually moving into thought or spoken word, each and every time I would feel that pain, I would say to myself “God, my boobs are killing me.” Yes, that’s right GOD, MY BOOBS ARE KILLING ME. Picture that message, at least a dozen times a day, half of every month, for years, now decades. What kinds of damage can that do? Well, I guess that is clear, since we have already seen the results. What do I tell myself now, two weeks out of every month? I say, “Wow, my breasts are tender.” And while it hasn’t stopped my breasts from aching each month, being aware of it has reminded me to bring more love into my body, every single part of my body, regardless of how we are getting along at that moment.

So, bottom line, I am unwilling to die for my sins anymore. Not that I plan to remove all my sins. Obvious, that would be impossible. And that is not the point of redemption anyway. What I will do is be more conscious and intentional, and pick the things that are really worth having, and then have them with full commitment, knowing that I might have to pay a price for them later on. And leave it up to God what that price is.


At 7:39 PM PDT, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Yes, I often wonder if I really had to do it over again, would I treat my body better? Would I stick to that diabetic diet more closely? Perhaps not..but it is important not to live with guilt from that, but rather live with the enlightenment you have gained from "Your Life Story" or "Your Truth". Events do shape our lives to a certain extent and our minds....but then, our minds can shape the events and our responses to them to be sure.


At 10:33 PM PDT, Blogger Signy said...

Well said. One thing that becomes more and more apparent is how much living with regret is a curse. So finding the ways to move on is important. Perhaps that is what redemption is about too. The clean slate, we can always try again.


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