Taking care of yourself is spiritual.
Shauna told me Father William told her that one day. That means showering, dressing clean and tidy, and combing your hair before you go out. Make sure there’s no broccoli in your teeth after lunch and you don’t need a Kleenex.
One of the things I learnt about having MS early on is it’s always tempting to take the easy way. It’s a constant battle to choose the high road. Slipping on sweats rather than fiddle with zippers and buttons on jeans is much quicker and easier with not so well co-ordinated hands. Or going without my eyebrows on because sometimes it takes a few tries to get them to match.
But there’s a price to pay: I feel scruffy when I wear sweats all day, and look like I just got up. People treat me different when I look sloppy. It’s about quality, not quantity these days.
Too many people with conditions, along with their health care teams’ encouragement, convince you to take that easier softer road. “Go easy on yourself” they say, “Why expend more energy than necessary? Who cares?” I care.
In my opinion, those are the very little things that erode my well being. If I look like heck, I feel like heck, then people treat me like heck. And feel sorry for me. And I can do without pity. What’s spiritual about that?
If I’m truly living one day at a time, and doing my very best each day, and looking my best is part of that day, regardless of the effort or energy it takes, then the pay- back I get in feelings is worth it. That is quality-of-life in my books.
God blessed us with a beautiful body and it’s up to us how we take care of it. That’s one choice nobody can take away from us. Our bodies are our temples for the spirit of God to dwell within. Granted some are more broken down than others, as it s with most chronic illness sufferers. But regardless its still our duty and obligation to take care of it best we can.
I get so inspired when I go to the local gym at the Rec Center and see participants of all ages and all abilities doing their best. Seniors with advanced Parkinson’s teetering from one piece of equipment to another, young mothers reclaiming their figure, and buxom fighter fighters out doing each other with bar bells as big as houses. They’re all there taking care of the body they were given best they can.
Living with MS is no different. If I truly have given my life over to Christ and am living on a daily basis, then I needn’t worry about what next week or next year will bring in terms of ability. If I can feed or dress myself. I will cross that bridge when and if I get there and trust I’ll be given the strength, encouragement and inspiration to do so. Then I’m free to enjoy today to the fullest. Which is what I try to do each and every day. And that begins with looking and feeling my best. I don’t distress myself with mad imaginings. I instead eat well, rest, exercise, and take care of the things I can, leaving the things I can’t in His capable hands.
Reminds me of back in the day when I was first getting to know God, I stopped wearing make up for awhile. (Now you need to know I’ve been wearing the same make up since high school and the Mary Kay party Cindy had in grade ten and it’s only in the last five years I dropped the mascara because of shaky hands.) I made this deal with myself when I gave up driving (because my insurance was unaffordable) and was bicycling all over Vancouver for three years. I was going au naturale all the way. I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t wear any glamour until I felt beautiful on the inside and then I could wear as much as I wanted. It took awhile but the day came when I truly felt as pretty with it as I did without it, and I could take it or leave it.
So go ahead, purchase those shoes you really like or try a new hairstyle. Splash a little aftershave in your bellybutton. Feel your best. God wants you too.