Franciscan Spirit Blog

Connecting to Earth and Spirit

Your body’s power lies in its ability to offer presence and tenderness, both to you and to every human being with whom you are connected in this life.

When you see yourself as a part of the greater whole, you not only give greater honor to the whole, but you also gain a healthy perspective on your own significance. This is just one of the many gifts that Creation has to offer us. Growing a garden, taking meditative hikes, and increasing your environmental stewardship are all ways you can find your place within the whole. Getting your body, soul, and mind in tune with the natural world can have significant benefits to your quality of life.

You are not an isolated creature, not a mere accident tasked with going through life on your own. Your physical body is an integral and natural part of the planet you are on—one where your actions, attitudes, and even your thoughts impact the whole.

Stepping out into nature can remind you that you are not the center of the world. In relation to both the splendor and suffering of the earth, the way you feel about your physical appearance truly is a very small thing. You are part of something so much bigger—something so much better than the number on the tag of your pants.

Animals delight in their life without ever considering their shape or size. Plants do their work of photosynthesis without self-consciousness. Spending time in Creation—and finding your interconnectedness to it—invites you to stop taking yourself so seriously. Step outside and let nature heal you. Appreciate the way your body connects you to the primal longing to belong—and belong here, you do.


Connected to Others

Your body is magnificently yours alone, but it is also true that the people you love receive from your body in important ways. Your flesh and blood actually make life more comforting and less lonely for others. The wonder of being human is the endless domino effect of how our presence touches the hearts of others—often in ways we will never know.

When you hug a friend, make eye contact with a stranger, put a child on your lap, or caress a lover, you are opening yourself to allow God to communicate to another person through your body. We don’t usually think of it that way, but if God is love, then that’s exactly what is taking place. When your body communicates love to the world, it is acting as a vessel of God’s Spirit.

Your body was given to you for your own pleasure, but it was also created for the good of others. Your body’s power does not lie in how much it weighs or what shape it’s in. Your body’s power lies in its ability to offer presence and tenderness, both to you and to every human being with whom you are connected in this life.

Click here for more from Shannon K. Evans!

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