I know I'm overweight. Obviously (from firsthand observation), wearing a bikini top or any type of swimsuit is acceptable at the beach. No matter your level of obesity. Is that being secure in your body image, or just plain sloppy? It's a rhetorical question from my perspective, as I don't sunbathe. At all. My pale, white skin only burns and generally the sun gives me hives.
Yet, I'm appalled/intrigued by the number of adults who blithely parade to the pool, around the beach, with large guts and man boobs on full display. I'm trying to consider it "freeing". No need to suck in my tummy. Unfortunately, my conditioning precludes a totally relaxed posture.
What do people eat? Why do so many get so fat? I'm convinced it's a combination of over stimulation-numbing. Too much Musak. Too much film, Internet and television violence. Fear of being silent, contemplative, alone, unstimulated. We're all so over-stimulated from environmental and airwaves excesses, all-access to everything 24/7 with our electronic devices, that silence and solitude are a foreign country. A country everyone avoids--choosing to stay in the familiar, no matter how deadening.
We eat the fastest, tastiest food quickly, compulsively; without really chewing, tasting, savoring. We turn on music, television, videos, social media, Internet fog--distraction, noise.
Because our brains are filled to overflowing with the pervasive wild things of noise and violence, our sub-conscious runs for cover--seeks soothing. The momentary pleasures of taste and satiation; the diversions of the uncensored media... These wreck us. Our health and fitness deteriorates; our brains atrophy. We are all numbed-down and dumbed-down, reclusive in the midst of the maelstrom.
Living consciously, vividly, with an inquiring mind and a teachable spirit is a daily challenge. How to shut out the clatter, the excesses without resorting continually to mental and emotional withdrawal? Seeking to live a thoughtful and kind life requires tremendous energy. Strong character.
I can't think living well is even possible without the work of the Holy Spirit; the promise of God's peace that surpasses all understanding. The opportunities to be in the moment; to seek the simple choices to tune-in to and savor both beauty and quiet, as well the dynamic forces of our world and universe: the oceans, the tides, mountains and plains, the sky, day and night, twilight and daybreak, the clouds and the stars, the wind and the storms. Sunshine and cool breezes, stately trees and blooming flowers. The seasons and the passing of time.
We are uniquely human. We can reflect and regroup. Reconsider and re-invent. We can choose to live well; act humanely. We can take control of our five senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, seeing. We have choices. We're not in this alone. We can walk closely with God, live and love as Jesus did, welcome the Holy Spirit to guide and remind, and rejoice in the realities of redemption, forgiveness, and life everlasting.
For now, the challenge is to live well and to be kind. To live life in the realities of this time and this culture, while pro-actively caring for our bodies, minds, and spirits.