That's probably not the most common thing you hear, huh? Well, its true! I wake up every day more and more in love with my body. But you see, here's the thing. I am not in love with it because of the way it looks. Nope. Nu-uh! I love my body for all that it is and all that it does for me! I wake up every day so thankful that my heart is still beating strong, my bones are in tact, and that I don't have any significant complications with my health. Not everyone can say that last part, so with that I feel especially thankful. I am pretty sure somewhere in every prayer I say, I make room to thank Heavenly Father for my body, because I have this weird theory that maybe if I thank Him enough, He will see how grateful I am and shield me from any complications. Okay, so maybe thats not completely how He works and if it be His will that I go through physical trials in my life, then I trust Him and will push through it. But for now, I am just enjoying my healthy body. I just love all the things that it does and can do.
I recently got back from our team's cross country camp where we ran and ran and ran some more for three days in the mountains while we all camped together. It's such an enjoyable experience and I always come back from it loving my body even more. We do this 6 mile run up the mountain on the second day of camp known as the "guts run". Coach calls it that because he says its for us to see how long we can run on pure guts and determination when every other fiber of our being wants to stop running. By the end of the run, despite the ache and fatigue, I always just look down at my legs and think, "Wow! They can really do that?!" And there are so many other amazing experiences that I can have with this complex little machine. Run to the waterfall, bike the canal, swim in the ocean, zip-line through trees, hug those I love, play instruments, taste chocolate and so so much more.
Everything our bodies can do and experience for us is purely amazing. The more I think about it, the more I start to understand Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness. Yesterday, I listened to David A. Bednar's talk called, "Things as They Really Are" (I suggest reading it if you want a moment of "oh my heck, life makes sense now!") and it really gave me such a new perspective on my body and my purpose here. It was a part of God's plan for us to come to Earth and gain bodies because He knew there was a depth and intensity of experience that we need and of which we could only experience in this state of being. Our state of existence in the pre-mortal life could not have provided us the means to experience and feel in the way our body lets us feel now. This physical vessel that carries our spirit is the instrument that helps make up the foundation of our character and mind. Our bodies are literally physical instruments given to us in order to amplify our ability to experience. With it, we are able to more fully comprehend what it really means to obey and live the principles of the gospel. With it also, we experience feelings such as joy, excitement, love, disappointment, sorrow, fear, etc. We could not have done these things had we not accepted our Father's plan to leave His presence and receive a body. (The faith we must have had in Him and His plan!) The more you begin to understand these truths of our body and its purposes, the more we honor it as the vessel and instrument to carry us to salvation and exaltation. And the more we honor it, the more we want to take care of it, feed it nutritiously, and exercise. The more we take care of it, the more we will protect it by not engaging in dangerous activity. The more we protect it physically, the more we want to protect it symbolically as we strive to dress modestly to keep it covered and sacred to us. Our bodies are truly a sacred and beautiful instrument. Treat it well. And love it too! Don't beat yourself up because your body isn't the "ideal" image of what you think it should be. In fact, to come up with one "ideal" image of what our bodies should be is probably offensive to the One who created them, each beautifully and uniquely for each of us. Fall in love with your body and everything about it because like I said before, it is the vessel that will carry you to your salvation and exaltation!