My Body is the Vatican

Yeah, I’m taking it up a notch. My body isn’t just my temple, it’s the freakin’ Vatican. And all other holy places.

See, a couple of weeks ago I realized a life-long goal: visiting the Catholic holy of holies, the Sistine Chapel. It was crowded and overwhelming. People flouted the no talking/picture taking rules left and right. But it was beautiful.

Beautiful and soul-stirring, and it was amazing to think that even before it had been cleaned and restored, it had the same effect on people. There are just some places where the Spirit of God is palpable, and this was one of them.

What I took away from this is that my body holds the same potential. God’s Spirit lives within me, and it deserves a well-maintained, lovingly taken care of space. How this has shifted my mindset:

  • It’s not vain or indulgent to get massages, facials, mani/pedis, etc. It is part of keeping my temple worthy of what inhabits it.
  • It is not okay to beat it into submission through grueling workouts and starvation diets. No more whipping my body into shape, now it’s all about loving it into shape.
  • I will be mindful of what I put in my mouth, and while I’m not swearing off pizza and beer I will be careful to provide mostly good nourishment.
  • I will support my body so that the stress of being in this world doesn’t cause permanent damage.

I’ve been back for about a week and it’s been two since I had this realization, and while I’ve felt the pull to go back to my old self-critical, disrespectful ways, it hasn’t been that strong. The intellectual understanding of “my body is my temple” has taken root in my heart and I know the seed will continue to grow.

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How do you care for your temple?

1 Comment

  1. Maybe I need a trip to the Vatican, too. I like “loving it into shape.”


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