Your body is not a temple.


There is a quote floating around Tumblr recently by Beau Taplin:
"Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest-- thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated."
I feel this resonating through me. We have grown to worship our bodies, our flesh, when the thing we should work to honor and warm is what inhabits the body: us. As a friend once put it, "You are not a body with a soul, you are a soul with a body." We have all heard someone, maybe on a TV show or in a book or song, refer to our bodies as our own temples, and this well-intentioned metaphor is totally throwing us off. We're forgetting who we are. No matter what we wear, how we adorn or modify our bodies, it should be an expression of ourselves as a person and the lives we build. And sometimes, maybe even often, loving our physical forms is a totally empowering act of loving ourselves, especially when we are rallying against a constant, commercialized barrage of messages telling us we're not good enough, with "yet" tacked on after, with a promise of lovableness/realization of our potential following a purchase of something-or-another.

Your body is not a temple. It is a forest. It is alive. It has endured. It changes. It grows. It heals. Our bodies are important, but they are not the sum of what happens to them, and we are not the sum of what happens to our bodies.

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3 comments:

  1. This is so wonderful! I'm writing that down somewhere.

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  2. That saying, "your body is a temple" comes from the Bible, but I also like how you interpreted it as a forest. Something to think about!

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  3. I think the idea of a body being a temple was more salient way back when when most people actually DID regularly go to and maintain temples. Nowadays, temples are easily thought of as more static things, or relics of the past if you don't practice a religion that regularly makes use of a temple-- especially since now many places of worship are not typically referred to as "temples" in the US.

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