If two people got into a fight, who would win? One person is very spiritual. They study their theology and philosophy, feel comfortable and sure in their beliefs. They are at peace with their existence. One person is very physical. They train their body and have achieved the best physical condition they can. They are very sure of their physical capabilities. The two prepare to face off and the bets are being placed. Who will win?
The answer isn’t as easy as you would think. The obvious answer is the person who is most physically strong. We take it for granted that strength comes from physical ability. But, the answer would be the one who was well fed. The winner would be the one who could outlast the other. The one who was more sure of the end and confident in his/her winning. The one who is filled and fulfilled, not lacking in any area he/she longs for.
We see this scenario play out in many stories, legends, and slices of life. Take for instance David and Goliath. David knew he had the living God on his side. With God for him, who could stand against him. Another example is Jack and the Giant he faces in many Jack Tales. He always outsmarts the giant who could out do him physically. Then, from life we see this reality so often in childbirth. A prepared and supported woman can birth successfully without pain medication in any environment she chooses barring any medically necessary procedure. Those unprepared will almost always fail and fall prey to medical intervention. That is a physical and mental preparation. Aside from birth we see it in death. Those who die “well”. Those living with terminal illnesses and achieving more than any well person we know.
Our approach to life should not be one sided. We should approach life holistically to achieve the best life possible. Motherhood/Parenting should be approached the same way. If we are not fed as the parent in our personal lives, how can we ever hope to feed and nurture our children. In thinking about the fight, I believe it would be a toss up. The spiritual person could be full spiritually, but weak physically because he/she has neglected to care for the vessel they were given for earthly dwelling. The physical person could have all the strength in the world, but without spirituality will fail because they lack mental peace. I believe as well that spirituality and physicality would look different for each of us and is dependent upon our situations.
At this moment in my life, I’m fed well physically and am fairly strong there. Spiritually I’m lacking. I find stress eating at me. It in turn makes me weak physically. In my mothering it reveals itself as impatience. It leaves me seeking. Without God’s (my spiritual anchor) help, I will sink and drown. I can’t do it alone for I am only human. I’ve been reminded of that recently. As an Appalachian woman, it is ingrained in us to be strong and not complain when we feel weak. We are to push through it without a fuss even if it kills us. The duality of this quality is one that brings us great courage and a capacity to do for ourselves, but also can be detrimental to our spirit, because it can leave us feeling alone and reluctant to ask for communal help get things accomplished.
I’m hoping as mothers and parents we can remind each other that wellness is a holistic endeavor. Our physical strength is nothing without spiritual backing and vice versa.
-Thanks to Pastor Ruby Couch for getting me thinking on that one. It was a much needed thought.