That’s how I have come to think about my body...taking care of the temple. It has taken over half a century to arrive at this way of thinking. It has not been a particularly easy road for me because from a very early age there was an expectation for me to be beautiful. Not pretty or cute, but beautiful.
Somehow, I believed that what I looked like was why people would like me. At home there was also living up to my mother, and that was not easy. I was six inches taller than her, and quite a bit heavier. I also grew up in a time when what was beautiful when my mom was young was no longer relevant. But I couldn’t break out of this idea, I believed that I had to live up to the image people thought I should have. I am not saying that I was miserable, but I lacked confidence just to simply be me, to love my body, to love my very own temple.
As I matured, I realized that daily discipline (now thought of as ritual), of taking care of my body was not only good sense, but it gave me pleasure and I knew that as I aged, hopefully the care that I took would guide me gracefully into my later years. It was about beauty, but not about being beautiful.
Today and every day, I work at maintaining the temple. I am understanding that a temple with a good foundation ages well. It will keep the spirit safe. I am forgiving of the temple if it is not perfect, or appears perfect to all who see it. I realize that this temple is what we have in this life to carry who we are around, so it is best to make the best of it. Keep it clean, keep it strong, keep it light and airy, and keep it filled with beauty so that it in turn will radiate beauty.