Taking care of your body, heart, mind and soul

Published 7:44 pm Monday, July 30, 2018

Physically, your mind is “the element, part, substance or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc. — your brain.”

Spiritually, your mind is “the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities.”

Physically, your heart is “a hollow, pump-like organ of blood circulation, composed mainly of rhythmically contractile smooth muscle, located in the chest between the lungs, slightly to the left and consisting of four chambers.” Spiritually, your heart is “the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion (Dictionary.com).”

Many psychologists and theologians say we humans have four parts — a physical part (body), an emotional part (heart), a thinking part (mind) and a spiritual part (soul). So, life has two goals, balance and wholeness; the Navajo call it “hozho.” Balance is growing up physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

But, Jeremiah the prophet warned us, “Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed. I, the Lord, search the minds and test the hearts of people. I treat each of them according to the way they live, according to what they do (Jeremiah 17).”

Several years ago, the doctor told me I was a “borderline diabetic.” He told me to avoid fried foods, sweet foods and white foods. In fact, he told me, in general, to take care of my body and eat like I should have been eating all my life and exercise.

Years ago, my mom taught me to treat other people the way I wanted to be treated.

My dad told me the same thing with a bit of humor — he told me, if I ever pointed a gun at anyone, to make sure it had chocolate handles, in case they took it away from me and made me eat it.

They were both telling me to control my emotions — my heart.

Both my parents assumed I’d go on to college after I finished high school. There was never a question about it. We all simply assumed it.

So I did, and then I went on to graduate school and later to seminary, I was taking care of my mind.

And finally, I don’t remember starting to attend church. I was carried!

Then one day, I met God and realized that taking care of my soul was the secret to taking care of the other three parts of my life.

I began to seek balance and harmony ­­— “hozho!”