It seems like that sometimes. What’s especially grating is when you realize your body fights most against your efforts when you’re doing something good for it. Shouldn’t its objections ring out the loudest when you’re taking it down a path leading to its destruction? But no, it’s only when you begin eating right, trying to build a consistent exercise routine, avoid addictive habits, and get a decent night’s sleep that your body starts acting like a spoiled toddler deprived of his Halloween candy. Why is that? Does your body harbor a secret death wish?
Not necessarily. Well, not a secret wish anyway. It’s just that death is all your body knows. At the moment of your birth, your body did the math and recognized death was its ultimate destiny. From your body’s point of view, since it’s going to die anyway, it doesn’t see much point in prolonging the inevitable.
Therein lies the inherent conflict going on within you. Because life is all your spirit knows. Your spirit finds your body’s pre-occupation with death inexplicable. Your spirit knows it will never die. From the moment of its birth, life is all it has known and will ever know. It tries to convince your body that there is no death, only eternal renewal and transformation, but your body covers its ears with your hands and refuses to listen. The truth is your body is really not all that opposed to the idea of just going to sleep one day and never waking up. Life is hard sometimes. It requires effort and dedication and commitment. The idea of eternity scares the hell out of it. Especially when it considers the possibility it might be stuck with itself for all eternity. If it really believed that, your body would probably be a little more open to your attempts to whip it back into shape.
So your body looks around you with unseeing eyes and attempts to persuade you of its depressing view of the world. So much more comfortable for it if you play along and buy into its anxious urgings. Why bother eating right? Exercising? Beginning a new, more fulfilling career, going back to school, taking up a new interest, or even simply getting off the couch? ‘Indulge yourself’, it pleads with you, ‘For tomorrow we both die.’
Only you don’t. Even it doesn’t. It is merely transformed into a new version of its life, while you, the real you, continues along your own eternal journey…except this particular journey has no end.
From your spirit’s point of you, the question isn’t why bother. It’s why not? There’s no deadline here. You’ll never run out of time. So what if you’re eighty years old and you only have a limited number of years left in this life. We all only have a limited number of years in this life. Are you going to spend an eternity pulling that excuse out of your back pocket to avoid reaching for more than your current experience of life? Are you planning to spend an eternity settling, accepting, drawing your spirit back into your body’s limited view of life until death would be a preferable alternative to the existence you choose for yourself?
Now is the moment we have. Now is all we are given to work with and so it will ever be. You have this moment, this tiny fragment of eternity to begin, to do, to choose, to create, to live. And then in the next moment you have that one to begin, to do, to choose, to create, to live all over again.
That’s the answer to your body’s demand of why bother. That’s the response to your mind’s questioning of your intent to invest in yourself. It is impossible to evade life. You might as well make the most of what it has to offer rather than settle for the least of its offerings.
So the next time you’re tempted to give into your body’s destructive or whiny impulses, ask yourself which choice is going to lead you in the direction of the person you want to be, or the one you are trying to become. Which of those visions of yourself do you want to spend an eternity with? There’s no getting around the fact that the one thing, the one choice you’re going to be stuck with forever is you and what you’ve made of yourself. If you’re not one hundred percent enthralled with the current version, now would be a good time to begin work on the new and improved model. Sure you can put it off. There’s no rule against procrastination. You’re the one who has to live with yourself. Forever.