This Zen Proverb Made Me Think

September 3rd, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Since you were born, what has your body done for you? Since you were born, what have you done for your body?

–Zen proverb

See, now this is a question I think separates the men from the boys, as it were. 

I know that most of us with diabetes read that first question and have a vehement response: my body gave me diabetes.  Gee, thanks.


But then the second question is where the meat is: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR YOUR BODY?

Are you hanging onto your anger at your body over developing diabetes? 

Are you letting it waste away by not challenging yourself physically?

Are you poisoning it with unnecessary chemicals?

Well; are you?

We each get one body.  ONE.  It must last us our entire lives—we do not get another chance at this.  We can’t sit back and passively destroy our bodies.

I don’t want to fight my body any more than I already do with my diabetes: I want to enlist my body as one of my best tools!  Just like I can’t leave my best tools out in the yard all year to gather dust, grime, and rust, I can’t assume my body will be okay if I don’t take care of it.

We need to get moving, get exercising, get thinking about how we can take care of our bodies.  Not only because we “should,” but because we, and our bodies, deserve it.

Since I was born, my body has done an incredible amount for me.  My legs have supported me every place I’ve ever gone.  They have endured four shots a day with only a rare mark to display the unnatural act.  My feet have been bruised, blistered, cold, and sweaty hot yet they have kept me grounded

My waist has appeared and disappeared and reappeared as I grew, matured, gained, and lost weight.  My shoulders have remained high as I faced countless challenges, only reluctantly stooping once in a blue moon. 

My arms have hugged more friends than I knew existed, and held onto my parents when my legs hadn’t yet learned to walk.  They reached for the stars and climbed tree branches and caught footballs and threw red rubber balls and bent and straightened for every pushup I’ve ever done. 

My hands have done more than I ever thought.  My fingers have felt more surfaces and touched more and bled more than most, I am sure.  My hands remain strong to hold a friend’s hand in need, to pat someone on the back for a job well done, to high five a child and to shake paws with a good dog.  My fingers have followed the lines of miniscule type in too many law books and I have watched them quiver when I have been low.  My fingers placed my husband’s wedding band on his finger as we held each other’s hands.

This weekend, my body is taking me for a run through one of the happiest places on earth as I run the Disneyland Half Marathon and 5k.

I couldn’t do any of this if I didn’t have this one body. 

My body has done so much for me, despite some considerable flaws.  But when I look at what I have really received from my body, really and truly, the flaws fade away. 

My body has enabled me to BE, in this massive and wonderful world.

What has your body done for you?

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply