Body Map

For my theology class here in Cape Town I worked throughout the semester to answer seven questions regarding my spirituality, my experience, and my destiny. For the assignment I had to portray the answers on a large piece of paper with the outline of my body drawn on it. This is a refection that came from the process of thinking on a deeper level about my beliefs and experiences.

How do I use everything that I have been given and everything that I have learned to provide for others? You can see the physical shape of my body and the features of my face, but it is only a vehicle in which a spirit is attempting to control and use to co-create an environment of peace.  Through my smile I can give someone reassurance in who they are. Through my hands I can give another comfort and a sense of belonging. As human beings we all want to belong and loneliness is a frightening concept, therefore, my spirit wants to be apart of a community of spirits.

Inside there are innate feelings of what is right and wrong. This moral compass was set before my eyes opened as a child.  Inside I know what I need to do.  Outside the pressures are telling me something else. My struggle is finding balance. What is the balance between indulging in pleasure and facing the pain? South Africa tugs on the spirit to wake up and show itself in the light. The so-called Dark Continent provided more light for me than the brightest lights down the Vegas strip. The United States will always be my home, but South Africa will always be where I feel welcome.

From the beginning I had a soul, an energy, a piece of God, love, the breathe, whatever you would like to call it, I was given a light to be used to find my way back.  This energy may be consistently present, but the body in which it is trapped does not consistently recognize it. The body is perfect, the spirit is successful, and the soul is wealthy, but beauty, power, and money is a curse on the world.  Sin imprisons me. It is the silver Aston Martin. It is the Banana Republic tie and the GQ magazine cover. It is the TV hypnotizing me with ads that promise to make me whole, but leave me empty.  Alcohol desensitizes the pain and distracts me from the suffering. I consider myself to be a caring person yet I step over the barely breathing man with my Truworths Man shoes. How do I reconcile my individual freedom with collective responsibility?

These material things are fun and I enjoy them, but do they satisfy my true self.? “Sometimes it is hard to tell the poison from the cure and all I really know is that another day has gone by.”

Am I lost in space? Am I just a piece of dust being blown around until I return to ashes? I believe that I am more. I believe that I am walking in His or Her Grace, (depending if you talk to Chris or I). God is loving someone else and love is proving that God exists.

Examining my life is one thing. Thinking I have a grasp on it is one thing. However, living what I believe is another. I’ve been plugged into the system for 21 years and I as long as I am on earth I don’t think I can surrender completely. I will always be plugged into the system to some degree, but holding onto values like sufficiency, honesty, respect, and integrity I can minimize the damage to my spirit.

When earthly pleasures shatter my spirit it is up to that same energy to seek out ways to put the pieces together again. It can be done in a church, but I prefer to do it in community. “We are all Cathedrals made of people in a Kingdom that the eye can’t see.”

This is where I come from. This is my experience, my struggle, and my work. For me surrendering means fighting injustices and using my talents to bring about positive change. My mission is difficult, but not impossible. If I can only make another smile and have that smile spread like the good news in the bible then I will have been a wild success.


~ by Austin on May 28, 2010.

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