This morning I found myself pondering about the three parts of man…body, psyche and soul. I find it funny when I find myself asking questions about something I thought I knew all about. Still learning….still wanting to ask questions, to dig deeper to know and understand more. I don’t even care that much if I ever know the answers. I am just enjoying the journey.
I was thinking about how the three parts of us communicate. Our mind (psyche) communicates with language and emotion. It is always talking, judging and expressing emotions. It is also the decision maker. It may communicate with the body by saying….’Hug her! She needs it!’ Our body communicates through pain and sickness and bodily urges. For instance, when it needs food, it communicates this by feeling hunger. Our spirit seems to work like a radio wave where we often receive knowledge or wisdom or advice from God. Our intuitive side is part of that. It is how our soul communicates with our mind and sometimes our body….RUN!
Sadly, I see too how often we may communicate negatively to ourselves and this can be detrimental to our physical/emotional/spiritual health if we listen. If our mind is always putting ourselves down, then it is just possible that our body and spirit may believe it. For instance, say you look in the mirror and you (psyche) tell yourself, “You are so ugly! Nobody can possibly like you. Not only are you ugly, but you keep saying stupid things! That’s why nobody smiled at you today and that’s why you didn’t get that promotion.” Soon your body reacts. Your shoulders start to slump a bit forward. You stop making eye contact with people and you stop looking after your appearance. You may lose weight. At first your spirit puts up a big fight. “You’re not ugly! Those people didn’t smile at you because they were all having a bad day when they found out that there were going to be some redundancies happening. They were probably thinking there was nothing to smile about. Of course they like you…” etc However, if your spirit starts to believe all the negative thoughts that the mind is saying, it may respond despondently. In time, you may feel a lack of faith or hope. Our spirits sink. Our spirits gives up. We may lose the will to live. This is what depression is. It is when our spirit succumbs to the negative thoughts and emotions of the psyche. It then finds it hard to hear God and detect His love. We become lost and we feel so far away from God even though we are in fact not.
The good news is that God is all about saving the lost (Luke 19:10). God often uses our mind, body or soul to save us. For instance, our mind may experience something or learn something that raises our level of consciousness. It then turns inward to the soul and the soul responds in ecstasy. Our soul may start to reach out to God and suddenly experiences God’s love and our mind is filled with awe and then you find yourself changing your thought patterns to more positive ones. Your body may respond by giving a little skip or dancing in jubilation. If we are struggling with remorse for something we have done that was wrong then we only need to ask God for forgiveness. Psalm 103:8-12 says
8The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbour his anger forever;
10he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As far as the east is from the west….so our transgressions don’t exist any more. That is God’s grace for us.
There often seems to be a delay right before we are about to make a bad choice that causes us to pause and reconsider. If we are tempted to drink too much or smoke too much, our mind will argue with ourselves giving us time to think it over before lighting up or pouring that drink. When our mind starts to judge, our spirit may speak to us and we may stop and consider. It can also sometimes mean that our spirit wants to meditate for hours or go to church every day but our mind may say, ‘Whoa! Your family needs you or you have to go to work.” There almost always seems to be a chance for us to change our minds from doing something which isn’t right. We may choose to ignore it but the choice is there.
Spirituality is our mind, body and spirit working together for our whole being to keep us from harm and from causing harm. We can succumb to temptation through our mind, body or spirit. Being whole means all parts of us have to work together under the spirit and protection of God’s love.