An amazing piece of wisdom came from a teenage girl that I once taught in school. She said that, ‘I always think of my body like my pet dog. I love that animal; I care for it with good food and exercise. I make sure it looks its best and it gives me great enjoyment. If my pet gets sick I bring it to the vet. However, at the end of the day, it is still only my pet and I am not it. The same is true for my body; I love it, care for it and get it looked after but where I get into trouble is when I think I am my body.’ This piece of wisdom is particularly useful while undergoing an unpleasant medical procedure. Just to know I am getting my pet looked after enables me to remain objective. Even for those with a fear of needles or going to the dentist, that awareness of not being my body but rather getting it looked after, can make an enormous difference. Simply by holding objectivity, levels of pain, discomfort and anxiety can be greatly reduced.
By Fr Jim Cogley
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