May 10, 2023

As a general rule, I’d rather not touch people or have them touch me. Today, however, I went for a massage. My back has been acting up and the irregular stretching and pain medication wasn’t enough to alleviate the tension. The massage helped but I booked another appointment. There’s a lot of work to be done.

While getting a massage, I was thinking about just how much maintenance the human body requires. Upkeep is a full-time job. You have to feed it, clean it, exercise it, stretch it, rest it, cloth it, and repair it. This has to be done regularly and leaving out on any one of these regular maintenance duties will eventually lead to failure of some system. How have we managed to do anything else in our lives?

Perhaps we haven’t. Perhaps all we have done and continue to do is regulate the proper functioning of our bodies. Everything we do is, in some way, an act of self-preservation. For this to be true, our emotional well-being must also be included as part of the human body. It being a chemical reaction in our brains, should be justification enough. In searching for puzzles, we hope to exercise our brains. Caring for a pet calms our nerves and helps alleviate loneliness. Going to work keeps us busy and earns us the money we need to buy the things we need to survive.

To say that we’re an entirely hedonistic species seems like a bit of a stretch but not completely wrong. Our internal battles are often with our own desires, the ones we say are “human” or “corporeal”. We wrestle with ourselves over what is best and what should be avoided. We actively tame and compel our urges and emotions. Some people, too, indulge. They haven’t always conceded. Sometimes, it’s the best thing for them.

It’s when our maintenance of self comes at the expense of others that problems arise. We use other people for our own gain without compensating them properly. We take without consent. We justify our actions based on our own needs. We are offended and aggravated when we are the one who is being taken advantage of. 

Generally speaking, if I can do something for myself, I’ll try to. I don’t like asking for help for things that I know I can do on my own. I have a couple of those handheld massage machines but they just weren’t doing the job. I had to get help from someone else. The massage therapist had to touch me. Nothing is gained without sacrifice.


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