Has anyone ever jabbed their hand in between your shoulder blades as a not-so-subtle reminder to stand up straighter? If not, then congratulations, you probably have good posture.
I, on the other hand, have felt that all-too-familiar pain in between my shoulders on many occasions. It forces you to stop slouching: shoulders back, chest out, back straight.
My posture has been a constant struggle for me since I was younger, but I haven’t thought about it recently. Every once in awhile I’ll remind myself to sit up straighter, but my posture issues haven’t permeated every aspect of my life.
Or so I thought. The other day I was at the gym, when I felt that jab in between my shoulders from my gym buddy. Immediately all of those feelings of annoyance came flooding back. Even though I know the importance of form while working out, mine hasn’t ever been as blatantly corrected. And it kept happening. I kept messing up my form and being told “shoulders back.”
I was so upset that my posture problem had somehow made its way into this facet of my life. But then I thought, this isn’t really a coincidence. Posture is of utmost important while sitting, walking, and so obviously it’s important while working out. I can’t only focus on my posture while I’m sitting at my desk and expect it to never be a problem otherwise.
It made me think about my religion. Sometimes, we think that some things we do won’t affect or be affected by our faith. Like the rationalization of “I’m in college, so it’s okay if I party too hard on Saturday and miss church on Sunday. I can fix it later.” But that’s just not the way that it works. We are still just as much of a Christian on Saturday nights as we are on Sunday mornings. We are Christians, always.
And in my life post graduation, I’ve seen myself making the same sorts of excuses. As if my spiritual life isn’t connected to my mental health, my physical well-being, my relationships, my job. They’re not a bunch of random and separate parts; they all fit together.
I can’t run GOYA meetings effectively when I am battling with anxiety. I can’t have hatred in my heart and accept the body and blood of Jesus Christ at Liturgy. I can’t skip multiple church services and then expect my head to be in the right place at work. And I can’t do any exercises correctly if my posture is incorrect. Because life’s many pieces do interact.
I think that many of us tend to compartmentalize our lives, which is hard because it makes us forget the interconnectedness of these pieces. Yet we must always make sure to recognize the overarching piece that connects them all: Jesus Christ. We must always keep Him in mind.
Next time I get jabbed in the back, I will take it as a kind reminder from someone who has my best interests in mind. A subtle reminder that my posture matters, in all aspects of life. And that it should never be neglected.
Want more from Y2AM? Subscribe to our email list and get weekly tips for your spiritual life every Monday! And you can support Y2AM even more by becoming a monthly Patreon supporter. As little as $1 a month can help us continue the work we’re doing.
Maria is the Administrative Coordinator of Y2AM. She is a New York native who isn't completely sold on the city's charm, yet has never left. A proud graduate of Fordham University and occasional runner, she is happiest whenever chocolate, a sale, or a good Gilmore Girls reference is involved.