Every Spring, pharmacies stock up on multiple new skin products to protect us from the sunshine in varying degrees. We’re urged by countless media articles to use these products liberally and to avoid the sun when possible, often with accompanying graphic pictures of what will happen if we don’t. This year promises to be on of the hottest, sunniest summer on record here in BC, the worry about sun exposure has increased for many people.
An interesting debate has, however, emerged within the research community that studies the link between exposure to the sun and our health. The results of a study published last year by researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoided sunbathing in the summer take risks also. The research concludes that the lack of Vitamin D from sunshine causes its own health problems. Some other studies have come to similar conclusions, challenging even the use of sunscreens.
After reading confusing studies like these, and some that cover other areas of health, I’ve concluded that we should be discerning about what we read into such findings, and not allow fear to creep into our decisions one way or another. It often appears that for every result from one study there will be a contradictory result in the next study.
But whatever the latest news on health, there is an effective way to reduce fear.
In fact, one woman found a solution for her anxiety about being in the sun through gaining a more spiritual view of the sun itself. (She still wears sunscreen, but says that she adds a layer of prayer). Here’s what Estey Silva had to say about how this new view of the sun as essentially good, an expression of the divine, freed her from fear of its impact.
“The sun symbolizes God, Soul, governing each of us—not fear governing us. In other words, only Soul governs you, only Soul affects your health—not fear of a damaging sun. Throughout the day I’d take a moment to get a clear, spiritual view of what the sun really is, and this gradually started to dispel the fear. “
These ideas are central to the Bible and to writings by Mary Baker Eddy – both of which Silva studies as part of her own spiritual practice.
Silva began to think of the sun as a beautiful, spiritual idea – a part of God’s creation. This replaced her fears of the effect of the sun with a sense of wonder and joy. She found she was also able to enjoy being in the sun for longer periods without any ill effects.
Rather than being influenced by advertising that often promotes a confusing, fear-based message about being outdoors, seeing all nature as reflecting a divine creation provides us with fearless joy in, or out, of the sunshine.