Seeing all nature as reflecting a divine creation provides us with fearless joy in, or out, of the sunshine.
Seeing all nature as reflecting a divine creation provides us with fearless joy in, or out, of the sunshine.

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.

 

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My interest in the relationship between health and spirituality propelled me to begin writing about this topic a couple of years ago.

I am a regular contributor to several news outlets, including The Times Colonist newspaper both in print and online with the blog, Spiritually Speaking which is hosted by the Times Colonist. I also write on an interfaith blog, A Spiritual View, hosted by the Vancouver Courier.

My long-time Christian healing practice and more recent writing journey has resulted in many interesting connections with health professionals with different perspectives lead sometimes to more questions, as well as discoveries about the healing needs of – and answers for – our world.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is such a needed topic and you’ve conveyed it in an un-inflamatory manner so
    we can understand the moderation of being outside, where most of us love to be ,without
    fearing the sun! I’ve sometimes used sunscreen, but don’t worry when I forget it, and
    have never had any bad effects. The power of prayer penetrates and purifies the atmosphere. I love the fact that God planned and created the universe and would
    never give us anything that would harm us.
    I used to get poison ivy every time I’d walk by it, but gradually reduced my fear of it by thinking about that idea when I was going on a hike.
    Now I don’t have to go through “getting it”, and the same is true of our sunshine. Moderation in the sun is a wise thing, but fearing it keeps people tied to false opinions, and we can miss out on a lot of good fun and other important events outside. I’ll go with preparing myself through prayer!

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