My Body Is A Holy Land

Jackson Campbell
2 min readJan 3

A few years ago, I fundraised and prepared to take a trip with the Transylvania University religion department to Israel. The week I was supposed to fly out was also the week my Nana unexpectedly passed away. Needless to say, I didn’t end up going on the trip.

Here we are in the new year of 2023 and COVID has slowed down, grieving has slowed down, and my family has some free time, so my brother, Dad, and I begin traveling to the “Holy Land” tomorrow morning. As excited as I am to see Israel, I am also a person that carries with them a load of anxiety and fatigue that cycles around and around and around almost endlessly. I know many of you can relate.

I’m taking this trip with an important mantra, though. As I leave for the “Holy Land,” I remember that no matter what the circumstances that come my way, I must listen to my body and take its cues. My body is also a Holy Land. I will give my body space to adjust to a land that it hasn’t touched before. I will move throughout each region with an open heart and open mind to learn and grow alongside my loved ones. I will accept that there will be things that my body can’t change. My body will feel feelings and think thoughts. Those thoughts and feelings are okay. There will be euphoric and memorable moments, clear and confusing moments, happy and sad moments, and all of those are valid experiences.

You probably aren’t traveling to Israel tomorrow, but perhaps you are in a transition or are in need of some affirmation about where you are on your journey. If so, just remember that it is okay to be where you are on your journey. You are allowed to feel the feelings that you are experiencing. You are allowed to grieve today, tomorrow, and the next day. You are allowed to want more for your life — or perhaps less. You are a beloved and inherently good person that is known and wonderfully created by the source of life in our universe. No matter where you are on your journey, you are right where you need to be for this moment. Your feelings are valid. Your experience is valid. Forgive yourself. Care for yourself. Love yourself. Have empathy for yourself. Know your (endless) worth.

Whatever you may feel today, tomorrow, or the next day, listen to your body and treat it as it is:

a Holy Land.

Jackson Campbell

Queer advocate & Minister | Union Theological Seminary in NYC