For much of the 1/2 a century I’ve been on this Planet, I have observed individuals, couples, groups, etc and have taken special interest in what makes people ill and unhappy as well as their opposites. In all these observations, adding in my 8 years of post-secondary education, continuing education, study groups, journals, forums and discussions, there have been many statements made about these topics. At this time, the following statement is what is grabbing a hold of me and not letting go: If one thinks and acts in accordance with who they are; in other words, if what someone thinks, says and does reflects or resonates at a frequency or level that matches their own, health, balance and happiness often follow. It’s when we gravitate away from who we truly are that trouble often accompanies us. What does this all mean?
First of all, knowing who we are is no simple task and is a possible answer to a problem that my above hypothesis poses. If we can never truly know who we are can we ever truly be healthy and happy? I do believe we can know ourselves, it is the trusting of this knowledge and the practice of self-love that is often missing. So many people are fighting themselves; they don’t believe they are worthy, being the most common issue and lack of connection (usually associated as a root to addiction) a close second. When we struggle with these issues as so many, if not all of us do at some point, we often succumb to the dangers that come with them, such as testing boundaries, experimentation, exploration, acting out, allowing emotions “to take the wheel,” questioning who we are and what we believe and more. This is not to suggest that these things are inherently bad, but some of them do come with consequences and in some cases, behaviors that further distance ourselves from who we are.
It is all part of life, and what many refer to as their spiritual journey; the exploration into the who’s, what’s and why’s of us. Who am I? Why am I here? Why are we all the same in some ways and so different in others? What is my purpose? Those with handicaps or those who suffer great losses ask: Why is this happening to me? So many questions…so many cliches. And now it’s complicated because we live in a time where so many of us have so much leisure time. We are supposed to, anyways. You know what they said: “Technology is going to make our lives so much easier!” We have hours to wonder, look at nature, have discussions with friends, family and strangers…we are supposed to, anyways.
So, what is really going on? All I hear (and I bet you are either one of these and/or you know plenty of these people) are people saying how busy they are. They don’t have time for _______ (insert ANY simple action here). Our plates are over-filled with self-important tasks, calendar jottings, dates, social engagements, network events, business dealings, family obligations and more. Somehow we are programmed to believe that being really busy equates with being important, working hard, good values; “idle time is the devil’s workshop.” This is nonsense. Stop it, you are fooling yourself and are simply too afraid to spend time with who you likely hate; yourself! News flash: Sitting in silence, resting, reading, listening to music, having a friendly debate/discussion, enjoying a laugh with a friend, playing with your kid…or an adult friend are all necessary events in that they bring balance to an otherwise “noisy” and imbalanced calendar.
I get that there are exceptions and not everyone can be expected not to chase their millions. They have big, important jobs, positions, companies to run. They can’t be expected to do these things! That would be frivolous, foolish and they’d end up losing everything. Funny thing is: I’ve spent a good deal of time around people who are facing death. I have worked in a dozen or so nursing homes as well as over 20 years in healthcare with people who have been given terminal diagnoses. You know what matters to them? NOTHING that mattered to them if they were one of the “I’m so busy” people I was just speaking about.
It is called perspective. It is called living in the moment. Far too many of us are racing to acquire things, money, status, power, importance, a stronger ego, security, safety…all things that, in time won’t matter at all. How ironic…and/or pathetic that we have constructed a way of living where we have stopped living life to the fullest until we are handed a death sentence?
Let’s get back to health and happiness and how that fits in here. It is easy to live in fantasy. We create our own glass houses, bubbles, dreams, nightmares or whatever you want to call them. Our stories are fabricated and lived out by us and those who allow to “ghost-write” our lives. I suggest you pick up the pen or sit down at the keyboard and start authoring the rest of the novel that is you. There is fact and there is what is to come. You can change in any way you want. You can become almost anything you want with the belief and enough effort. Of course, you may fall into old habits and let ego and things rule your life…or you may choose those things as what matters to you…who am I to judge?
But let me be clear. If you are living your life in any way contrary to who you are and what you believe, you will invite suffering into your life. I know this first-hand, as do any of you reading this. When we decide to slow things down and listen, when we forge trusted relationships with others and share from our hearts, when we set goals and intentions that reflect who and what we are (and, to add a wrinkle, STRIVE to be), our bodies can heal and our minds can let go, forgive, love and be grateful…we can end the fear, anger, hatred and chaos and find peace and happiness.
(A future article and podcast will deal with how we can change, thus the use of the word “strive”)
Be well and follow your road to better health!
Paul Gerst L.Ac.
New England Natural Health Services and PG3 Naturals