I like to try and understand how the human mind and body function. There is a complex beauty and savagery innate to the structure of our being human. Our bodies seek balance, and balance must be obtained at all costs in order to maintain life. For example, from a physical perspective, from what I have read, the body requires a state of alkalinity to maintain health. If we as individuals consume a surplus of refined sugar, a substance which has no nutritional value, our bodies consider this substance toxic waste. In order to process and eliminate this substance and bring the body back to its alkaline state, minerals and vitamins are removed from cells, tissue, and bone to neutralize the invader. This automatic process, designed to protect the body, can, when we abuse ourselves through ignorance or addiction, cause our bodies to self-destruct.
It is equally interesting to consider that the substances we crave are often the very same substances that make us ill. Genetically modified wheat and other flours and grains, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, processed oils…all of these substances are drugs that modify our mood and neurological functioning. Althought it is proven that these substances enter our bloodstreams and prevent the absorption of key vitamins as well as impeding the production of certain amino acids, causing distress to nerves and digestion, our minds and bodies seem driven to track down and ingest the very same foods that make us feel depressed.
It is this vicious circle of disease that takes us away from the simplicity of self-knowledge and of living in harmony with our bodies. While the Internet provides an amazing abundance of knowledge and information about health, wellness, and just about everything else, how do we sort this information? Anyone curious enough to seek will also find an abundance of contradictions. Where does intuition come in to play? What, in other words, do we as humans really need to feed ourselves and be healthy, in harmony with our souls, bodies, mind, and with the world?
Our cultures often teach us to look outside of ourselves for answers. It is suggested that we need to transform ourselves from without, or consume in order to “fix” our broken self. Ingesting medication will make us better. Love and approval are also part of this equation. We are told from early childhood that we are not complete, that we need something from others in order to become loveable. There is a feeling of shame, strangeness and alienation from our inner wisdom that grows as we each grow older.
In fact, I do believe that we are each born with an instinct to live, to thrive, and with the source of all information and wisdom within reach, within ourselves. The answers to our questions may be found out in the world or in other people, but the connection to this inner light and wisdom guides us in the right direction. When we are properly connected to this source and aware of this connection, then disease may be averted, and addictions healed. Healing means finding unity within oneself and without – all of the pieces may then fall into place. This process takes time to unfold. Addiction to sugar or to love is so tempting when we feel an emptiness, a hole that needs to be filled – immediately. And emotional dependencies are no different than those pertaining to physical substances, for all of these addictions change the body and the mind. There is no distance between the two as long as we are human.
The strangeness lies in the realization that the substances which we crave as comfort fillers are in fact something that causes incompleteness in the heart, lack of personal fulfillment, and breakdown of the body. Comfort equals depression. Seeking love somehow makes us less; realizing we are love heals the addiction. I write about these subjects because I have been subject to this desire for love and approval, seeking it outside of myself for many years in relationships, at work, in my home, in food. And none of those things has brought me unity or satisfaction.
In fact, it is my research into healthy eating and my investigations of certain sufferings in my physical body that have lead me to try and understand how to heal myself. Following a severe allergic reaction this summer to fire ant bites, I found myself experiencing strange muscular and nerve pain in different parts of my body. Actually, I did not know the source of the pain, and I am still working on understanding this. Somehow, my body – which had served me so well for so long – was no longer working the same way. I like to listen to my body, to hear its voice, and not to muffle it. I also listen closely to my dreams.
Peace, wholeness, and healing are states of being we all seek to manifest in our lives if we are inclined to live our lives in a spiritually aware manner. It is terribly challenging to give up the emotional and physical substances, so common as to be trivial, that we have been taught to think make us feel safe, beloved, complete. Once we do begin to believe we are already innately complete, the body chemistry slowly begins to heal itself, deprived of the chemicals that are so much toxic waste. And little by little, we feel the strange companionship of our own self, strange because foreign to our awareness since early childhood.