It sounds like an invitation to exercise, doesn’t it? Well, if we have fallen into stagnation (the lack of mobility or growth) and we have allowed the atrophy (the wasting away) of our muscles, then it sounds like a very good idea. After all, getting active means rebuilding muscle mass, which speeds the burning of unwanted fat. According to scientific discoveries and studies, being active restores strength and vitality of not only muscles, but ligaments and bones. Being active revives circulation, which is the carrier of oxygen, nutrients and immune support to all the cells of the body, with obvious benefits for the heart. Better circulation means boosted detox – the flushing out of toxins generated in the stagnant tissues. Being physically active restores our hormonal balance and blood sugar levels. While being active, our neurotransmitter ratio makes us happier and less depressed. We produce a soup of endorphins – the natural painkillers. We increase the tone of our musculoskeletal striatal muscles (biceps or quadriceps), as well as smooth muscles in the walls of our gastrointestinal (GI) tract, namely the liver, small intestine or colon. As a result we digest and eliminate better.
Getting active diminishes edema (swelling) of the abdomen. Being active prevents and heals common “leaky gut” (hyper- permeability of tight junctions in our intestines) which, if ignored, potentially leads to an auto-immune diseases. Being active fights osteopenia or osteoporosis (bone loss). Finally being active uses all the access of energy (calories) that we continue piling on board of our bodies.
But what if somebody is already physically active? What if the body is not a problem? What if stagnation and atrophy affect not the physical, but rather emotional, mental or spiritual dimension? How do we get active in those areas?
“In my 26 years’ experience of working with patients … I have observed how emotional, mental, or spiritual stagnation and atrophy is caused, in big part, by not understanding the difference between the pursuit of happiness and pursuit of the truth.”
In my 26 years’ experience of working with patients, having my own family for over two decades and having lived in two different political and economic world systems, I have observed how emotional, mental, or spiritual stagnation and atrophy is caused, in big part, by not understanding the difference between the pursuit of happiness and pursuit of the truth.
What’s the big difference? The difference comes with voluntary sacrifice – it costs us something (time, strength, money or even health) to produce something else. The difference is this: pursuit of happiness is like working out in the gym. The focus is to look and feel great, build up muscles, maintain high tone of the body. Pursuit of the truth, on the other hand, is more like gardening, or building of a house. It produces a result (a crop, a house) which serves a role of nutrition, shelter etc… The result is outside of ourselves. Pursuit of happiness focuses on satisfying oneself, and pursuit of the truth opens our eyes to serving others. The painful truth is, that when everybody tries to satisfy himself, not everybody can be happy.
Not long ago, I myself discovered the shocking reality that universal happiness can only be found in pursuit of the truth (my Christian reality). Now, I notice that when I decide to pursue truth instead of happiness, a fresh breeze of spontaneity appears, and the happiness becomes the greatest side effect of the process. In my personal, spiritual experience, I have found that the spirit of truth (some call it the Holy Spirit) spreads, carrying nutrition (love) to all the members of an organism (our society) much like circulation feeds the cells of the body. It restores emotional balance, it rebuilds strength and vitality in my relationships, and lays solid foundations for new relationships. The spirit of truth makes me happier and fights off depression. Forgiveness and mercy eventually become daily routine “items” for me. The spirit of truth conditions me to make wiser choices, accepting reality with a smile and eliminating stress on the go. It actually does not even allow stress to appear on the horizon.
For me, what I worship determines who I am. What I spend the most time with and what I spend the most money on determines who I become. These days I ask myself: what am I teaching my children, the pursuit of happiness or pursuit of the truth?
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