The health problems of today grow more complicated with each passing day. We live in a time of synthetic nutrition, impoverished soil, adulteration, and over-refinement of food products. We eat ourselves to death and die of mal-nutrition.
There comes a time in most of our lives when our physical body begins to show definite symptoms of wear and tear. The physical resources are depleted by the inevitable processes of advancing years and the body is less able to sustain the bad habits of the mind and emotions. Obscure aches interfere with our schedule of daily activities, and the natural buoyancy of our youth and good health is diminished.
Most of us would like to assume that we are overworked, undernourished, and are the hopeless victims of world conditions. Certainly, no indiscretion of our own could be held responsible for the twinges that interfere with our blissful way of life.
But, one thing becomes clear, we are uncomfortable; and that circumstance alone also makes us thoughtful. There is nothing that supplies a larger incentive to carefully examine God, the universe, our fellow men, and ourselves than a touch of some life threatening disease.
Only experience, and painful experience at that can finally convince us that our health is a reflection of our code of living. Sickness always bears witness to the failure of judgment, self-control, or internal conviction.
Unfortunately, the body becomes a precious treasure only after it has been thoroughly abused.
When we first discover that we are sick, the first inclination is to develop a deep and terrible fear. Physical health and the sense of security go together. We believe we are well as long as our body appears to be healthy. We are sufficient to our needs if physical health supports our ambitions. But, when our body fails us or even shows serious indications of being inadequate, there is a marked diminution of courage.
We are only as secure as our ability to face the crises in our lives. Pain is a warning that the sufferer has broken faith with the rules of our kind. We have disobeyed laws that are stronger than our own will.
Most of the time we are ignorant of nature’s plan until we violate one or more of it’s edicts. Nearly everyone is more thoughtful and more intelligent as a result of sickness. Unfortunately, only severe illness reveals the impermanence of worldly possessions and inadequacy of material ambitions.
Life is not merely the continuance of mechanical function; it is the will to accomplish something, supported by the body and sustained by an inner enthusiasm, dedication or resolution.
Nature points out what is necessary, first gently, then more insistently, and finally with the full weight of authority. Those who are wise take the first hint. But, it is surprising how little we are inclined to correct our own faults.
Those who have come close to death are less likely to sacrifice essential values in pursuit of temporary goods. The very processes set up in the body by serious disease wean the mind from its attachments to the treasures on earth.
When we travel to a far country we accept many inconveniences because we wish to enlarge our knowledge. In the same way, sickness is a journey that has its disadvantages, but initiates us into a world of values we seldom explore while in good health.
Sickness can prove to be a wonderful eye-opener, especially if we define sickness as an invitation to self-improvement.
Nature gives us these opportunities to learn, but it cannot force us to accept the lessons. Sickness invites us to broaden our perspective and to estimate more correctly the relations between the human being and the universal plan. We all resent bad health, but it can be a blessing in disguise.
The experiences of life can mean something if we choose to think about them, and even our own mistakes are profoundly educational. From what we have done, what we have thought, how we have felt, and what we have believed, we can gain a valuable insight into ourselves and the reasons for our difficulties.
Hippocrates left among other medical axioms the well known statement: “a proper diagnosis is two thirds of the cure.” The doctor may never be in a position to give the proper diagnosis. It remains for the patient to fill in those overtones that are outside the province of physical medicine.
All enlightened physicians realize that intelligent cooperation on the part of the patient is a real and immediate aid to any special line of therapy.
Regardless of the diagnosis, we each can do a great deal to heal ourselves. We may even be able to disprove the scientific diagnosis or escape entirely from the expectancy patterns associated with various ailments.
The student is born, not made.
When false concepts about life and false policies about living have produced their inevitable consequences, we are still inclined to believe, or at least to hope, that these deep seated fallacies can be neutralized by pills, poultices, or the surgeon’s knife. Maybe, self-improvement does not enlarge the bank account, however, lack of self-improvement can reduce our cash balance suddenly and dramatically.
Materialistic science can supply many useful remedies, but material medicine is only dedicated to the repair of damage already done. It cannot offer or at least it does not offer, a sound program for re-educating the patient.
If you are sick science can most likely provide you with a span of time in which to reorganize yourself. Even though existing knowledge may not be sufficient to cure your complaint. It can mitigate the symptoms and keep you in a state of reasonable comfort and efficiency for many years.
With this added opportunity you may be able to work out your own salvation if you are willing to practice the proper diligence. If science can assist you through an emergency and you accept the lesson that is taught by a health crisis, the best years of your life may lie ahead. If however, you lean upon the medication and continue previous practices a valuable opportunity for self-improvement has been wasted.
There is an expression and eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth. As a result, at least psychologically speaking, everyone loses eyes and teeth.
We all have fine and noble beliefs but we must apply them. The golden rule is not only an important ethical monument but it is also a valuable guide to efficient living. When we break faith, we lose faith. We know when our actions are not consistent with our claims; still it is easier to drift along compromising our convictions and catering to our weaknesses.
We can excuse our faults, but this does not change their substance or relieve us of their consequences.
There is no royal road to health for those of us who have disobeyed or ignored the basic rules. With patience, however, and sincere enlightened effort, much damage can be corrected that affects the average person in the second half of life originating from the excesses and negative habit patterns that were developed and practiced in the first half of life.
Let your sickness be a challenge calling you to make a real and lasting effort to put your life in order. Remember nature will fight on your side if you keep its laws.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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