Monday, January 14, 2013

Pretending to Not See

Whether we realize it or not, it is common for people to ignore some of the most important traits about themselves. How does this happen? It starts with the feeling that there are other traits more valued by people and the world around us. Sprinkle to that the fear that ignoring those perceived values in favor of our own will cause problems. Guess what? It often will cause problems to hold true to the things you appreciate most about yourself. However, by seeing yourself and your potential clearly, you are also attending to your health. When it becomes habitual to pretend to not see, that is when health can be affected.

How is health affected? First we have to explore what health is in the first place. Is it having a cholesterol level that falls in normal ranges on blood tests? Is it having a blood pressure that falls around 120/80 mm Hg? Or what about a BMI that indicates a healthy weight for your specific height? Of course all these measures show aspects of physical health that are helpful to keep in a healthy range. But they aren’t the whole picture. Can all of these numbers be normal and someone still feel unwell in health and life? Yes, and we see it all the time.

So what is the missing piece of the puzzle? Health can be seen as a uniquely natural state for each individual in which both the mind and body are able to act and move toward living life. And because each individual has his or her own life, it is an individual experience to feel health or illness. When it becomes habit to ignore individual traits in favor of values that are loosely being thrown around in our midst, it matters because our sense of self and of health becomes more muddied.

This situation happens every day, all around us, and it affects each of us in different ways. But by stepping back once in a while and asking, “What am I pretending to not see..., that I really do see?” we can get back in touch with pieces of ourselves that are the true natural medicines for our health. It isn’t very fun to pretend to not see, even though it happens all the time.

Think of this next suggestion as a refresher for the start of 2013. Think about, or write down, three traits in yourself that you’ve been out of touch with and that you’d be happy to hang out with again this year. Imagine that you are hanging out with them for coffee or tea, just to say, “What’s up?”

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