I wanted to share my recent article I wrote for Masters of Health Magazine. I think it is important.
In this issue, I would like to present a topic that is not usually considered when we talk about health. In my nurse training, we were taught that the person must be considered holistically in our approach to healing. We are not just physical bodies with all our various anatomical features, but we are psychological and spiritual beings as well. It is to this third component that I would like to speak in this article. Don’t worry, I am not going to get preachy or religious. Actually, “Religion” has presented a major obstacle to understanding the importance of our spiritual health in the cycle of life.
Our spiritual life is what takes place in our minds and is many times difficult to separate from our psychological health. If we are focused on ourselves and ignoring those around us; being happy or upset about what is happening to us personally, we become neurotic and petulant. Our observations continue to narrow down and we see only what is taking place within our little bubble. Many people in that condition are also expressing many health pathologies and are seeking medical attention and pharmaceuticals to help alleviate their physical conditions.
If we lose sight of the idea that we are not just here by accident; if we foster the idea that we just happen to be here by chance and there is no real purpose in life but to ‘’eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” then we are missing one of the greatest health conditioners that life has to offer. If we think that life is all about, “what do I get out of it for MY pleasure,” then we truly are in a state of ill health, and pharmaceuticals have poor answers to that.
A wise king once wrote in an ancient manuscript that has been preserved for us to be able to read:
“I give thanks to You, For I am awesomely and wondrously made! Wondrous are Your works, and my being knows it well. My bones were not concealed from You, When I was shaped in a hidden place, Knit together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body. And in Your book, all of them were written, the days they were formed, while none was among them. And how precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great has been the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more than the sand; When I wake up, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:14-18
How different it is to realize that we are not just an accident but rather we were planned with a purpose. We were actually “knit together” by an intelligent designer who knew what He wanted to produce in us to be able to have a full and fulfilling life. In another part of that ancient manuscript, we are told by this designer:
“For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.” Jerimiah 29:11
What a difference it makes to know and understand that you have a future and that plans have been made for you by your designer to have a full life with peace. In the language of the writer of these words, Hebrew, the word for peace is shalom. Shalom has the pictographic meaning of, “the authority that destroys the one who is trying to bring chaos into your life.” That is an awesome understanding of what my designer has for my life. It is my choice as to whether I want to walk it out.
Another part of this understanding of a design and a plan for our lives is how we relate to our fellow travelers. I was invited by a friend of mine to share with my readers a program he has developed for assisting widows and orphans with their extra challenges in life. Charlie started his interest at the age of 48 and decided to start training to run in the Boston Marathon to help raise support for his newly formed non-profit “Fatherless and Widows.”
When he turned 50, he qualified for the race and has run in it several times since. Two things contributed to Charlie’s health. First, he is much healthier since he began running regularly. Second, his mental, spiritual, and psychological health has improved as he has put more of his attention on other people’s needs, especially those who have few resources to deal with their daily lives. There is also the satisfaction of knowing he has made a difference in the world, leaving a positive legacy.
I know for myself, that becoming involved in other people’s lives that have specific needs has been a very fulfilling and joyful endeavor. I was approached by a young man in India to help him deal with a surgery that was badly needed for an orphan he was taking care of. After several investigative questions for him, I was convinced that he was legitimate and sent the money to help. I was amazed at how far my currency would go in his economy.
One thing led to another, and I discovered that he had 21 orphans that he was supporting in a bamboo hut with a plastic tarp over it to keep out the rain. I started sending him modest monthly support and he started sending me pictures of what he was doing with the money. I was amazed at his thrift and resourcefulness. As I started sharing what he was doing with some of my friends, one of them asked if it might be possible to purchase a piece of land so they could grow food. Shortly after, we had a piece of land purchased, and more people were involved in the project.
A few months later, Prabu sent me a picture of a larger piece of land that had a house on it and asked if we might be able to sell the first piece of land and help purchase the house and land for better living space than the current bamboo structure they were using. We all put together the USD 10,000 needed to purchase the house and land and told him to use the sale of the first piece of land to do the needed improvements on the house.
Today, the orphan family keeps growing in a nice home environment, and the whole village is becoming more involved in the care of these orphans. The village headmaster even participated in the ribbon cutting and opening ceremonies when the home was completed.
The importance of reaching out to those around us can not be overstated. I believe we are each placed on this planet to accomplish amazing acts of kindness – “random acts of kindness” – as it has been termed by better authors than myself. As we reach out, we broaden our focus and see our interconnectedness to each of our fellow travelers. As we fulfill our destinies, our spirits soar, and we begin to reach a place of health that we could never achieve on our own.
There is a plan for Hope and a Future!