Why Are We So Sick?
“If you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for your illness”
...Maybe you’re not sick.
You may be tempted to click the back button and go and read something else.
But before you do, stop and consider. You have family; almost certainly you have friends. If not friends, then co-workers. Neighbours. There are people around you, and just take an average poll of how many of them are well.
What got them that way?
... Why would it never happen to you?
Each day, there are over 150,000 deaths, globally.
Ok, that’s morbid. But we’re not even talking about death here. Sickness, in any form, ebbs away at the quality of life. We’ve become so proficient at ‘working through it’, that we’ve almost forgotten what it means to be symptom free.
Yes – it's possible. Cancer, diabetes, heart failure, arthritis – these are all chronic illness that are the end result of a process. But these often began as a niggling headache; a pain in the thigh; dizziness and lightheadedness; a cramp in the foot; a general feeling of malaise; a dropping nose; a painful back. The things we brush away as ‘ahh! Deal with it later. Life always goes on.’
What is Disease?
Definitions and labels given to sickness are often interchangeable based on circumstance. There are many silent deviations form health occurring in the body, which could eventually develop into serious conditions. King Solomon, widely known for his wisdom, gave the following proverb:
‘As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come’.
Sickness doesn’t just fall out of mid-air. Even in the case of an air-borne pathogen, in order for in to penetrate your body’s natural defence barriers, something must have been amiss.
Here’s another definition of disease, written over a hundred years ago:
‘Disease is an effort of nature to free the system from conditions that result from a violation of the laws of health.’
Interesting. Here’s something to consider – could it be that we’re sick because the body only operates at full capacity when all of its needs are met? Could it be that there are rules, or laws of operation that govern our physical structure?
It’s easy to see this reasoning when you look at everything outside of humanity. Cars run on petrol; household plants need to be watered; perishable food needs to be refrigerated; bikes
need to be oiled; fish need to be in water; a fire needs fuel and oxygen to keep burning – all these examples are highlighting a simple point, that the world operates by law. If the car doesn't have petrol, it stutters to a stop. Without water, fish gasp for life. Outside of the fridge, food grows mould and is no longer fit for consumption. Smother a fire and it will die. The healthy action of each depends on the continued presence of its needs.
… what about us? What are the body’s basic needs?
There are a variety of theories of what constitutes the basic needs for life. However, to understand this fully, we must first have a correct concept of what we are.
We are not wholly physical beings. Psychologists and theologians recognise that there is a part of a person which supersedes matter – the mind, or the spirit. The part of you cannot be touched, but that controls how you feel and why you act. Whilst it's true that we must have food, water, air, and shelter to survive, our body’s needs actually transcend the physical. Stresses of life, abandonment, rejection, failure – all have very real implications on our health.
'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.' Mark 22:37
When all three parts of a human being are well, there is health. We are sick because the basic needs of a whole person are not being met. Take some time to ask yourself these questions:
Physical – do my current physical habits and patterns (eating, drinking, sleeping, dressing) promote a healthful environment, internally and externally?
Mental/Emotional – Am I actively engaging in activities to strengthen my intellect, which develop both the left and right sides of my brain? Am I investing in my emotional wellbeing and personal development? Do I have appropriate interpersonal and mental boundaries within any of my relationships?
Spiritual – Is my conduct in line with my conscience? What is my standard of morality? Do I live by principle, or by impulse? What do I believe is truth, and why?
The simple solution to sickness begins with understanding your God-given needs, and making it a priority to ensure they are fulfilled.