Be­com­ing whole again

We be­lieve that in most cases the in­di­vid­ual on his own is able to do much more for him­self than any physi­cian, nurse, al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pist, so­cial worker or any other ex­pert can do. You can achieve this by seiz­ing the mean­ing of life.

Living Now - - Editorial - by Søren Ven­te­godt

We be­lieve that in most cases the in­di­vid­ual on his own is able to do much more for him­self than any physi­cian, nurse, al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pist, so­cial worker or any other ex­pert can do. You can achieve this by seiz­ing the mean­ing of life.

Life is about be­ing the mas­ter of your own ex­is­tence. This means that you fash­ion your life to your own lik­ing rather than al­low­ing others to shape it in ways they pre­fer. Tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for your life means that you are will­ing to see that the real bar­ri­ers to health are not all ex­ter­nal ones, but in­clude things that can be found within your­self. What makes us ill?

What makes us ill?

What makes us ill are all the life-deny­ing de­ci­sions we take when we are over­whelmed by pain and trou­bles. We take these de­ci­sions in or­der to es­cape pain, and in do­ing so we con­struct a view of re­al­ity that min­imises our own re­spon­si­bil­ity. This dy­namic is very sim­ple, but gen­er­ally poorly un­der­stood.

The sick or trou­bled per­son who leaves the re­spon­si­bil­ity for the es­sen­tial de­ci­sions in life to others can be cer­tain that the de­ci­sions made are not op­ti­mal. This will lead the per­son to go down­hill for as long as this lack of re­spon­si­bil­ity con­tin­ues.

Do you live with your heart or have you al­ready pawned your soul? Only a per­son who truly be­lieves in him­self has the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover what is re­ally right or wrong for him. If you do not have the courage to lis­ten to your in­ner self you will in­ad­ver­tently live a life in which you will have to rely on others’ in­ter­pre­ta­tion of things.

Think of life as a great and com­pli­cated build­ing. Ev­ery right de­ci­sion through­out life adds a stone to our life’s cas­tle. Ev­ery small, wrong choice re­moves a stone from the cas­tle. If the bal­ance tips the wrong way we will grad­u­ally, over the years, lose the or­der in our lives, tear our build­ing down and grad­u­ally but sys­tem­at­i­cally be­come more dis­con­nected, su­per­fi­cial and un­well.

What is re­quired for heal­ing?

Heal­ing re­quires us to let go of all the lim­it­ing be­liefs, all the life-deny­ing de­ci­sions we have taken through­out our life­time. The minute we do that, we start to heal. Gen­er­ally our phi­los­o­phy of life lies em­bed­ded in pain and only through con­fronting that pain can we get close to these life-deny­ing de­ci­sions. We can then ar­tic­u­late them pre­cisely enough to let go of them.

Our or­gan­ism grad­u­ally falls apart and de­gen­er­ates to­wards death dur­ing the last decades of our lives, our old age. De­gen­er­a­tion and sick­ness in old age is the re­sult of hun­dreds of life-deny­ing de­ci­sions that you now have to iden­tify and let go of to be healed. We are meant to be cheer­ful and light-hearted, and if we are not, we can to­day be­gin the change to be­come so. In the­ory, the recipe is very sim­ple.

• Ac­knowl­edge your mis­con­cep­tions of

life, self and the world.

• Ad­just your map by let­ting these

mis­con­cep­tions go.

• Open your­self humbly to the fact that you have not un­der­stood the most pro­found and im­por­tant things in life.

• Seek high and low for the mean­ing of life. With the right spirit this project al­ways suc­ceeds.

• Be brave-hearted and save your­self by

as­sum­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for your life.

To be able to be­come well again you have to con­front the suf­fer­ing of be­ing ill.

You need to carry this suf­fer­ing into your very soul. If you dis­tance your­self from the suf­fer­ing, you of­ten also dis­tance your­self from heal­ing. We do not mean to say that you have to de­vote your­self to the suf­fer­ing, but you need to turn to­wards it and not away from it, so to speak. Feel­ing the pain as­so­ci­ated with the sick part of the body is of­ten the key to heal­ing, be­cause that pain rep­re­sents the rel­e­vant, life-lim­it­ing de­ci­sions you took in the past. Con­fronting the pain makes these de­ci­sions sur­face in con­scious­ness where they can be an­a­lysed, ar­tic­u­lated cor­rectly and fi­nally re­leased and dropped for good, leav­ing you with a bet­ter at­ti­tude to­wards life.

In our ex­pe­ri­ence, this process of heal­ing and learn­ing will al­ways lead you to the cen­tre, to the core of ex­is­tence, and to the suf­fer­ing you feel here when life is not what it should be. A deep ex­is­ten­tial dis­tress is in­evitably found and felt. The process of be­com­ing well again is con­sis­tent with the process of dis­cov­er­ing the pro­found mean­ing in and joy of life.

To seize the mean­ing of life

When we fi­nally ac­knowl­edge that the world ex­tends be­yond our rea­son or that there are forces at large that mat­ter more than our im­pulses, then we can pro­ceed. When we re­alise that there are val­ues on Earth that far sur­pass the value of our small life, then we will be hum­ble enough to ac­cept the gift (and task) that is life. Then we can put be­hind us our faith in au­thor­ity and our loyal, but out of date and lim­ited, de­scrip­tion of the world. To dis­cover the mean­ing of life means find­ing your­self and the val­ues that you can al­ways, and with­out fal­ter­ing, use as the foun­da­tion for your own life.

To gain the mean­ing of life does not mean to be for­ever happy. It means that you find your fun­da­men­tal chal­lenge as a hu­man be­ing and you take up that chal­lenge.

You be­come a per­son with a mis­sion. There are things to be cor­rected both on the in­side and the out­side, things within you and things in the world around you. If you are re­ally clever you will see that in re­al­ity there is of­ten lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween the two. You can­not es­cape this world with its su­per­fi­cial­ity, ma­te­ri­al­ism, abuse of power and false val­ues. What you can do is to im­prove that part of the world that is you.

• Ask your­self what it is that you want:

• What is needed for you to ob­tain what you want with the op­por­tu­ni­ties you have?

• What about your work? Do you re­ally ex­ert your­self and im­prove any­thing? Do you gain the ex­per­tise nec­es­sary to ex­press your­self cre­atively and spon­ta­neously? Do you solve your tasks to your own per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion? Do you have enough in­flu­ence on your own work? Do you

ac­tu­ally ac­cept what your com­pany pro­duces or should you be do­ing some­thing quite dif­fer­ent in or­der to be of use in the world?

• What about your time off? Do your hol­i­days ful­fil your dreams or do you just end up wast­ing your time on ca­sual pur­suits, be­fore re­turn­ing home to your bor­ing rou­tine? Do you burn for your life, your work and your love?

• Do you or your life con­tain any nerve at all?

• In the fi­nal anal­y­sis, how do you feel if you are re­ally and to­tally hon­est? Are you okay? Do you get out of life what it can give you? Do you ex­ploit all your op­por­tu­ni­ties? Have you ac­cepted the chal­lenge that is yours? Is your life in bal­ance? Are you at peace with your­self be­cause you have ac­knowl­edged your own per­sonal mis­sion in life? Our prob­lem is that deep down we do not re­ally want to know the mean­ing of our lives, be­cause if we do, we have to ac­knowl­edge that the life we ac­tu­ally live is a pale shadow of the op­por­tu­ni­ties we hold. When you are con­scious of your big dream, but shy away from work­ing to make it come true, you sup­press your­self. This works fine only as long as you are not too aware of it, but with the grow­ing aware­ness the sup­pres­sion of your own life be­comes still harder to bear.

When I ex­pe­ri­enced this process I felt a strong and al­most un­bear­able sen­sa­tion of un­wor­thi­ness. When you re­alise the bril­liant stan­dard that all mankind in­hab­its deep within the soul – all that we are meant to be, our real po­ten­tial – then our present ex­is­tence of­ten seems pretty pale, in­signif­i­cant, and some­times close to a to­tal fail­ure.

As long as you com­pare your­self with your next door neigh­bour you can al­ways claim suc­cess. But when you start com­par­ing your present state of be­ing with that of a per­son at his full peak – like Moses, Bud­dha, Je­sus, Leonardo da Vinci or spir­i­tual mas­ters like the Baal Shem Tov, Dalai Lama or Sai Baba – it is dif­fi­cult not to feel grey.

When you com­pare your­self to your true po­ten­tial, you might find that what Na­ture or God in­tended you to be is amaz­ingly dif­fer­ent from what­ever you thought at first.

This ar­ti­cle is based on the book, Ev­i­dence-based Holis­tic Mind-body Medicine, by Søren Ven­te­godt MD & Joav Mer­rick MD, pub­lished 2013 by Nova Science Publ Inc. ■

Søren Ven­te­godt MD trained as a med­i­cal doc­tor and was di­rec­tor of a re­search di­vi­sion at Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal, Copenhagen. For the last 10 years, he has been prac­tis­ing holis­tic mind-body medicine as an al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pist with­out a med­i­cal li­cense. He runs a holis­tic hos­pi­tal in Swe­den with Pavlina Kor­dova. They will be con­duct­ing work­shops on the Gold Coast in Oc­to­ber 2016.

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