Our nation’s epidemic of anxiety, depression, overeating and obesity, addictions, and general discontent is a holistic issue. No amount of pill-taking, no newly formulated prescription drug, is going to solve the problem. Though we seem determined that it will. It won’t.
It will only push the true issue deeper and ultimately cause a rupture somewhere else within the body, or the mind, or in the emotional state. Just as repairing something with scotch tape won’t hold it if the appropriate nuts and bolts are missing.
Until we begin to realize a more holistic approach, one that encompasses the physical body, as well as the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of being human, we’ll continue to see increasing dis-ease of the body, mind, and spirit in the form of mental illness and new physical conditions we’ve yet to hear of. This might be great for the medical community profiting from our collective dis-ease, but it’s not good for you and me.
So how do we begin to make this shift from treating only physical symptoms to repairing the deeper issue? How do we begin to repair the whole person when our entire orientation has been on fixing the obvious presenting problem?
It’s a simple beginning. We begin by listening. How many times have you been truly listened to when you’ve gone to get help for a medical condition? For a nagging physical complaint, for an issue where something doesn’t seem right but no one seems to know what to do about it, or even if you’ve gone to a therapist to help you through a life crisis but you still feel you’re not quite being seen clearly, or fully understood. In these situations, you’re not being truly heard. You’re not being listened to and viewed as a whole being, because we have not valued this.
Are you seen as someone with perhaps decades of life experience behind you? With pain and loss, joy and hope, courage and fear, failures and success, all of which could influence your overall wellbeing? Are you seen as someone with both human connectedness as well as loneliness, both inspiration and discouragement? What do you eat? How do you breathe? How do you move your body? What do you do for fun? Who are the main players in your life? What are you burdened by? Do you expect to feel well? What do you get from being ill or off-balance? (There’s often a payoff…)
The answers to these questions hold an abundance of information as to how we can best heal. When we’re willing to ask these questions of others and answer them for ourselves, we’ll be on our way toward true holistic healing.