(6 minute read)
12 July 2020
It’s been some time since I’ve written an article, but I think this one has been building for a while. So, for what it’s worth, here’s my simplistic take on things.
Relentlessly focusing on symptoms to find lasting solutions could be one of our biggest mistakes. Symptoms are always a by-product of a deeper-rooted problem and when we get wrapped up in solving symptoms, we get distracted from the root cause.
I’m not saying that our focus and ability to solve each symptom can’t be beneficial or helpful, it’s just that it’s far too one sided.
Disease, mental illness, pollution, war and poverty, are all symptoms.
Take cancer for example. The two main solutions are still either having the cancer removed or killing the cells. We might be getting better at it, but cancer rates are still increasing, it used to be 1 in 3 people and now it’s 1 in 2 people who are expected to get cancer in their lifetime.
How much emphasis do we put on solving the root causes? Disease is often a result of a damaged environment (air, soil and water) which in turn affects the conditions in our bodies, making them far more susceptible to disease (https://www.who.int/features/factfiles).
The increase in pollution, chemical exposure and the impact our food and water systems have on our health is huge. Furthermore, we also know that disease thrives in an acidic and inflamed body, yet our diets tend to cultivate acidity and inflammation. How are our immune systems in general? Vitamin D levels are dangerously low for so many people. Even with Vitamin D supplements, if we’re over weight, levels can show as normal, but it gets trapped in our fat and isn’t transported through our bloodstream. What about the effect our mind has on our physiology, through our emotions? How does living in worry, high states of anxiety, stress and low mood affect the chemical balance in our bodies over the years?
I could go on and on, but my point is even for something as pervasive as cancer, we continue to adopt a ‘fixing the symptom’ approach. How many more billions do we need to raise and invest in research before WE (you and me) realise the cure is in prevention rather than in fixing the symptom?
In spite of the immense damage we are doing to our planet and ourselves, afforded the right conditions, the human body, mind and the planet has the most incredible ability to self-regulate and to heal. We only need to look at the reduction in global pollution during lock down to see how quickly conditions can be reversed.
I want to reiterate again, I am not saying we shouldn’t look at the symptoms, just that it’s far too one sided. Clearly there have been incredible advancements in modern medicine and discoveries that are saving lives but we also need to look much more towards prevention.
So, what is the root cause of all the symptoms that we face today?
Quite simply, it is us and our daily choices.
It’s human nature to look outside ourselves, all of our senses lead us in this direction, our hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell. We look out at the world and see what we like and dislike, we have our opinions, our blame and our self-importance. We elect those in charge and we blame those in charge. We are told what to do and what not to do. We see all the problems and get disheartened, we switch off. Or we simply live in ignorant bliss. We may get inspired or angry and fight for change. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take action but we must first look within ourselves.
Each of us individually make thousands of daily choices, each one having more of a profound impact than we can possibly know. The ripples are huge.
It’s important to understand that it is near on impossible to change another person, we might like to, but have you ever tried?! We can only ever change ourselves and our own choices, nobody else’s.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” ~ unknown
Disease – we might not be able to prevent hereditary conditions or the use of chemicals, but we do have a choice to become more informed about our diets, lifestyle choices and the impact they have on our health.
Mental Illness – we might be predisposed to certain conditions but this doesn’t mean we can’t be mentally healthy, we can. It’s a matter of learning about our mental health in a new way and getting inquisitive about who we are. We are not at the mercy of our surroundings or other people, our mental health is our own and we have far more influence than we might think!
Pollution – we might not be able to make some of the big decisions needed but we can contribute by our individual choices. We have the choice of what we buy, where and how we shop and travel.
War – conflict and prejudice is within us all, we might not be able to stop conflicts around the world but we can stop the conflict and prejudice within ourselves. It must start here.
Poverty – we are all able to share what we have. We all have the ability to help others. Poverty is the result of our greed and fear.
Many of the problems we face are underpinned by our individual insecurities, which lead to excessive consumerism and desire for wealth.
We see in others what we see in ourselves.
We judge by how we judge ourselves.
We love as we love ourselves.
We respect as we respect ourselves.
Every choice we make is a reflection of ourselves.
But it can be confusing to know how to change, if we don’t know how change works.
Have you ever had a one of those moments, when you realise something new and simple? It might come out of the blue while you’re in the shower or brushing your teeth or you might be reading, watching or talking about something. It might have been about a problem you had been working through or an idea you had been thinking about. A new thought just comes to you and it’s simple and from that moment you see something new and you change, effortlessly. You could call it an insight, a shift or rise in awareness or consciousness. It’s the basis of how someone eventually breaks a habit for good or finally loses weight easily or gets fit and remains fit after years of trying unsuccessfully etc. It’s a moment of insight that makes us see things differently, we gain a new perspective, and when this happens change is easy and simple.
So, it is fair to say that it is our level of awareness that has the greatest impact on the choices we make.
We need each and every one of us in our unique and individual way, to have the foresight, belief and courage to look inwards and to take accountability for cultivating and raising our own level of awareness.
WE (you and me) are the root cause or the ‘bigger issue’ and we are EACH required to enlighten our core selves, more than we are today. It really is this simple.
I know it’s happening anyway and will continue to whether we choose to or not. It’s what’s been happening forever, it’s how we have changed and got to where we are today. I guess I’m just highlighting it in the hope that it sparks some more insight.
If you want change and to have more insight but don’t know how, for starters that’s a great place to be. The first step is to simply recognise that it has to start within you and it can only happen within you. Then allow yourself to gravitate towards people who seem to be more aware and at peace, people who you sense have a deeper understanding of life. Be inquisitive, get reflective and don’t stop. All you’re looking for is a little bit of insight, bit by bit. The more of us that keep opening our eyes, the more we shall all see.
Thanks for reading, if you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you.
Paul / [email protected]