In this final post of my Politics, Medicine and War article, let’s bring the basic message of finding peace into our own being and how we handle our stresses, thoughts, and emotions. That’s where the expression of peace and healing begins or where we generate struggles and war.
A favorite part of my recent book Staying Healthy with NEW Medicine is in the section on Stress and Relationships and is entitled The Art and Practice for Peacefully ‘Not Getting Along’ with Others. It’s about “fair fighting,” listening and caring to create peace. Ideally, we can understand the difference between a reaction and a response. We can learn how to healthfully disagree with others and resolve conflict with attentive listening and caring, and finding the cooperation in the midst of any struggle. There is almost always a way to resolve conflicts if people take this compassionate approach. We need to be able to hold our inner core stable and not have it be disturbed by our external surroundings and events, both personal and worldly. There are always things going on that are concerning and stressful. Just watch the nightly news and see the latest murders, serious accidents, hurricanes, fires, and such. Of course, these can be devastating for those involved, yet, when they do not affect us directly, it should not alter our inner strength and stability. Naturally, we can care and even shed tears, but we can hold our inner selves and remain solidly centered in being who we need to be and keep doing what we need to do. When we can achieve this, it makes a huge difference in the stress we experience in day-to-day life.
In conclusion, if we wish to get beyond the external and internal fighting, beyond an “attack and conquer” approach, we need to explore our deeper selves to understand why we might feel conflicted about a particular issue or a person and his or her comments or activities. Likewise, for health issues, we should ideally address any underlying causes, which often relate to our lifestyle habits. For me, that is the first place to look for answers to any health challenges, be they acute illnesses or chronic problems. Taking this more integrative, healing approach in medical care would make a huge difference in our nation’s health and especially with the costs associated with treating chronic disease.
Our path to healing lies within each of us taking primary responsibility for our own health and in finding simple, safe and inexpensive ways to undo or reverse medical problems as they occur. Ideally, we find a peaceful way to co-exist with our body and with our life’s activities and relationships and follow some of the Hippocratic guidelines, such as “First, do no harm,” “Let food be thy medicine,” and “Pay attention to the seasons of the year and the effects they have upon us and our health.”