There just isn’t enough love in the air these days.
The meaning or perception love has become so narrow: When do you hear the term being used outside some kind of intimate or romantic setting? Should the meaning of love reside somewhere inside us all, context aside?
Where are we with regards to simply appreciating love as a deep affection of ourselves or others, our kindred spirits, or even just another fellow human beings?
If I was to say that I loved you, would you believe it? Would you believe that “some guy” could care about your well-being: physically, mentally, emotionally, or the very seat of your character and emotions?
Well believe it, it’s true: I love you very much.
But why wouldn’t I love you? We are both human beings, however regardless of our relative locations we still count on the same plants for the very oxygen we breathe; we share the same planet, the same solar system, and the same spot on the same spiral arm of the galaxy.
We experience the exact same feelings, too: hope, hate, hunger, anger, ecstasy, depression, joy, misery, confusion, and embarrassment. When you think of it this way and within the scope of eternity, we are practically the same person!
We are the same, you and I; we are the same, us and all.
That said, we all aspire to the same basic things. I don’t know about you, but I would like to live a life with as much love, light, joy, hope, peace, and grace as possible. I can muddle along, self-involved, trying to get as much of those things for myself as possible… or I can operate in a way that brings my fellow human beings along for the ride, making it ours. Lately, I ask myself often: why not try to give those things to all other beings who likely wish the same things for themselves?
And it’s this ideology which leads us to the subject I’d like to share today: Let’s talk about whole wellness. Now hang on… I know you think you’ve heard it all before, but I have a perspective I’ve found resonates with others, so hear me out!
Wellness is my thing you could say, however it’s wellness on a much deeper level… one that connects us all in an interesting and mysterious way.
Here’s something you can try: think of one or more things in your life you deem special? Go ahead, take a moment… I suspect your friends, family, pets, possessions, hopes, and/or dreams made it to the top of your list. But what about your inner being?
Whole wellness is a concept that includes caring for a spiritual type of wellness. Now, when I use the word “spiritual,” I’m not giving it any specific religious meaning. I’m simply suggesting that we might begin to look past the surface of things for answers to all our problems, ailments, diseases, etc., How about we look deeper into ourselves, so deep as to reveal the true source of our dis-ease.
So what is whole wellness? Let’s look at this as the bottom of the pyramid of your being.
Imagine that you are actually made up of four bodies, each similar to the layers of an onion – the onion of your being, if you will. As whole as it appears on the surface, the onion of your being is actually made up of many layers. These layers are:
- Spiritual or etheric
Without each of these healthy and functioning harmoniously as one, true peace and whole wellness is not possible. Yet with all our emphasis on the physical (i.e. fitness), how much effort to we put to the other three inner layers of wellness?
Another way of understanding this could be to look at . As we experience it visually, we would call light “white”. , But white light is made up of 7 colors combining into one: So… considering the “reality” of white light, what else are we missing? Can wellness be more than skin deep? Are we seeing all that there is to be seen?
The physical body is what grounds us in what’s obvious. But the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our whole being are key to our experience as human beings. Here’s a great “old standard’ visualization that seems to fit here, attributed to Maslow (hearken back to your sociology class)…
See how the physical aspects of our needs are merely the base, but the structure of the whole is mostly mental, emotional and spiritual. Our outer physical body is our vehicle for experiencing this beautiful planet, but our inner wellness is what allows us to appreciate it.
In order for optimum wellness our inner layers must love and be loved. They can only go ignored for so long before the whole system begins to break down.
Out of sight, out of mind… right? Well,.. frankly,.. No.
We all need to give rest to our physical senses from time to time and shift our focus from outside ourselves to what is happening inside. This “rest” can take many forms: a long, carefree walk, meditation, sitting quietly while listening to nature, prayer, reading for enlightenment, or studying philosophy and psychology.
Makes sense,.. but do we love ourselves well enough to value time spent in those pursuits while we travel towards whole wellness?
Here’s the point: All along, our inner cravings were never going to be satisfied by external experiences. But with an internal shift, we can begin to harness our own whole wellness and become that love, bliss, joy, and happiness for which we’ve been searching with our physical body. We simply must take time for the inner work.
Again, this perspective is about much more than ourselves: it’s a way of being in the world, a way of changing the world for the better with our unique existence. Whole wellness fosters, no, allows for a broader, deeper meaning of the word “love.” And this love embraces the wider world, each other, and ourselves.
Christopher A. Greene is a Master’s of Theological Studies student at Boston University working on his vocational goals of becoming a comparative religion professor and opening a holistic clinical practice that incorporates healing modalities across many cultures. In his spare time Christopher enjoys painting, composing music, writing poetry, participating in competitive sports, and spending time in nature!