Self-Care Tip #103 – Forget about divisions in knowledge. Be a friend to yourself.
Knowledge does not separate into parts of religion, diet, stars, or geometry. It is one thing, although we may not see its entirety. Like the blind men with the elephant, we might be standing by the foot or the trunk. But it is one thing. Spiritual truth, nature, physics, medicine, music, art, it’s the same story told in pieces and in different ways.
Working in psychiatry, I’ve struggled with this because it so often affects my freedom in practice. It so often affects people’s choices for treatment, people’s choices for lifestyle and their own empowerment with self-care. It affects the choices people make in medication therapy and in physicians.
Merging the tables of learning affects our quality of life either way. If we are able to do this, we have less conflict, fewer chairs to walk around. If we can’t, we find ourselves constantly checking the seating charts. It’s terrible throwing a party where people don’t know what connects them. There’s the same discomfort inside of us when our life paradigms are afraid of each other.
Take Crystal. She is a Latina Catholic. Or make her protestant Filipina, or say White Texan. Crystal grew up thinking that what was said by her tias (aunts,) or her pastor, or performed by her grit and spine, lay like bookmarks between human behavior issues and the rest of her life. Behaviors may have something to do with the church, or emotions with the girls room, or nothing to do with anything in her mind. Thinking behaviors and emotions might relate to what gave her black hair color, and to why water separates from oil is just bizarre to her.
When, Thomas Friedman wrote The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, he was talking about a leveling of the playing field of commerce. To take it further, I hear him talking about a flattening of prejudices, knowledge, access to information and hierarchies. The world is too flat to separate the brain from the rest of the body. When the world is flat, working as a psychiatrist means enlisting all of science, religion, social issues, hobbies, food preferences, and all the other things that make someone’s life worth living for their treatment. When the world is flat, a patient trying to get help for their emotional-behavioral illness doesn’t separate it from anything else in their journey.
It turns out that we have a lot of information on where emotions and behaviors come from. We should use it, don’t you think?
Of course, we don’t have it all. Not close. We don’t know how the soul factors in. We don’t know what miracles are. We don’t know God face to face. But we do know that it is the same table of knowledge. It is the same elephant in the room. It all comes from the same Love.
Walk around. Feel around. Let your quality of life get better. Don’t cut yourself off from another part of you if you don’t have to.
Question: How are you keeping your personal journey one that is connected? Or not? Please tell me your story.
- Quotes from Tom Friedman’s “The World is Flat” (compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com)
- The world is not flat: Exploring cells and tissues in three dimensions (physorg.com)