Some days start out so promising. The coffee is good. The traffic is cooperating. You’re in a singing mood for no particular reason. But then the road beneath you turns to quicksand. The guy in front of you stops suddenly, and now you’re exchanging insurance info while dabbing at the hot coffee splashed all over your clothes.
But that’s nothing compared to real tragic events—losing your money, or your right leg, or someone you love. Or finding yourself working a job that forces you to choose between your paycheck and your integrity. Next time you spill hot coffee in your lap, remember—it can always get worse.
What do we think about the seemingly random twists and turns that a day, or a life, can take? Some of us attempt to explain these events philosophically or religiously. For others, they are a matter of choices we make, or tests of our character.
Each of us answers our troubles the best way we can. Or we don’t. Instead, some of us choose to check out with drugs or alcohol. Others turn to anger and blame their problems on someone (or everyone) else. Still others choose the anger and blame, plus the drugs and alcohol.
What’s your favorite form of self-medication or self-destruction? Work? Sugar? Exercise? Getting high? Porn? Swimming with sharks? If any of that stuff actually worked, we’d all be superhuman. Imagine if we could do whatever we want, whenever we want, free of consequences? (For starters, the world would be safe for that little jerk at camp who liked to blow up bullfrogs with firecrackers.)
But we live in this world, and in this world, whatever our choices, they have consequences. Most adults know that such consequences will manifest in our mental and physical health. Because we aren’t in charge of our own health until later in life, it can be difficult to overcome the choices others made for you. But once we’re calling our own shots, it’s time to get our health on the right track.
The first step is to realize that the human body is a finely tuned, intricate, living machine. Depending on what kind of shape it’s in, it can take some abuse. But not much. And not for long. The best time to hop off the train of addictive and destructive behaviour is right now.
You can begin in the privacy of your own home by waking up to the connection between our health and our character. Health doesn’t exist in a bubble. It’s the sum of an entire life in action—mentally, physically, emotionally. Health is the perfect place to step off the addiction train. If you’ve been on that train for long enough, you know that it offers a poor substitute for genuine self-reliance. The healthier you become, the easier it is to let go of your dependence on chemicals, substances, and choices that destroy rather than nourish your health. And your character.
Yes. I’m saying that whole-food nutrition can lessen and even eradicate the impulse toward addiction— whether it’s drugs, alcohol, sugar, or work, whatever else. Because there is something else that truly and deeply satisfies all the needs of body and mind. Something that strengthens the will to live and fuels the fearless fires of the heart. That something is the powerful chemical support from minerals, fats, and proteins, all sourced from plants and animals raised on healthy, balanced soils. Seek these out and you will find a morality and nobility of character that stands upright in expression of the best this Earth has to offer.
Images from iStock/wildpixel (main), kevron2001 (main chained to computer), wildpixel (fork with food).