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Posted by Michael Finkelstein | April 5th, 2019

A Life with Purpose

I speak to many people each day about health. In fact, once they find out I’m a physician, the questions fly. And, I get it. There’s a great desire to be healthy and any symptoms or conditions that get in the way of that can be irritating at least, if not debilitating at worst.

But, what is the health that is sought? For many, it might be relatively straightforward: to heal an injury, or get over an infection. Others have chronic conditions that wear them down, mentally as well as physically. And some are suffering without knowing why, but life just doesn’t feel right. And most simply worry that the future is not going to be anywhere near as free and easy as the present, no matter what their current state. It’s all relative. Yet, while all of these reflect something essential, without going further into the next question, why do I want to be healthy, the results of any “remedy” may be limited.

As Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, our practices may lead to something impressive, but still, if we are not grounded in the reason we are practicing, we may miss the point altogether.

Indeed, we are walking on this earth, and there is an opportunity here that can be overlooked and bypassed, if we get lost in achieving goals that are not essential to the main purpose of our lives: A life With purpose.

Of course, it’s not mutually exclusive to heal your body and to achieve a life with purpose; but there is an important balance. If you truly think about it, even someone who is ailing can be very important to those around him. Often, what I find missing from personal healing plans is to continue to envision and practice the positive results of serving others. As it turns out, our bodies like that the most. Nothing can be more healing for one and for all.

Mitakuye Oyasin,

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