The disconnect between the body and the soul is prevalent in medicine. The view of spirituality in medicine hasn’t changed much since 380 B.C., when Plato wrote, “For this is a great error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that physicians separate the soul from the body.” Yet, these two components are integral for healing and wellness.
Most physicians you see will not address the topic of spirituality in the context of medicine, perhaps due to fear that it is a taboo subject or due to a lack of understanding. Quite often there is a confusion that being spiritual means the same as being religious. The two entities are independent. Being spiritual means that you have a yearning for a greater connection with yourself and finding the meaning in life. Being religious means that you believe in one particular entity as the source of greatness and share that belief with like-minded people. One can be spiritual and non-religious, while one can be both as well.
When I sit with a patient to discuss spirituality in relation to health and wellness, I focus on three main points:
-Finding meaning in life
Studies have shown that people, who follow a spiritual path, live on average 7-13 years longer than those who do not. It takes a great level of courage and honesty to really look inside yourself and your soul and ask yourself the following three questions:
-What is the meaning of my life?
-What is my purpose in life?
-What is the direction that my life should take me?
It’s completely acceptable if you do not have the answers to these questions at this time, but every day you live your life, you should keep an open mind and open heart and be open to the world of possibilities. Your journey into health starts by looking inside of yourself for the answers. Your body and your soul are not separate entities. Every aspect of your life is connected, so embrace life and live!