A Question of Balance
Wellness, like life, is always a question of balance. It is a dynamic process because there are seeming contradictions to be resolved, apparent oppositions to be integrated, infinite shades of gray from which to choose. In considering the subject of health, for instance, you just don't find absolute answers to questions like: What should I eat? How should I exercise? What form of treatment is best? Rather, you must learn to balance what you know and what the experts" tell you. Even though you are connected with me and everyone else you share this planet with, you are also very much alone, and you must singularly make your own life-and-death decisions. (Sounds serious. And it is!) But, if you make your life about self-responsibility and love, then the burden can be transformed into the opportunity, and the questions can become the impetus for experimentation, for learning, for trusting, for loving this magnificent and paradoxical creation - yourself.
While some types of illness are genetically determined, and others are the result of environmental or accidental factors that appear to be largely out of our control, a large percentage of the illness we experience is created when we resist the movement and flexibility that characterize life and change. Wellness offers us a bridge to cross over into new territory, to explore different possibilities, to understand the other side of any situation. When we resign ourselves to being helpless victims of disease, when we give up on ourselves, when we hold on to one system and refuse to question it even when it fails to meet our needs, we encourage sickness and death.
Wellness allows us to integrate contradictions like illness and health. It appreciates these as complementary parts of one life process. It is open to new ideas, courageous, and non-compulsive. Wellness means that we can move freely between seeming opposites, learning from each, growing from both.
The contemporary treatment paradigm of conventional medicine, which most of us have come to accept as the norm, is actually only one way of dealing with illness. Because we have lived with it for so long, we may never have learned that there are alternatives. Sometimes, even though it may have failed us, we have accepted its shortcomings. Because the treatment paradigm is such familiar territory - the "home field," so to speak - we are strongly encouraged to stay there.