We all have four sides. We are our happiest when we have fulfilled the needs of those four sides in a harmonious balance.
The two sides we covered yesterday were the physical and mental. Today I want to address the emotional and spiritual.
Emotional. Emotional needs are largely met through social interaction. Humans are social animals and a healthy human has a variety of friends and associates with whom he can interact and engage. The key is to find a balance that is best for you. The greater the variety, however, the better.
In my opinion, a ton of surface friends is as unhelpful as a complete lack of them. Intimate relationships are important because they allow us the chance to share personal experience and let us know “we’re not the only ones.”
Think about it, one of the worst feelings you can have is the sense of isolation that comes from thinking you are all alone in some experience. Part of my difficulty as an adolescent came from thinking that I was the only son of lesbian parents and that this was a shame I had to keep secret. This was only amplified by the time, the 1980s, and my parents need to keep their relationship in the closet.
As such, there was no one I could talk to about it. Some of you may have noticed, the sense of relief that comes from now being able to express it all is so great I won’t shut up about it.
Spiritual. Spirituality is a highly personal experience, but we all feel its tugging in some way. The near universal experience of religion attests to this.
There is an aspect of our existence that defies all logical explanation. Different people in different parts of the world have all come up with a some way of explaining this experience. It’s also worth noting, all of the world’s major religions have, on their own, found different ways of professing the same basic principles of a good and virtuous existence.
How you express and sustain your spiritual existence is entirely up to you. To not pay attention to this aspect of you, though, is a grievous mistake, and will result a life less lived.
As a good Southern boy I am familiar with the inside of a church, but truth be told I’ve never been comfortable there. My church is the woods. To be outside, in a natural setting, stirs my soul. A good trail run does more for my spirit than a sermon or prayer.
Through my Tai Chi experience I have dabbled in meditation and can speak to it’s restorative powers but I have to admit that I find sitting still for any length of time to be difficult. I need to move and I move best outdoors in the open air.
While the principles that guide our lives are consistent, our experiences are unique. A happy and fulfilled life is one that is lived by the principles but expressed in the ways that fit you best.
To our perfect imperfection,
P.S. Yep, I’m gonna remind you of the Mental Meat Heads workshop again. Get used to it. I’ve been looking forward to this event ever since it was envisioned back in July. Go on, save us all a bunch of trouble and just go sign up for it.