After all those years since that incredible age of enlightenment. After all the recent advancement in science and medicine we have made as a human race, we are still incapable of finding out what causes the common cold.
I recently heard a great speaker tell the audience that if you feel the onset of a cold, and you are lucky enough to take immediate action to see your doctor, you will be lucky enough to be prescribed a remedy that will inevitably help you get back on your feet in about a week.
On the other hand, if you do absolutely nothing, you must brace yourself to fight that cold for at least seven days.
Yes, seven days.
The older I get, the more I am convinced and believe that the common cold is only one of the many manifestations of our body, that that is trying to tell us something. It is trying to tell us that there is something wrong with our mind.
I think the common cold is a psycho-somatic reaction.
We pound our mind with constant negative thinking, endless commercials to be someone else, or we beat it down with seemingly endless work, with no sign or hope for a break. Some of us also go as far as poisoning it with drugs and alcohol. In either case, I think our mind, in a valiant effort to save itself, puts up a do not disturb sign, and forcibly slows us down.
I have tested this theory once when I was younger.
While attending George Brown College, I was coming home one afternoon, suffering from a terrible migraine headache, and my nose sprung a leak, that no tissue could tame.
I remember reading a book by Viktor Frankl that spoke about the psycho-somatic effects in our lives, and how to fight it. Being young and naïve, I had nothing to lose, so I decided dig deep and see what was happening in my life.
I discovered that I had an essay to write, and I had been not writing it for over two weeks. I was terribly good at not writing and not reading back in those days. I had been putting it off and putting it off, but it was due within a week.
I sat down to write it that evening, finished it, and thought nothing more about it. It wasn’t until mid-morning, the next day, that I discovered that the headache was gone, and my nose was bone dry.
I have no empirical evidence for any of this, but I believe there is a deep connection between our mind and our body. There needs to be an alignment between our thoughts and our feelings.
Furthermore, like F.M. Dostoevsky beautifully illustrated in Crime and Punishment, any sense of meaning that we wish to have, can only come with the guidance of a well formed moral conscience. You cannot be a dick and expect compliments.
No better book about whores and murderers has ever been written. No other author has ever made such a deep impact on my soul.
We should listen to our bodies.
It is telling us something.
Your yellow fingers. Your constant coughing. Your triple xl shirts. The screaming tears of your tattered belt. They are all telling you something.
Not being able to fall asleep. Being exhausted all the time. Lacking motivation. Flying into uncontrollable fits of rage, because you got the wrong Timbit. They signs that are trying to tell you something.
Don’t get me wrong. Some things we face run deep, and for those times we need a doctor, social worker, psychiatrist, or even a wise rabbi to properly arm our spirit.
But I refuse to believe that we are all helpless and broken.
Listen to your body.
Be good to it.
I know it is slowly turning the corner, needs a new paint job, and there are cracks to be filled.
Paint it bright yellow, and fill in all the holes and smooth out all the imperfections.
Give it the dignity it deserves.
You’ve got much to give.
So keep your greatest tool, sharp and ready.