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To Achieve or Receive? Musings on Health.

by Jan 19, 2024

Home » Naturopathic Medicine Student Blog » To Achieve or Receive? Musings on Health.

“The key to life change is not the acts of the will, but the loves of the heart.”  —Saint Augustine 

I often do a poor job of carrying out the proper order of operations when it comes to health. In essence, I treat the process as if it were a task to be achieved by implementing a list of behavior modifications involving my diet, exercise and mental habits.  

While this begets improvements, the reality is these modifications never solve the sense of incompleteness that is written on my heart, the stirring that originally motivated my desire to seek healing.  

Behavior modifications will never make me whole, because doing so requires a source of love and protection outside of myself. In this sense, the deepest foundation of our health is not something that can be achieved regardless of how many superfoods we eat, exercises we do, or meditations we recite. It comes from beyond us, and hence it is a gift that can only be received.    

If this is the case, then instead of striving to achieve in order to receive a reward as the world trains us, one must invert the order and first receive in order to achieve. Tricky, huh?  

The point is not to refrain from healthy habits, it is to be wary of treating them as ultimate things. We’re distracted by achieving health when we could be learning to receive lasting satisfaction.  

The irony is that once we receive the latter, the former naturally results. When the posture of the heart is rightly set, healthy habits not only ensue but are enacted in a wiser and more effective way.  

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About the Author

Leah Gusching

Leah Gusching

Greetings! I am a student of natural medicine because I enjoy the beauty reflected in the human body and spirit. I believe the best medicine is the gift of grace that, once received, heals the posture of the heart. To relax, I like talking with my husband, reading books, and swimming in the ocean when available. Please feel free to reach out!

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