“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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