The more you know, the more you care, and the harder it is to just be.
It is interesting to reflect upon what drives health-obsessed people to become who they are. Everyone has a story. Some more interesting than others but these individuals seem to share a common thread.
The roots of their story are almost always planted with seeds of quiet desperation and struggle. I could be wrong but one typically does not come to understand that advanced glycation end products are bad for your health from an internal state of bliss and contentment.
Ignorance is not bliss but maybe neither is knowing everything.
For a long time, there was a reservoir of restlessness flowing inside me. It permeated the entirety of my being and it created this insatiable drive to acquire more. More knowledge that led to more questions and down the rabbit hole we go.
I’ve ventured down more rabbit holes than I care to share. Pearls of knowledge that fostered a diverse understanding of subjects that to the passive eye never seem interconnected.
But for what?
For the paradox of rabbit holes is that there never is an ending. It is the fickle mistress that lures you in with a gentle touch that sets off a succession of fireworks. You need more and the sad reality is that you will always will.
My intention is not to denigrate the acquisition of knowledge. Knowledge is what drives us humans forward. It’s what has allowed us to build civilization, as we know it today. It is what will cure cancer tomorrow.
For most on this journey, we never wanted knowledge; we wanted health. We wanted peace of mind and the stormy seas to be calmed. We wanted to set sail on the vast expansive ocean on nothing but a shoddy wooden raft, a volleyball, and a calm assurance that we’ll be ok.
It is not a vision of kum buy ya or a utopian world where lions lay with lambs. Far from it, actually.
Life is built for struggle. It is what makes it beautiful, what gives it meaning. It is what makes death the perfect gift.
We treasure what is scarce. A world of infinitude is one without purpose.
The difference is intent. Intention of thoughts and action.
The health obsessed can never have what they truly seek.
There is a gnawing feeling of inadequacy that they are hoping to fill with something. It could be knowledge; it could be another supplement. Whatever it is, stuck are they in the grasp of their mistress.
I do not have an answer. I do know that “health is not incessantly worrying about how healthy you are” – Ben House.
Some may suggest mindfulness. Or going on walks in nature. Activities that science tells us quiet the mind and promote a greater sense of well-being and contentment. I can vouch for these benefits anecdotally.
If you think about it and dive deeper, however, it is interesting to prescribe mindfulness to someone who incessantly worries about health.
It becomes another thing on their list.
Another rabbit hole to learn and explore. I guaranfuckingtee that such a person starts meditating and soon enough they will become an expert in the benefits and science of the practice.
Now instead of being more mindful, they HAVE to be more mindful because they know how good it is for them. Cue the shot of dopamine and back on the train we go.
Having to meditate isn’t the game. That’s not The Show.
I don’t have a means to The Show for you. In truth, I’m sure there are many paths to true health and contentment.
Or maybe, our insatiable drive is both the gift and curse of being human. It is what has given us more than we could have ever imagined and at the same time left us feeling like we have nothing. If so, then the gods are cruel bastards.
True health starts with just being. Letting go and letting live. Figuring out how to get there? Well that is what makes life fun after all. It’s all just a game.