Editorial by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD
We humans, only yesterday geological-time-wise, were roaming the Savannas and the forests, just about a hundred to two hundred thousand years ago. And we loved it!
At night, as the darkness fell around us, we stared at the stars in awe — billions and billions of them as if they were beckoning us. We had time to contemplate and ponder in awe, the immensities and the unfathomable mysteries “out there,” telling stories to each other as we were sitting around the fire — which we just had learned how to make around that time by rubbing sticks together or by striking chert. We also became, just around then, curious and contemplative, feeling compelled to ask questions of what was around us that were unanswerable. We then became spiritual and felt part of the enveloped mystery of it all as we were telling the stories to each other for succor and support that became part of our tribes.
In the daytime, we were running barefooted with sticks, chasing gazelles and deer, free to stare at the big blue sky, the endless meadows, and the dark woods with their own alluring mysteries listening to the distant thunders of the approaching storms. The need to do so is still imprinted in us and is felt as a yearning unfulfilled.
Back then, the opportunities for running in the woods or in the meadows connecting with what was familiar; the feeling of being a part of what was around you was aplenty.
Alas, all this, no more! Our lives have become now organized, constrained, routinized, full of obligations, musts, and oughts, farther and father alienating ourselves from what was familiar for thousands and thousands of years.
We are now involved up to our ears, as it was, with the logistics of daily life: paying bills, running from bank to bank and store to store, arguing, and endlessly trying to finish the tasks assigned to earn a living. And, often, the assigned task is just dreary.
We wind up irritable, unsettled, dissatisfied, and longing, like orphans of things close to us and now long forgotten, feeling vaguely unfulfilled at the end.
We need to know this and specifically assign time to do things like walking in the woods and the meadows — contemplating, murmuring to ourselves as saying hello to the chirping birds and the fleeing deer — even if our little walk is reduced to a small lawn in order to reconnect with that part of ourselves.
If we do so, we will suddenly feel fulfilled, with gladness and readiness to take up the routines and the often dreary tasks.
Copyright © 2017 by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD
For more information on Dr. Pediaditakis and his Raleigh NC mental health clinic, visit his Facebook page.
Dr. Nicholas’ blog may be read at chroniclersofthesoul.com.
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