Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Control, Fear and Health

When you look at a guy like Adrian Monk, while you will see a genius in crime detection, you will also see a lonely, self-centered man tormented by fear and a longing for control. So much of his life is about taking control of things such as dirt, and sometimes of other people - well - often of other people.

Watching an episode in the last season last night, I realized that Monk has to eat certain things, in certain ways, on certain days. Even after five years, Sharona can still tell you what Monk ate on a Wednesday and how it was prepared.

We often fear what we cannot control. The future is a big one. What will it be? What will it hold for us? What unknowns (and therefore uncontrolled) lies ahead? So, we worry.

It's funny, because as much as we think we need control, there are many ways in which we give away control, and we end up harming ourselves as a result. One example is over food - we often eat out-of-control, and end up harming ourselves by getting fat, developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer.

For instance, it is known that most cancers feed on sugar. If you reduce sugars you can greatly hamper the growth of cancerous tumors. It has been known for a long time that if you eat a lot of starchy foods, like white bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, starchy snacks, you will gain weight. But we keep eating them, and gaining weight.

Monk's name is perfect for him, because in a way, he lives the self-denial of a monastic monk, but for the wrong reasons, and so his is often a self-centered, lonely life, consumed with fear. The monastic lives self-denial in order to give up control, to submit himself to God, to make himself available to others in love, and so he has no fear.

If we carefully look at the places where we have wrongly given up control (our diet, our media usage) and at the places where we wish to exercise too much control (over others, in our fears, worries and anxieties) we can proceed, with the help of God's grace, to make corrections, and possibly find greater contentedness and less fear, as well as better physical and spiritual health.

No comments: