Onward and Upward: Living a Life Uncommon
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” —Robert Browning
Wouldn’t it be nice to be perfect? To have a perfect mind, a perfect body, a perfect life? To enjoy perfect health, perfect relationships, a perfect job? To accomplish every goal we set? To get everything we want?
Dream on. I’ve often thought that as human beings, our job is to hold perfection up as an ideal, an objective to be pursued, though never realized. As Union Army general Carl Schurz once said, “Ideals are like stars… you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny.” I’m a firm believer in lifelong learning. If I couldn’t read, take seminars and classes, and listen to personal and professional growth programs, my life would be pretty empty. Although we may all be doomed to failure when it comes to achieving our full potential, I think we have to try. We owe it to ourselves, to the people we care about, and to our world. Ultimately, the purpose of life is to grow, and help others grow.
It’s not enough to just learn, however—maybe because it doesn’t fulfill our need to make a difference. I recently heard a seminar speaker say, “Information without implementation leads to depression.” For me, those words have the telltale ring of truth.
There’s a song called "Life Uncommon," by the singersongwriter Jewel, that always lifts me up when I’m down. Here’s a taste of the chorus:
Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom No longer lend your strength to that which You wish to be free from Fill your lives with love and bravery And you shall lead a life uncommon
There exists in each of us a perfection that is very real— one that lies deep inside the very core of every person, and indeed, every living thing. It’s something that D.D. Palmer, who founded chiropractic in 1895, described as “Innate Intelligence.” Dr. Palmer chose the term “innate” to convey the idea of something we’re born with, something that’s part of our “inner essential nature.” In Dr. Palmer’s day, the word could also be used as a verb, meaning “to cause to exist” or “to call into being.”
Try to think of yourself as a ball of light, filled with pure, intelligent energy. In truth, that’s what we are. Our bodies are simply a place for us to live, and we’re continually renewing and re-creating them from one instant to the next. The purpose of chiropractic care is to release the “imprisoned impulse” between our inborn, innate intelligence—the pure potential that is our essential nature—and its physical expression in our lives. That unseen connection between what we appear to be and what we truly are is the key to our health, our happiness, and our evolution “onward and upward.” It’s the secret to living a life uncommon, allowing us to truly become all we were meant to be, and to transform ourselves and our world into a reality that even Robert Browning would be hard-pressed to imagine.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine,
Issues #29 & #69.
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