What you don’t feed, dies. What you do feed, grows.
Plants need certain conditions to optimally grow. They need light as the source of energy (trust me, the scientific explanation about why plants actually need light for their growth is a long story. I got the long story from a semester-long of torture studying biochemistry and botany in college, haha. Owell, I passed them anyways). Some amount of oxygen, water, some certain range of temperature and many other requirements in order them to grow optimally.
Just like plants need those things to (physically) grow optimally, so do we, people. If we are hoping of personal growth, we’ve got to get ourselves properly fed. Talking about physical growth, I believe we already know what that means, we need nutritious food to get the metabolic system in our body to work as well as it is intended. We do need carbohydrates as the source of sugar in our blood, we need protein for damaged cells repair and etc. This post is not intended to be a scientific article on nutrition and living things’ need of nutrition. But the idea of how living things do need nutrition to grow is the main idea of this writing.
Our souls are pretty much the same as our physical bodies in a way that our souls, in order to grow, do need to get properly fed. As in our daily life, there are many kinds of food, drinks, supplements, vitamins and etc edible or consumable. But not all of those kinds of stuff are good for our body, correct? Also, it is up to the individuals themselves of which food or drink or vitamin to consume. I am not talking about what people like to eat, but what they need to eat.
Let me use myself as the example. I have a condition in which my metabolic system is unable to break down a chemical compound called uric acid. Uric acid is basically one kind of protein that is mostly found in green veggies, peanuts, animals innards and certain kind of fish. If I consume too much of those kinds of stuff then the content of uric acid in my body is increased and they will be deposited in the joints. When it happens, then I will get inflammation in joints, especially in joints around my toes or knee. Well, the inflammation may occur differently for each person. I really like green veggies, like, so much! But ever since I got that condition, I am never again being able to consume green veggies as much as I want. So, do you see my point? I am not talking about something that we like to eat, but something that we need to eat and do some good to our own body.
Now, back to talking about the soul. There are many thoughts, ideas, wisdoms out there. They bombard us every day, even more in this kind of days, which we are overly exposed to media. Whether we realize it or not, the media have really great impact on our personal growth. How couldn’t it impact us for we are exposed to them almost every minute of our life. And I believe that constant exposure to certain things can finally stay, grow, and root deep in our thinking system. This way of thinking then creates habits in our thinking system. Habit, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is translated as “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.”
So, on feeding our soul, don’t we need to be very careful?
There are many thoughts, ideas and wisdoms exposing us every single day, even every single time we open our PDAs or computer. As for my personal experience, I have stopped following some twitter accounts that exposed to me nothing but sarcasms, negative spirit, and just some cynical statements about life. It did have some effect on me: I was so negative, sarcastic, and cynical to many things, you bet, just the same as what I have been feeding myself with.
What you don’t feed, dies. What you do feed, grows. If we feed ourselves with negative spirit, sarcasms, cynical statements, then so be it. If we keep ourselves exposed to such thing, then the system in our thinking will gradually accept it as true.
There is a good saying that I want to share here,
It is hard to let old beliefs go. They are familiar. We are comfortable with them and have spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them. Like a man who has worn eyeglasses so long that he forgets he has them on, we forget that the world looks to us the way it does because we have become used to seeing it that way through a particular set of lenses. Today, however, we need new lenses. And we need to throw the old ones away.
— Kenich Ohmae
We can never hope to harvest figs out of thornbushes.
Stop feeding our soul with negative thoughts, sarcasms, cynicism about life or things around us. They give us nothing but crushed and broken spirit while we ought to grow as we are intended to grow. A broken spirit is severely contagious. It doesn’t only affect us, but also the people surround us. Remember, what we don’t feed, dies. Cut them off, they will not stay alive. Uproot them, they will be finished. Instead, start feeding your soul with stuff that gives you courage to face each new day, gives you new lively spirit to live better, gives you enlightenment to share the light to others.
You can choose to live your life out of two options: either a living testimony or a potential menace. You choose. You can choose to feed your soul with out of two options: either stuff which extremely beneficial or plainly destructive. You choose.
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, …” — Ephesians 6:15-18
Another day, another lesson learned.