Life Philosophy How Shall I Treat Myself? Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1602 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Biology

Life Philosophy

How shall I treat myself? What is the most accurate and helpful view of my own nature?

A shall treat myself with all the respect due to any child of God, with love, compassion, and kindness. This entails a three-pronged approach. First I shall pay my body the attention it deserves by living a healthy lifestyle and eating wholesome foods. Avoiding foods that are laden with chemicals I can ensure that the purity of my body mirrors my spiritual goals. I can avoid overindulgences in heavy foods, meat, and junk food and stay away from mind-altering substances that cloud my vision as they pollute my body. While I am careful about what I put into my body, I will also make sure to exercise it as much as possible. Hard work is God-like: as we use our bodies to their fullest potential. Staying healthy is one way to live in tune with God's will and therefore I shall treat myself with the utmost respect.

Second, I shall think good thoughts. The contents of my mind shape the character of my soul. Therefore, I will take care to observe the trends in my thinking. Am I being critical or judgmental of others? If so I will take care to silence those thoughts and in their place install wisdom and compassion. Am I being pessimistic or full of self-hatred? If so I must root out those thoughts immediately to make room for optimism and self-love. Managing my thinking is part of the self-discipline necessary for living the good life. If I harbor negative thoughts I create a culture of evil within myself.

Third, I shall nurture my spirit. Through the communalism of church and through the personal communion with God through prayer, I will devote a significant portion of my life to spiritual pursuits. When I do devote my time to spiritual pursuits I cultivate the qualities necessary for being a beacon of light to others: to help others who struggle along their spiritual path.

The most accurate and helpful view of my own nature is to love unconditionally, without regard for whether or not I am loved in return. This is the quintessential hallmark of spiritual attainment. Surrendering the conditions that human beings place on love may be one of our most challenging tasks. My true nature -- and that of all human beings -- is pure love. This pure state of love can often be clouded, obscured by the ego and the trappings of mundane life. Instead of getting bogged down by the mundane I will uplift myself through a healthy lifestyle, positive thinking, and spiritual pursuits. This truly self-loving approach to my life shall make me a better person, a better friend, and a better servant of God.

2. How shall I relate to other persons? What is the role of interpersonal relationships in the good life?

Relating to other persons can be one of the most challenging aspects of our spiritual growth. However, interpersonal relationships play a central role in cultivating the good life. We learn tremendous and meaningful lessons from our interactions with others. Whether intimate relationships or casual acquaintances, all the people who touch our lives have a lesson to share with us. Therefore, I shall relate to other people with as much compassion and love as possible.

Maintaining an open-minded attitude will prevent me from harboring judgmental attitudes, which are a major barrier to healthy interpersonal relationships. I may need to closely examine the biases, prejudices, and stereotypes that lie dormant in my consciousness, taught to me in childhood or created by negative thinking. Whenever such thoughts arise, I can actively purge them in order to cultivate true kindness and compassion toward others. When I meet new people I shall treat them with the deep respect they are due, offering my undivided attention when listening to them, resisting making assumptions about them, and always offering the benefit of the doubt. When conflicts arise I shall resist reacting out of anger. Instead I will view misunderstandings and conflicts as an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. Interpersonal conflicts offer the opportunity to practice the life skills that I develop through spiritual practice. Allowing negative thoughts, resentment, selfishness, and anger to subside I will continually improve my interpersonal relationships.

3. How shall I respond to the natural world? What is the significance of nature for the good life?

Like our human interpersonal relationships, our interactions with nature offer wonderful lessons for our spiritual growth. The natural world surrounds us not only with beauty but with divine mysteries. From the patterns on a butterfly wing to the intensity of a thunderstorm, nature reminds us of our place in the universe. We are part of a greater whole, and I shall respond to the natural world with an attitude of respect and humility. Too often we human beings in the modern world forget to honor nature as an extension of God. With love and with faith in God, I can view nature as an ally that can help me and other human beings get closer to God.

Moreover, I shall surrender to nature's mysteries, appreciating them as hints of God's presence on earth. We open ourselves joyfully to nature's secrets when we are willing to be silent to allow nature to reveal itself rather than to impose our will upon it. Even the most destructive elements of nature offer opportunities for learning and development. Storms and the devastation they can cause can teach us about attachment and about God's will. Nature has immense significance for the good life: encouraging us to appreciate beauty, to remain humble before God's creation, and to pursue peace amid a hectic modern lifestyle.

4. How shall I deal with pain, suffering, guilt, loneliness, fear, and other such experiences? How shall I respond to death?

Pain, suffering, fear, guilt, loneliness, and other difficult emotional experiences serve a key role in the good life. In fact, I shall look upon these states of mind as keys to my spiritual growth rather than as obstacles. These are the character-building experiences that we need to become wiser. We carve deeper compassion into our souls when we allow ourselves to feel pain and to suffer fully. These emotions teach us empathy for others and for ourselves. We grow in maturity when we go through difficult experiences instead of trying to numb ourselves with distractions or drugs. Another way difficult emotions can be an integral part of the good life is by helping me strengthen my moral fiber. For instance, the guilt I feel after making a mistake helps me to avoid making the same mistake in the future. Loneliness can help me grow closer to God by realizing that when no other person is there for me, God is. Faith in God and in scripture will carry me through the most difficult of times.

Death is not the end of life. Death is a transition to a more refined state of being. I shall respond to death in this way as best as I can, even though I do know that losing a loved one can bring tremendous pain and suffering. While it is easy to forget the role death plays in the good life, I shall contemplate God's plan and reflect not on what is being lost but on what great impact that person made while they lived. As for my own death, I shall approach it not with fear but with trust and faith. I shall always recall that God will guide me and that I am never alone.

5. How may I come to feel psychologically or spiritually at home in the universe? How or where may I gain strength, direction, and uplifting of my spirit?

With supreme comfort in His word, I shall… [END OF PREVIEW]

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