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When You Need an Alignment—Physical, Mental, Emotional, or Spiritual
There are times when we realize things are out of alignment.
This recently came to light in my life.
It’s official. I am now in therapy. Not the kind you may be thinking of, though I am not opposed to it.
The Need for Physical Alignment
For years, I have dealt with a pain in my back here, or stiffness in the neck there. There have been moments when I have felt something surely was out of alignment.
Is this due to stress? Is it hereditary? How much ibuprofen can I safely consume within a 24-hour period?
This latest bout of back trouble began with one of those I’ve-thrown-my-back-out incidents. After a few days of shuffling about the house, I developed a terrific pain in my right hip. This pain was accompanied by a strange, numbing sensation running up my side and under the arm. Some days, the pain was worse than others, but uncomfortable and concerning all the while.
Earlier this week, I met with the chiropractor to go over my x-rays. As soon as I looked at the screen, I knew I had done the right thing by coming in. Regarding the sharp pain and numbness in my hip, the left of my spine is approximately one inch lower than the right.
Then, there’s my top vertebra, which is currently leaning forty-five degrees off center. While pointing to the screen, she explained, “You know the dizziness and vertigo you’ve been battling for years? Your tilted vertebra is a contributing factor…but I believe we can help you.”
This is how I find myself in therapy. It's a schedule that stretches over the next nine-weeks. Face down on the chiropractic table for pushing and prodding. Several instruments gently maneuvering my spine back into proper position. Then, it's on to the physical therapy room.
There comes a point when we must face the music. That difficult situation is not going to go away on its own. We cannot fix it by ourselves. We need something or someone to bring relief from the pain.
The Need for Mental or Emotional Alignment
Everything I’m describing can absolutely apply to our physical body, as it has with me in recent weeks. But what about the need for mental or emotional alignment? You may be weighed down with life. Confusion or temptation plagues you unmercifully. The state of the world has you gripped in fear. You cannot seem to find the strength to cope.
If you feel you need mental or emotional help, friend, do not be concerned about what others may think. Confide in a trusted friend or spiritual leader. Share what you are going through. Pray for God’s guidance. Make the call. See a Christian counselor.
The Need for Spiritual Alignment
There is also the potential of need for spiritual alignment, at some point. Ever been there? You realize something is off. God seems far away. You struggle to find the time for prayer, bible reading, or attending worship service. You may feel like you’ve lost the desire for all the above.
The truth is, if our spirit is not rightly aligned with God's, our physical, mental, or emotional health have little hope of well-being. We can view this as a matter of the heart.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" Psalm 139.23-24 (ESV)
As Christians, we should be willing to undergo a periodic heart check. This verse in Psalm 139 provides us with a model for spiritual alignment. It is a heartfelt prayer, that says, "O God...search me...try me...know me. If you find anything that grieves Your heart, help me. Restore me. Align my heart with Yours. Lead me in the right way."
Each of these areas—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual—need proper alignment to maintain our well-being. Even non-religious sources often support this, encouraging daily meditation, mind-over-matter exercises, or time spent outdoors, all with the goal of improving personal wellness.
For those of us living the Christian faith, we recognize the most important therapy we can undergo is an ongoing relationship with God, and a sure alignment of our heart to His. It is here we find the way to a better life on earth, and life everlasting in Him.
"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4.23 (ESV)