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Why Problems are Spiritual Food

Challenges contain the most valuable lessons and realizations which help the growth of our consciousness.

It’s said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. There’s real truth in that statement, but it depends on how you eat the apple.

I was visiting my mom recently and walked into the kitchen while she was peeling an apple. For some strange reason, this made me feel uncomfortable. Before I could figure it out, I asked her why she was peeling it. She said it was because she only wanted to eat the best part, the sweet, juicy middle. That’s when I realized that eating an apple is a lot like living life. The way we choose to live it, determines whether we savor the sweetness or end up with the pits and cores.

As you may know most of the nutrients in an apple are contained in the skin, not the inner pulp. The core and pectin surrounding it are almost entirely fructose, just sugar. Not only is the skin the most nutritious part of the apple, but when we eat the entire fruit, the skin allows us to digest the sugar in a time-released fashion that doesn’t upset our body chemistry.

“Eating an apple is a lot like living life. The way we choose to live it, determines whether we savor the sweetness or end up with the pits and cores.”

How many times in our lives do we want to discard the tough, tasteless, outer coating of an experience? We want to rush right into the sweetness of what’s easy for us. The challenges of our lives always come with a sweet center, a nourishing gift that we can’t always see, because it’s often covered in a tough and unattractive outer coating. It takes effort and time to break through that outer layer but if we’re willing to do the work, we’ll see how its purpose was to help better nourish us by the sweet awareness it brings.

When we’re faced with a problem, it’s very tempting to dismiss the outer issue confronting us. We’d rather indulge in all the sweetness that comes with having the problem “over with”. We’d prefer to not do the work of breaking down the meaning of its tough exterior. When we sidestep the unsavory parts of our lives, we end up with a spiritual sugar rush that may give us a pleasure spike, but always ends in a fast and hard crash. That’s because we didn’t spiritually digest or process the whole experience. To pick ourselves up from that nasty crash, we continue ignoring the obvious issues and go for another sweet and fast fix. This often causes the cycle of addiction.

“Most of the nutrients in an apple are contained in the skin, not the inner pulp.”

Why problems are spiritual food

Every time we refuse to chew through the outer, toughest parts of our challenges, we throw away the most spiritually nutritious parts of the experience. We’re casting away the realizations and lessons there to help us grow so we don’t repeat them. Just as a master sword can only be fashioned by fire, any successful person will tell you that it was the working through of their struggles that brought the biggest gifts. Postponing problems for short-term satisfaction keeps us trapped in a stagnant circle and unable to grow spiritually. When this happens, the world loves to label us with all kinds of dis-ease and, as we saw last month the effect of labels on our consciousness is very powerful in determining who we are and what we manifest.

When you start growing different kinds of apples on your own Tree of Life, you begin to appreciate the value of the fruit it’s producing for you. An apple is a complete food. It has the ideal amount of vitamins, minerals, sugar, fiber and water to help you digest it perfectly for maximum benefit. If we remove anything from the apple through dehydrating or juicing, we change its nutritional content and how our bodies will process it. In the same way, our problems are complete spiritual food. They come with the exact amount of pain, uncertainty, anger and soul-searching required for maximum spiritual growth. Eliminating any part of those experiences means compromising the benefit to our souls. When we process our life problems completely, we evolve spiritually, and that expansion automatically resonates in our physical health, too. So yes, an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but remember that you need to eat the whole apple.

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Dr. Habib Sadeghi is the co-founder of Be Hive of Healing, an integrative health center based in Los Angeles. He provides revolutionary healing protocols in integrative, osteopathic, anthroposophical, environmental, and family medicine, as well as clinical pharmacology. He served as an attending Physician and Clinical Facilitator at UCLA-SM Medical Center and is currently a Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Sadeghi is a regular contributor to Goop, CNN, BBC News and TEDx. He is the author of Within: A Spiritual Awakening to Love & Weight Loss, as well as the foreword to Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, and is the publisher of the health and well-being journal, MegaZEN.

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