Peace at the Center

Weekly Sabbath Survey

Peace at the Center — 10-18-2014

Our title here speaks of something old timers would say when they had a safe, settled feeling about their day, their life, their plans. Peace or Shalom is a Hebrew word for a feeling of extreme well-being – literally NO WORRIES. The absence of stress of any kind. The center, the core of our being is very important in our emotions and in the physical part that resides there, too. I found this article online and thought there may be others with problems similar to mine who could gain some insight from it:

There’s a secret connection between your mind and your gut. Well, there’s actually over 100 million secret connections … but who’s counting? You’ve probably heard sayings like: you’ve got “butterflies in your stomach,” “a knot in your stomach,” or that what happened here or there was “gut wrenching.” they’re all different ways of experiencing the same emotion: stress.

We even use phrases like “my feelings were hurt” — which is meant to be a metaphor, but may have a more literal origin. We’ve known for a long time that sometimes we feel our emotions physically in the body. There are loads of MRI scans to back it up — but why are so many of the negative emotions (like fear, anxiety, and disgust) felt in your stomach?

Dr. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical Schools explains that the answer is pretty simple: your brain and your gut are best buds. They’re in constant communication with each other, sending signals back and forth when your brain OR your stomach is distressed. Specifically, they’re connected through the Enteric Nervous System, or the ENS, which has over 100 million nerves running directly from your brain … to your stomach. So emotional distress can cause a distressed gut AND, strangely enough, a distressed gut can also cause emotional distress. It’s a two way street.

When there’s something that stresses you out, it triggers the fight-or-flight response in the brain. This is an instinctive physiological response experienced by ALL animals in the animal kingdom. It’s there to protect you in dangerous situations, to prepare you to fight in the case of an attack, or to outrun the predator. Part of fight-or-flight’s physiological response is inhibiting the secretion of stomach juices while diverting blood flow from the stomach and into your lungs and muscles instead.

Pair this with all the stress hormones that your body is releasing, like adrenaline, and it produces a physical reaction that’s experienced all over your body — including your heart and your gut. Because of your brain’s connection to the stomach through the Enteric Nervous System and the stomach’s involvement in digestion, stress is also a common irritant of the digestive system. It can cause stomach aches, gas, constipation, diarrhea and a whole host of other wonderful conditions.

As a Believer in Jesus, I feel our increased knowledge predicted in the Bible has come upon us and it is not really a good thing. We don’t live the way we were created to. Back when, there was no TV news, they relied on the grapevine and the tom-toms. So this 21st Century stress we are doing is damaging us in ways we can’t imagine. For ones who can retire and ‘get away’, it doesn’t come soon enough. Some must work into old age, dying with their boots on, probably from stress! I avoid stress as much as I am able, but still have symptoms at times, in spite of medication for gut nerve pain, and feeling mentally at peace.

To have that good ol’ Jewish Shalom is a seriously important goal for us all. As I searched the Scriptures for verses concerning peace, I was surprised it is mentioned so many times. In the greeting of letters, in teachings and admonitions, in farewells. Evidently, even back then, before traffic snarls, cell phones, broken appliances, unpaid bills, and plagues that span in globe in a matter of days, there was a very real need for PEACE. Even today, among the Jewish people “shalom” is the equivalent of “aloha” as it serves as both “hello” and “goodbye.”

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not like the world gives, I give to you. Do not let your heart [inner core] be troubled neither let it be afraid. And Paul said, The peace of God, which passes all understanding shall protect your heart and mind [inner being] through Messiah Yeshua. (John 14:27, Philippians 4:7)

Charlene Reams Manning

Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

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