Selfies are so in and we love them. From Ellen DeGeneres to President Obama, everyone’s trending toward selfies. We take these little pics of ourselves and then attach them, post them, tweet and Facebook them. It’s all about US and we’re lovin’ it.
Except. It’s not all about us, and we kind of know that as well, even as we’re having innocent fun with our selfies. In fact, we’re learning that the more we reach out and love more than ourselves– the more we love something higher and better that enables us to make a positive difference– the happier we are. The longer-lived we are. The healthier we are.
Attitudes of unselfishness, generosity, forgiveness, gratitude and service to the community—all these plus many other spiritual qualities—are health giving. More people are saying so, based on their own experience. Researchers are studying this phenomenon, doctors are witnessing it, journalists are writing about it, and patients are testifying to it. They may learn about these beautiful attitudes in their faith communities, in their holy scriptures, or just in quiet prayer or meditation. These spiritual tools help us know more about the source of both unselfish love and health—infinite good, or God. These spiritual tools don’t turn us to material methods or merely human ways and means: they keep our thinking focused on divine Love itself.
As one spiritual seer wrote thousands of years ago, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To…undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free….Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?…Then shall thy light break forth as the morning and thine health shall spring forth speedily…” (Isaiah 58, King James Version. Italics are mine.)
In other words, health comes from a spiritual source. Divine Love promotes health.
So when we snap those selfies, it’s a good time to remember that life is so much healthier and richer when we are loving and unselfish. We can include our neighbors in our love. Sometimes, we can even include them in our selfies!