368 The 24-Hour Pharmacy


24-Hour Pharmacy - Timothy Koock

Over 800 years ago, St Thomas Acquinas observed that you cannot have a feeling without a corresponding change in your body.

Do you know you have a 24-hour pharmacy open seven days a week inside your body? This is how it works. As you think, your thoughts are transformed into molecules called neuropeptides. Of course, as you will see, this is not the usual kind of transformation contemplative pray for.

Do you know those interior conversations with yourself that never shut-up? Well, you may be shocked to learn this, but somebody has been eavesdropping on your private and most intimate conversations. It's your body! Not only has it been eavesdropping but also your body has been participating in the conversation along with you. Your interior conversation, kind and gentle as it may be, has been transcribed as faithfully as a medieval monk by your hypothalamus into a chemical manuscript.

It is estimated the average human thinks about 15,969 thoughts per day. Not bad, except, about 90 percent of the thoughts you had today are the same ones you had yesterday and the day before. If you are 50 years old, there is a very good chance part of your inner conversation is that of a two year old toddler. Besides endless repetition, what is the content of your inner tête-à-tête? Let's peek inside and see.

Let's say today you didn't get something you wanted. (That must occur at least a hundred times a day, provided of course, you are not totally brain-dead). Starting this morning, let's say, your beautiful soft-boiled egg turned rubbery, you could not open your email attachments, you had to park at Wal-Mart in order to walk to Sears, your cat left thousands of fresh footprints all over your freshly washed car, your daughter still has not returned your urgent phone call, your kids right and they are all going to hell via the state penitentiary. If freshness is not to your liking, relax; you can always warm up some old leftover wounds for your mental dining pleasure.

As your body listens in to your reactions to these precious little events, your local 24-hour pharmacy is busy mass-producing neuropeptides in the flavor of your frustration, insult, lust, fear, anger or rejection. In seconds these flavors of negativity saturate each cell of your body via tiny receptors. In other words, you get to marinate in your own stuff.

As you probably know, your mind is the subjective experience of consciousness and your body is the objective experience of consciousness. But which of these, mind or body, do you listen to? You have been told the body never lies but, unfortunately, you overly depend on your mind, which creates scripts and videos, a phantasmagoria of what you think is happening to you.

Are you somebody who always seems angry? Or someone who is easily offended? Or overly apologetic or fearful? It may be you have become chemically addicted to a flavor of negativity. The

addiction is mostly unconscious, but your body, which is conscious, knows. And your pharmacy remains open 24 hours a day.

Remember, 90 percent of your thoughts today will probably be repeated tomorrow and the next day. Your mind is filled with returns and instant replays. The word for this is resentment. It means to re-feel or re-live the insult, hurt, fear or whatever. Each time you do this you ‘re-fresh' the marinade with perhaps a twist of revenge or a pinch of low self-esteem. Medical research warns this excessive stress is very toxic to your body.

These chemical mimes define your life and co-create your identity. You may even secretly like them. While soaking, smugly in your warm peptide bath you feel very justified. After all, life is unfair, you say, as you swig another jigger of detest and play that tired old song "If Only" in the jukebox of your imagination.

Neurobiologists calculate your brain alone contains 100 billion neurons with over 100 trillion connections. At least 65 percent of the cells in your heart are composed of additional neurons just like those in your brain. Normally you use only a tiny fraction of these connections. In deep negativity, however, you have access to even fewer connections because the most traveled, tired and habitual pathways are congested in a traffic jam of repetitious negativity. It is the acid reflux of the mind-body disconnect. Like the mighty Mississippi, the river of negative emotions continue to flood your banks, day after day, year after year. Perhaps you have forgotten how to move to higher ground?

With intention and practices such as Centering Prayer and the Welcoming Prayer, you can build new pathways to higher ground with deeper connections to God. The Active Prayer sentence also helps to erase some of the old tapes. Perhaps you can then have a better chance to produce in your 24-hour pharmacy molecules of exquisite beauty such as compassion, forgiveness and love. These make for a simply divine marinade.

Why not begin to think love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? These are all peptides too. They all lead to forgiveness.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8


How do you inventory your 24 Hour Pharmacy?

How do you restock and purge your 24 Hour Pharmacy?