Of all my friends who have expired far too early, by the cold haunt of suicide in majority and by rare remaining margin by disease of addictions there was one common factor flagged in all cases, the haunting specter of isolation. Either that individual had been expelled from his former circle of comfortably proud validity or self-ejected for a myriad of reasons, the individual was out and in the open, defenseless, as their sense of self, bodily organs, and spiritual self-eroded to final rest in clinical death.
In Okinawa we find the world’s highest prevalence of proven centenarians. 740 to be exact and more are added each year out of a population of roughly 1.3 million. This figure excludes the thousands of horny drunken beserk young Marines also resident to the island. Okinawan seniors not only have the highest life expectancy in the world, but also the highest health expectancy: they remain vigorous and healthy far into old age, suffering relatively few age – related aliments in later life.
Some reported causes attributed to this exceptional cohort of congregated centenarians are the following, communal gardening, which also provides an opportunity for exercise, sunlight, and nutritious food including an abundance of seafood obviously, kelp, harvest green algae, rice and fresh vegetables. Okinawans subscribe to the mantra of “eat until you are 80% full” versus gorging. They also have a sense of purpose, not one task is trivial, they maintain a positive outlook on life and heavy emphasis on close, small social support group called Moais, support symbiotic relationships, friendships, and love which extend past the prized 100 years of age, and older.
External and internal stressors obviously aggravate and exacerbate the aging process, extending recovery time from injury or illness. It also gets more difficult to restart a body to motion from a position of rest once that body decides, firmly as a conscious intentional decision to commit itself to stagnation. None of us here, will escape death, our collision course for that end was set at conception, yet none will agree there is cause to unduly sprint to death unnecessarily outside of rare occurrences of heroic self-sacrifice. As we grow, age, and mature physically, emotionally, mentally, morally, and spiritually we gather certain principals within our own personal evolution. These concepts are faith (spiritual, religious, or in the self), love, hope, humility – compassion (including forbearance & levity) and knowledge (including awareness & wisdom), and also the recognition and comfortability with enduring pain, the most profound self-ignored honored aspect of most sentient beings here, pain, how much are you willing to take and be comfortable with that index.
Now adversity attenuates these self-evolutionary principals yet irrecoverable damage or total loss of any one of these principles I believe brings the individual to a sudden crisis and without imminent and aggressive intervention by their circle as to calmly triage, diagnose and then provide and assist with treatment, may enable that individual to permanently escape this world surrounded by fire of tragedy. The process of repatriation in most cases are performed by the circle, not the wounded or amputated form of self in crisis to repair itself, as my Mom well says soundly, “Hurt people…hurt people.” Clinical depression, PTSD, TBI, adverse reaction to medication/s, major physical traumatic injuries, substance abuse, loss of employment, housing, social standing all contribute to the erosion of self-identity which feels like drunken boxing with quick sand are all markers. These subtractions may be combated, treated, and defeated mostly assisted by circles, social, medical, spiritual, peer or otherwise, yet circles nonetheless protecting the person, CIRCLES.
The fantastic thing is the circle needs not be concerned with itself as a whole, it simply needs be committed to the remaining whole. If one self within the circle is broken, the circle must restore its broken self as it itself is broken. This mechanism of action is an inherently automatic restorative causality. Members of the circle provide a sense of mutual ownership over self and circle, with added emphasis on inward and outward maintained of the self and each other in that circle. Maintenance must be constantly performed in quiet habitual action for all selves from all selves for ourselves, and each other’s of the circle.
Isolation of self with intent to withdraw has but one finish line and if not interrupted with great purpose, we survivors WILL suffer as great as the departed within our wheel as our suffering extends far past the lifetime of that recently decedent. Thus we attempt to prevent this at all costs with faith in the wounded in efforts to terminally deny a terrible, terminal event. The circle exists or does not, if one cannot name the others of his or her circle then he or she is simply not in one. Examples exist of few who are built the without desire or need for intimate human contact yet for the vast majority of our species of which I too reside, one’s wellness is far superior to others when in and among a circle than any one alone grimly sedated in self-medication or social sanitation.
So take a look at the man in the mirror and then the faces of those in your house in the Renaissance sense, do they pull tight with smiles or are they frozen fixtures of hard suspension, take pulse and stock of and in your circles, warm up the blood. Warriors especially, yet most importantly this applies to all of us: friends, two open arms colliding delay death, and two open arms are the minimum numerical value required to create any circle, it’s strong as a tree, warm, full of love, and free, be a fixer.