Hiding in Plain Sight
Life is filled with secrets, but one secret stands in plain sight – your body remakes itself. As long as you are alive, most parts of you will be continuously remade and replaced. That’s how we live.
Take an acorn. You know an acorn can turn into an oak tree. That’s what your body does every day – but internally. That’s why you don’t see it.
Your gut lining lasts a day or two, and most of your heart is replaced in about three days. The beauty is your internal re-creation is never exactly what came before.
That’s because we learn.
Take your brain. Whenever you cross the street your brain receives innumerable messages. Some tell you where you’re placed in three dimensional space. Others check the ligaments, joints, tendons and muscles you use to push your foot over the curb. Complicated signals will arrive indirectly from the immune system, which discovers on your walk hundreds of different bacteria, fungi, viruses and allergens.
Are you generally conscious of all this information? No. But your body and brain must process it. Then, all the new information has to be gisted, summarized, put together.
At night, the new information of the day is combined with your old memories. Out of that will be made new, useful information. If you walked 20-30 minutes, or perhaps had sex, you’ll also grow new brain cells, in memory areas, during sleep.
What happens to this new information? It goes into making a new you.
Consider all these changes. After 2-4 weeks, almost all of you has been replaced. Your teeth remains, the minerals of your bones, the lens of the eye, plus DNA in cells and skeletal proteins.
Most of the rest is remade.
So when you wake in the morning, lots of changes have occurred. That twist in your ankle when you crossed the curb? New ligament fibers grow in. The cold virus that attacked your nose last night? Vaporized by antibodies that managed to pierce inside your cells and dramatically reset their metabolism. The memories of your dreams last night? Remade as soon as you remember them, physically.
We change all the time.
Part of this change flows according to the script of aging, which is why we look so different from age 1 to age 20. Yet even in adulthood, everything is being remade all the time – your hips and skeleton; your hands; the surface of your eye; the muscles that make you smile.
And the brain? At rest, perhaps 90-95% of brain activity can’t be defined in terms of anything we refer to in our conscious lives. Instead your brain is ceaselessly helping remake you – though in the main you won’t have a clue about how and where it’s done.
Remade and Renewed
So when you look at the mirror in the morning, recognize that the dead proteins that make up your skin were different from the night before. Understand that your memories and thoughts have been updated and recoded. Recognize that your joints and ligaments, muscles and fibrils have been reorganized, reworked, and retooled.
You are constantly remade. And their renovation, that remaking, that renewal, provides you enormous power.
Give the body the right information, and it will rebuild itself right. And you can greatly influence this process all the conscious days of your life.
That’s the real secret.
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