By Anjali Gaur
Each one of us craves a secret, which is only attainable by unlocking an unknown part of ourselves. Life often throws challenges in our way where we are unable to stabilise our thoughts and often fail to see the bigger picture. A materialistic life lived on the surface is never able to fulfil our longing to understand the purpose of life right from our microscopic cells all the way to the complex human beings that we are.
Let’s dwell on one biological process called, ‘Apoptosis’ and how it can change our perception of life and death, in terms of us letting go and holding onto things on a daily basis.
Apoptosis is defined as a ‘programmed cell death’, as for every cell ‘there is a time to live and a time to die’. Without our conscious knowledge, we have been dying on a daily schedule, in order to remain alive. Cells die because they are destined to die by the cautious reversal of the birth-process: decrease in size, destruction of essential components, and finally DNA pulled to pieces. The cell then opens up and expels everything, and finally gets eaten up by our body’s white blood cells. There is no hint of the cell left behind.
It is well known that skin cells, retinal cells, red-blood cells and stomach cells have short-life spans, where they serve their purpose and then go through programmed a cell-death, so that their tissues can be replenished. We undeniably thrive on death.
So far we know that cells are pre-programmed to die. But now let’s look at how our cells make decisions in order to help us survive. When a cell perceives a defect or damage in its DNA, it is aware that if this defect gets passed on and will only cause the body harm. Every cell has a ‘kill gene’, which upon activation causes cell death.
When cells take a retreat from death to live forever, they will divide uncontrollably. This is what we call cancer; the most dreaded disease of the 21st century, which is merely a result of our cells rebuttal to issue their own death warrants. Whereas programmed cell death is our coupon to life.
The defected/damaged DNA, old red blood cells/skin cells and diseased cells can be paralleled to our negative habits, limited beliefs and toxic relationships. Our cells seem to have an innate knowledge, a secret wisdom where they induce self-death in order to promote renewal and replenishment of the body.
We, on the other hand are unable to consciously remove all the negativity in our lives. It feels wrong to suddenly cut ties with toxic people, or let go of old negative habits which we have convinced ourselves to be a part of our being. All bad experiences can be considered as red-blood cells, where they serve their purpose, helps us grow in certain ways and then gradually come to an end.
Our refusal to let go of all the negative aspects of our lives can be paralleled to an invasive aggressive growing cancer. The only difference is our cells are innately programmed, but we can use this wisdom and apply it consciously to our lives. We can however decide to visualise all negativity as a separate entity and expel it from our system for good, leaving no trace behind, just like our cells do.
We need to drop the misconception that life is meant to be continuous. Apoptosis can rescue us from the fear of ‘death’ or complete destruction of certain behaviours, negative emotions, toxic relationships or our own limiting belief system. Just like how death of a single cell makes no difference to the body, ending negative habits one by one will have no adverse effect on us. It will only help us renew ourselves into better beings. There is a time for every level of existence with its unique agenda of birth and death. Therefore, change (letting go of old-beliefs) should be seen as a scope for growth (embracing novelty for renewal).
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