The Search for Peace
Do you want greater peace in your life?
Do you have concerns about your health, your life, your relationships, your
emotions, or even your soul, that disturb your peace?
Are you interested in learning ways to have greater peace in your life?
I am Dr. Leslie Ahlers, MD, and if your answer to these questions is "yes,"
be reassured - you are in good company with the rest of the human race,
and I can help you!
We all have concerns at times that disrupt our peace, and seek ways to have greater peace in our lives. As a physician, often when people come to see me, I find that they are seeking peace in some area of their life. Whether because of a physical or emotional problem, or a concern about a relationship or life circumstance, assistance with these can help to restore peace. In 12+ years of medical practice, it has become my specialty to help people to do so. That is why I have created this website, and my practice as a wellness consultant; to help people find the peace they are searching for, in body, mind, spirit, relationships, and life.
As a Christian, I believe that God created us to live in peace. We all have the ability to experience this peace, and it is my belief and experience that we do so when we realize that God lives within us and is providing us with gifts and graces to lead us to the peace and happiness we desire. As we discover this truth through the experiences of life, and learn how to discern and cooperate with where he is leading us, we experience peace. And when we are able to embrace the gifts and opportunities he provides us, instead of seeing them as problems to be avoided or changed, we experience a transformation and healing that brings peace and fulfillment. My greatest delight as a physician, parent, and wellness consultant is helping others on their journey of discovery, providing the support, encouragement, and feedback they need to recognize, embrace, and live fully their gifts and opportunities so that they can have the happiness and peace God intends them to have.
An aspect of providing health care and wellness consulting services that fascinates me is the variety of gifts and opportunities God provides each individual to find happiness and peace. For me, the journey has been as a Catholic Christian, wife, mother, health care provider, and entrepreneur. Through my years of helping patients and others on their journey, it has been my privilege and pleasure to observe the uniqueness of each individual's gifts and journey, to coach and encourage them to respect and embrace this uniqueness, and to support them as they seek greater peace by following where God is leading them.
What I have observed is that God give us clues throughout our lives to help us discover our gifts and lead us to greater peace. He also provides opportunities to choose things that will increase our happiness and peace. These clues come in many forms, such as feelings of happiness or excitement when engaging in a favorite activity, or they can also be disguised as "problems." Both types of experiences can provide clues and insights into how he is leading us to increased happiness and peace.
In my years of practice as a physician, providing primary care, hospice, and addiction treatment services, I have heard many stories from patients who shared with me the problems that disrupted their peace, in body, mind, spirit, relationships, and life. What I heard in these problems were the clues God was providing that could give them greater peace if these were recognized and followed. By listening, and giving feedback and support, I helped them recognize the clues, discern the gifts and opportunities embedded in them, and then follow these to greater happiness and peace in their lives.
Helping people find peace by listening to and following the clues their lives are providing them is the most rewarding aspect of my practice. Although I am also glad to answer straight-forward questions about any aspect of health or wellness, I am excited when I can empower others to see their concerns and circumstances in a different way, and help them find the answers they are seeking and the happiness and peace they desire. I enjoy helping others sort through complex problems that are often a combination of medical (or physical), social, emotional, and spiritual concerns, and empowering them to find the direction, gifts, and opportunities that are embedded within these and can bring them happiness and peace.
I love the field of medicine, yet what I have found is that our beauty, our complexity, our answers, and our peace often go beyond what we know, see, and can effect by means of science, i.e. medicine. We are not just bodies with souls, we are also souls with bodies! What I mean is that our bodies and souls are so intricately interwoven that to have health and wellness, we must focus on both as a composite; to focus on one to the neglect of the other will keep us from experiencing the health and wellness we desire and have the potential for. What I often see and hear is a tendency to overly focus on the physical self to the neglect of the other aspects. In my opinion, once physical issues are adequately addressed, optimal health and well-being depend on our ability to tend to all aspects of our self in a balanced way.
I think we have all had the experience of being rushed through a clinic visit and feeling we didn't get the kind of attention we needed. A complaint I have at times heard from people after this kind of experience is that they feel they were not "treated as a person." What we mean by this is that in addition to having our physical problem addressed, we also want acknowledgment of who we are as a person, because we are more than just a body or a part that needs fixing. This demonstrates the importance of the social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our personhood, and of healing.
This is also an area where I may differ from other health and wellness professionals. Although I agree that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a balanced lifestyle are crucial, I think that focusing exclusively on these also puts us out of balance, as attention to our social, emotional, and spiritual selves is necessary to obtain the health, wholeness, and peace we are all seeking.
My observation as a physician is that whether we are in optimal physical condition or suffering with a progressive disease, our ability to cope and have an enjoyable life (peace and happiness) are more dependent on our emotional, social, and spiritual health than anything else. Being in good physical health can be a part of a life of peace, happiness, and well-being, but it certainly does not guarantee these. To be well-balanced, we need to give attention to our emotional, social, and spiritual health as well. These are often overlooked or avoided altogether because they can be so complicated, are amorphous, and don't have physical "products" we can use to feel like we are making progress! We are very tactile beings, and working on intangible things can be hard to wrap our minds around or gauge our progress in.
To demonstrate my point further, I can tell you that I have known people who were in poor physical health, yet were happy, peaceful, and enjoying life, due to emotional and social support, and a strong faith life. I also have known people who were the picture of physical health yet lacked peace and happiness due to emotional, social, and spiritual distress. This is why I believe these are key ingredients to peace and happiness in anyone's life, regardless of other circumstances. And that is why these are a primary focus of my practice. Taking this one step further, I believe that a healthy spirituality is the key to the health, growth, and prosperity of all the other areas of our lives. This is supported in the Scriptures where it says we are to "prosper, and be in health, even as our soul prospers." (3 John 1:2)
The reason, I believe, that a healthy spirituality is necessary for peace, happiness, and even physical health, is because it provides us with a more balanced perspective of everything else. It requires us to release control over ourselves and our lives to God. Not that we ever really had control! But we are able to let go of the illusion of control, knowing that God is in control, that he loves us, and wants only what is good for us. I believe it is the fear of being out of control that leads us at times to focus primarily on one aspect of life, to the neglect of the others. In the health care arena, we often see people who are overly focused on their bodies, and seek endless treatments, natural or otherwise, to maintain an illusion of control over their health. Being able to make healthy choices in areas we do have control, and to trust that God is in control of the rest and will only allow what is best for us, is the means to well-being, happiness, and peace.
I do believe it is important to make healthy choices, because these can impact our health. However, the truth is that we do not have control over much that occurs within our bodies, regardless of our diet or other choices. God alone has control over this. Peace and happiness result when we are empowered to make healthy choices, and can trust God with the results, no matter what occurs. I believe that knowing and clinging to this truth about our Divine Physician (Matthew 9:1) will deliver more peace, happiness, and healing than any earthly treatment can provide.
Click on this link if you want to read about how God may be leading you into a happier, more peaceful life, through a deeper relationship with him.
Also, if you would like information about finding peace in specific areas of your life, I address these in the following pages of this website; Peace in Our Relationships, Peace in Our Life, Peace in Our Bodies, The Truth About Peace, Overcoming Obstacles to Exercise, and Affordable Option for Your Legal Needs.
"You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the
delights at your right hand forever." (Psalm 16:11)