I damaged my proprioceptors and it has impacted every part of my life. Word of caution, protect your proprioceptors!
Did you even know you had a proprioceptor? Actually you have several within your body. Here is a definition:
Proprioceptor: A sensory receptor, found chiefly in muscles, tendons, joints, and the inner ear, that detects the motion or position of the body or a limb by responding to stimuli arising within the organism. Proprioceptors are important for the coordination of muscular activity and the maintenance of balance and posture.
On July 5th I sprained my ankle. As a result, I have had a harder time running, but perhaps worse it seems it is even more common for me now to twist the ankle again. A doctor told me it was because I had damaged my proprioceptor. In this case, my proprioceptor was located between my ankle and my foot and helped my ankle know when it was twisting too far one direction or another. Since that particular proprioceptor is now damaged, I have a harder time maintaining balance and posture and I almost have to retrain myself to run. It is causing me to hurt more when I run, not just in my ankle, but in other parts of my body, because my sense of balance is not as keen, which ultimately causes me to run less than I normally would. In the meantime I miss the exercise I received from running more often, which is affecting my mood, my energy level and my general attitude. (I realize I probably needs some physical therapy to help me through this healing and re-training.)
This experience provided, however, a great life lesson for me, because I think our greatest proprioceptor may be elsewhere in our bodies than science has indicated. I think our conscience and our sense of morals serve as a proprioceptor to help us keep balance in life and more easily recognize the difference between right and wrong. When this particular proprioceptor is damaged, it is much harder to gain our sense direction again and making the wrong decision becomes easier the second time.
When a person looks at pornography the first time, for example, or carries inappropriate intimacy too far, or tells the first lie, the person is more likely to repeat the offense, because the sense of doing the right thing becomes much harder to discern. I think that is what the writer meant when he wrote, “Above all else guard your heart for it is the well spring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) When the heart crosses the line between right and wrong, wrong becomes a bigger draw than if the line is never crossed.
Bottom line: Protect your proprioceptors! Guard your heart!
Have you seen examples of this principle in your life or in the life of others?