When Health is Absent…

Our health is important. We see this message all the time in different ways. We try to eat right -sometimes – we may try to exercise – once in a while – but it may not be enough. Our health is about our mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing, but sometimes one or all of these suffer in our quest to succeed – whatever that looks like.

For many persons the pursuit of happiness is closely tied with the pursuit of wealth. “To be happy is to be financially secure”, this is how many of us feel and is what motivates us to keep striving and keep hustling. However, for many of us the proverbs also rings true, health is not valued till sickness comes. For some reason, I cannot clearly say, I have been more aware during the period of this pandemic how fragile we as humans truly are. It seems that not a week goes by when someone I know or know of has not died. That someone I love is not ill and I start to wonder why is death so present, staring us down. But death has always been there, it’s just that in the course of our lives many of us have been good at ignoring it until we reach that point where we have to face it in different ways, until it is our time.

We are distracted by the need to work hard to earn the things we are told we need to be successful, that some willingly trade their health to pursue a dream that has been foisted on them from birth. Scrolling through different social medias I see threads of conversations about investing in crypto currency and the importance of investments overall, and while all of that is something to consider I don’t really see the promotion of good health. It seems that health is something that many people ignore until later in order to make or get the “bag” now. Think about what the ancient Greek physician Herophilos pointed our, When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless and joy cannot be felt. Our health, is paramount to truly being successful,. There have been many times when I have been too sick to think straight and get simple tasks done and those moments remind me of how fragile I am, how little power I have, if my health is poor. I have learned the hard way that my health should be my number one priority, not being the next billionaire or living in financial comfort, gaining that promotion or the adulation of others. You see, it doesn’t matter how much wealth you have if you do not have the health needed to appreciate that wealth . You’re still gonna die leaving it behind.

Now, as morbid as that may sound to some people, the truth remains that, the truth, unchangeable and inescapable. I said that our health should be our number one priority but of course because we are living in this world and we need money to live in it, pursuing financial security must also be a priority. However, we should never sacrifice our health to get a buck, then what is the point. Some of us think that we are being responsible by staying in relationships that will ultimately be beneficial to us in the long run, but they are slowly helping to undermine our health. We think we are being mature by staying in situations that are terrible, because it shows how responsible we are, but we suffer in all ways because of that choice. We not only have a duty to take care of our body, but also our mind and spirit. So when we find ourselves in situations that threaten any or all, we must work at removing them from our lives or removing ourselves from them. The gains you are advised about getting is not worth compromising any of those key things to your health. Also, we must recognize and acknowledge the traumas that still affect our lives and address them. We do not do so by undermining the potential of others by expecting them to fix them or fix us, but by being honest and getting the help that will be fair to those close to us and to our own needs. It is important that we remember: before healing others, heal yourself

I do not have the answers nor the life experiences to give the best advice that persons may need. I too struggle with my health and with the need to be financially secure. I struggle with finding a balance between giving enough and not too much of myself. However, we must put our health and wellbeing first, sometimes even above those we love and are closest to. We must take the time to see what is or is likely to undermine our health and work at improving them: when the heart is at ease the body is healthy. This I fear is not a year long endeavor, but a lifetime of trial and error. We have to create a balance where our financial situation does not lead to ill health and not allowing our pursuit of financial gain to overshadow our commitment to good health. Further, we cannot allow relationships or situations to be the catalyst of chronic ill-health either.

There are no smooth roads or easy journeys to finding a balance in life that will lead to good health. However, the choices that we make now, will determine our quality of health down the road. Whether making the right choices or the wrong ones, in the end we will reap the consequences.

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Health Over Wealth.

Health is the greatest gift,

Contentment the greatest wealth,

Faithfulness the best relationship

Budda

I use to believe that success was measured in how much you had and how much you were able to do in a short mount of time. However, lately I have been taking my head out of the stand and I noticed something. Better yet I realized something, you don’t always have to be first out of the blocks first or fastest to win the race. I use to think, because I was taught this, that all you had to do was make it early, then success for a lifetime was guaranteed. Also, with my heads in the clouds, I thought that all you had to do, was do the “right thing”, be a “good person” and things were guaranteed to work in your favor. Now for me this mindset has led to many disappointing dead ends. I had to learn the hard way that life does not take place in a vacuum.

Bad things happen to everyone, and no one can ever be perfect.

There was one idea of success that I was told about when I was younger and only one that mattered. It was the success based on working hard, not ruffling any feathers and being a team player. Now maybe nothing is wrong with each item on its own, however, for me, what happened was that I interpreted it in such a way that it affected me badly, not only physically but mentally as well. So I spent my 20’s trying to fit into where I thought I should be and now it feels as if I first have to unlearn all the things I told myself I needed to learn even if it killed me, literally. I need find out what works for me, in a world that can and will happily leave me to be me.

Being mindful of what you do is more important than, running with it. When things happen that you never expected, stop and think what you want to do with this sudden twist. I made mistakes in how I handled sudden changes, impending changes or sudden windfalls, and I have many regrets; regret, it is a bitter, brittle pill to swallow. It doesn’t matter what it is, before you react, especially to something unexpected, good or bad, stop and take the time to think things through. Pray about it and take the time to check in with yourself before you react. Once you have come to a decision don’t change your mind or you could waste time trying to do damage control.

It was always important to be the best at everything. So I tried to be perfect. Perfect daughter, niece, friend and worker. However, this is impossible. Also, perfection takes too much work and second guessing your choices, until it makes the thinker crazy and lonely with bad choices. Plus, I don’t think anyone was measuring my level of perfection.

When you try to be perfect, people always expect you to be a certain way and when you can’t maintain it but try to, the only one to suffer is the person working around the clock to keep that perfect phantom perfect alive.

So, I have decided to stop.

To stop and take a break, and procrastinate from procrastinating from being real.

Being real is much harder than faking it. When you are real you have to be honest. I now confess that many times I did stuff, not so important stuff because I wanted to be on the “right side”. I said a lot of stuff, really unimportant stuff because I wanted to, “be good”.

So It’s health over wealth. No more trying to be the success that I think I should be, but, the one I can be. The world I occupy is too small for me, so out the door I shall go and see what peace lies behind it.

Wish me luck…

Bird Standing on Shore Line during Golden Hour