Do you want to be well?
Seems like an obvious question with an obvious answer.
Of course I want to be well. Right?
Here at Fundamental Health Solutions, my license says “chiropractor,” and that’s true, but I’m first and foremost a wellness coach, and in over 25 years of practice, I’ve found that “wellness” means a whole lot more than an aligned spine and a healthy diet.
Do you WANT to be well?
Why would anyone NOT want to be well? Let’s talk about it.
Mental And Emotional Wellness Drive Physical Wellness
I’ve seen healthy people deteriorate in a matter of days and I’ve seen chronically-ill people make speedy recoveries that their doctors couldn’t explain with conventional medical wisdom.
What was the difference?
The people who got better wanted to get better. They believed they could get better. They had a reason to get better. Most of the people who deteriorated didn’t have a compelling reason to get better.
Now, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule. It’s possible to keep a good attitude and not get better. You can probably think of someone who was sick and wanted to get better but died anyway. I have met terminally-ill people who said they wanted to get better, but they continued to decline. My point is that, while you can stay positive and not get better, it’s hard to get better without a positive outlook.
Not wanting to die is not the same as wanting to live.
You Have To Choose Wellness If You Want It
One time, when Jesus was in Jerusalem, He was walking by the pool of Bethesda, which was, for all intents and purposes, a hospital. It was where the sick went to try to get better. He met a man who had been there every day for 38 years, waiting to get his turn to be healed.
Now, if you and I had been there and had the ability to miraculously heal people, I think we would have walked up and laid hands on him. Boom, done. Just like that, get him on with his life.
But Jesus didn’t do that. Instead, he asked the man if he even wanted to be healed. I was shocked. Why didn’t Jesus just heal him???
“Do you want to be healed?” He didn’t assume the man had a will to get better. Some people don’t. Some people like not having to do anything for themselves. They like being the center of people’s attention or they are afraid of what they will be responsible for if they suddenly have to take care of themselves. Even if they get better, their mindset takes them back to sickness eventually.
Look at the man’s answer: “Sir, I have been sitting here for 38 years and no one even helps me to get to the water.” This man had given up hope. He had let his excuses cloud his thinking.
Purpose Is The Difference
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Many of my patients are over 50 years old. Some of them are still working, while others have retired. For many of us, having to get up for work is incentive enough to get out of bed. We have to make a living.
But what about after that? What gets you out of bed after you retire? Your grandkids? Golf? A favorite TV show?
There is a ton of research linking retirement to an early death. Once people run out of reasons to get out of bed, they stop getting out of bed, and the process of dying begins.
Do you want to be well?
Do you have a purpose and vision for your life, or are you going through the motions day after day?
Why Do You Want To Be Well?
There has to be a reason for you to get well. If you don’t have a reason to be well, you won’t be. You won’t take the necessary actions to protect and maintain your health without a reason. Why would you? If you didn’t have bills to pay, why would you get out of bed? Do you have a more compelling reason?
It’s much easier to tell a person who wants to live that they need to take specific foods out of their diet than it is to convince a person who values their favorite foods over being healthy.
Are You Surprised By This?
If this is your first visit to my “Wellness Wednesday” blog, you might be asking yourself why a doctor would be talking about attitude and purpose. It’s a fair question. But my regular readers know that wellness is a multi-faceted issue.
If you want to enjoy good health, I can help you. But if you don’t care about your health, or if you don’t have a reason to continue living, nothing I can do for you will have much effect. Your mental and emotional wellness are connected to your physical wellness. They are not just tied together, they are sides of the same jewel. Your life is the jewel and your mental wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, physical wellness, diet wellness, relational wellness, financial wellness, and career wellness are the sides. If one side is weak or damaged, the whole jewel suffers. You are not really whole if any part of you is broken.
While these things might seem unrelated, the truth is I can only help you to the extent you want to be helped.
If you believe that you don’t contribute anything to the world, you won’t live long. On the other hand, if you believe that you have a purpose and a contribution to make to the world, you can outlast sickness. You can rise up from your sick bed.
Sickness Is An Easy Excuse To Stay Stuck
Some people are comfortable in their disease. It gives them an excuse to stay where they are. It keeps them from having to take responsibility for their own wellness. “I would like to do more,” they say, “but my cancer…”
Don’t get me wrong, cancer is a big deal. We take it seriously here. But when it becomes your definition of who you are, you stop moving forward. If you let it be an excuse for not contributing anything to the world, your body will succumb to it.
Why do you want to be well?
If you are sick, you have to be able to answer that question honestly or you will stay sick. If you are healthy, you have to know why you want to protect your health or you won’t.
What is your purpose?
What is your reason to live?
A Strong Will To Live
A person with a goal will press through bodily pain. King Solomon once said, “the strong spirit of a man will sustain him through bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear?” (Proverbs 18:14 AMPC) You’ve seen athletes play injured because the game was more important to them than their pain. I bet you’ve also seen athletes give up under a little pain.
The word “spirit” in this verse isn’t necessarily referring to something spiritual in the way we often think of it (as funny as that sounds). I think it is referring to the will to live, the will to go on, or the drive to win. The “eye of the tiger,” if you will. The will to win or persist will drive a person forward, even through pain.
The book of Proverbs also says, “a cheerful heart is good medicine but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). You can probably think of someone who pressed through and continued with their work when they were sick. Their purpose drove them through the pain.
What is driving you past the pain?
Do you have a purpose so strong that it makes you want to keep moving forward in times of adversity? Most people don’t. I can usually tell where you stand within the first few minutes after I meet you. I can tell if we are going to be working together to improve your health or if I will be doing it without your cooperation. Unless you make a decision that you have a compelling reason to fight for your wellness, I’ll be fighting a losing battle alone.
Attitude is an important part of wellness.
It’s Deeper Than Feelings
I know this week’s article feels a little disjointed, but I’ve been thinking about this for several days and I am trying to put spiritual things into words our minds can understand. Attitude is a mindset, but it originates in the spirit. I want to wake up your spirit and challenge it to fight. I can build a logical case for your mind to absorb and try to reason with you, but the truth is, your will to live is made up of logic, emotion, and spirit. Information without inspiration won’t move you to a meaningful decision.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Not logic. Something is driving you from within, whether it is the fear of running out of money or the desire to make a difference in the world. Fear and purpose are spiritual concepts wrapped in emotion, and logic alone isn’t enough to control them.
So this week, I want to challenge you to search your heart. Take some time to be quiet with your thoughts. Determine what it is that drives you forward. What purpose do you have for your life? If you were to get sick (or if you are sick), what is motivating enough for you to make the lifestyle changes that will allow you to heal?
Why do you want to be well?
Let’s Ask The Questions And Find Answers That Matter
This is a question every human should ask himself/herself, so let’s ask. Take a few seconds right now to share this article on your favorite social media platform. It’s not controversial, so you’re not going to offend anyone. In fact, you’re helping them confront their purpose and identity. Let’s ask.
“At the end of your FEELINGS is NOTHING. At the end of your PRINCIPLES is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas