Health: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

You have a gift: you are alive and (hopefully) healthy.

Health is a funny thing. For people who are born “healthy,” it feels like a given until something happens and you realize that health is the most important factor in your life.

For people born with a chronic illness or a disability, healthy is a different kind of normal, one that I think people learn to adapt to, to make their own “normal.”

No matter what our situation is, bad health can make our lives utterly miserable and unbearable.

I have been thinking a lot about illness and life and death the past couple of weeks, especially after watching the touching video of 18 year-old Zach Sobiech, who passed away last week. In the video (which appeared multiple times in my friends’ Facebook feeds), Zach shares his story about living with terminal cancer. While the video is certainly emotional, one line he says really struck me, “You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”

Stories like this are heart wrenching and remind me that the human experience is universal; there is suffering, there is illness, there is despair. But there is also joy, exuberance, and gratitude.

How do you take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually? How do you not only live your life, but also know when to stop and slow down to make sure you’re maintaining your health? What crosses my mind is:

If you have the ability to touch your body and know that it’s “whole” (however you define it)…

If you have the ability to control your body and use it however you choose…

If you have the ability to know what it’s like to feel rested and vibrant…

If you have the ability to nourish yourself…

That is a certain kind of freedom.

Who is the “most alive” person you know? Are they healthy? Are they dying… or are they just starting to live?

Shout out to all my friends who helped me (or offered to help me) when I was sick with mono and other travel-related illnesses the past couple of months. Also, shout-out to Stefanie Ginsburg who gave me some additional thoughts on health and wellness to incorporate into this blog post.