Our Choices Matter to Our Health and Wellness
During a rather fascinating discussion with a good friend today, the conversation floated from politics to relationships to spirituality, in no particular order. Since I’ve known this friend for over 20 years and consider him as much a friend as a trusted advisor, I’m grateful that our semi-frequent palavers aren’t billable hours.
We were discussing the power of choices. He, an avowed atheist, and I, a devoted spiritualist, approach and define the definition of personal choice differently. As someone who believes “no matter what we do, think or feel, we are essentially #?*&@!,” my friend continues to choose anger over compassion and retribution over forgiveness, citing numerous examples from Hitler and Genghis Khan to Jack the Ripper, who are, in his estimation, completely undeserving of forgiveness, as that would constitute acceptance. My friend won’t accept that these souls are deserving of anything, save a swift and true firing squad. His choices often keep him up at night, and are often painful wedges between him and his family.
Ah so, I said, reminding him of his latest medical episode, where he was scared practically out of his mind by a mild myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack. According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology , holding on to un-forgiveness, resentment, hostility and rage contribute to one’s risk of heart disease.
Here’s where our choices come in. Consider this: Every thought, every emotion and every action we have and do are directly related to our beliefs. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our beliefs exist below our conscious awareness. It’s slightly easier to identify some of our thoughts, of which we process over 60,000/per day, according to Deepak Chopra, M.D . It’s less complicated, however, to identify our feelings and emotions. Our actions are the most obviously distinguishable. Unless we are in deep denial, we can always ascertain if we’re working joyfully or disdainfully. In the heat of a discussion with a significant other, we know if we are escalating into a rage-filled argument or sitting in quiet contemplation of our SO’s different perspective, intrigued by the differences, rather than annoyance.
Those actions, as the old idiom goes, speak louder than words, and louder than our thoughts. Here’s the thing: We have the power to choose the actions that are connected to the emotions that give way to the desired thoughts. When we do that, our underlying, no longer relevant, beliefs are more accessible.
In order to choose, we must have a conscious mind. In Part 2, I will share a personal story on how we can choose to live more consciously, and therefore more healthfully and joyfully.
– Kelsey Collins