By: Kae Tritle, RN, Wellness Coordinator
Healthy, well-functioning bodies are often taken for granted—until something happens; an inconvenient infection, a gradual awareness of changing bodily functions or a sudden event—such as a car accident or an unexpected injury that leaves our physical body partially functioning.
Other aspects of our lives also affect our physical health—worry and stress, changes in our finances, relationships, family and work responsibilities, illness within our families, as well as the meaning and purpose of life as we experience it. These things all impact our well-being; our over-all sense of functioning well physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.
Does being healthy mean we are functioning well in all areas of our life-physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually? If so—I would like to meet this perfect super-person! In reality, most of us are juggling each of the dimensions; maintaining a balance that is unique to our particular set of circumstances and life stage. If that delicate balance is disturbed or unable to be maintained, then a sense of dis-ease and/or crisis may be experienced. It is then that we start examining what needs to be different. We may start by saying “I need to take better care of myself." But to many of us, caring for our own needs is hard, unfamiliar work.
Parker Palmer states: “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have—the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Any time we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” (Let Your Life Speak)
What does it mean to practice self-care; to really care for the hurt and bruised dimensions of my true self that need attention? First, in order to be more of the person God has intended you to be, acknowledge that you need to evaluate your everyday life to discover what is going well and where you might be feeling some dis-ease. Clergy persons in our conference can also fill out a well-being assessment at Wellmark.com.
I invite you to make time and space to do the hard work of an intentional evaluation regarding the dimensions of your life. Check out the Well-Being Assessment at Wellmark.com. Discuss these questions with your spouse, a close friend, a support or covenant group. Discover what you like and what you don’t like about your current health habits/life patterns.
Next month this discussion will continue as I focus on the process of change/transformation and supportive strategies to assist you in your journey of becoming the disciple that God would like you to be.
“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him…fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.“ (Romans 12:1-2 The Message)