The 5 Bridges to Great Health
1. The bridge of acceptance
Every single one of us has been wounded in the past.
Whether it was a misdirected comment by a parent, a jibe by a school ‘friend’ or just something we saw on TV each of us carries something which we consider a weakness.
Some of us are good at hiding these things, others not so much, but the fact is they affect us and we carry them around.
The primary key to feeling healthy is accepting that we are the way we are and that’s alright, even if it’s a period of severe depression — accepting that it is ok to feel this way is the beginning of recovery.
Surround yourself with people who reinforce the best in you and don’t make you feel insecure about your weaknesses.
If you can cross this bridge the others all become possible; if you can’t then none of them are.
2. The bridge of security
You can only cross this bridge after the first. You can have little physical security in life (money, possessions, house of your own etc.) and still be secure (via the third bridge which I will come to.
The converse is also often the case where someone has every kind of physical security including burglar alarms or even guards and yet still is not secure. It is not a state of physical being but a state of mind/spirit.
In fact some of the most secure people I know have little in the way of physical possessions.
“The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth but a poor man hears no threat”
Accumulating more stuff will only make you feel less secure.
3. The bridge of relationship
We were made to interact with one another in a positive way!
Poem by John Donne
“No man is an island Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”
If we don’t we only feel sad.
If we are selfish it is US who ultimately suffers. If we mistreat others then we heap punishment on our OWN heads.
This is a mystery I cannot fully explain but I have observed it many times.
The same is more obviously true if we have a poor relationship with our bodies. One can accept oneself and feel secure yet mistreat ones own body for pleasure with potentially devastating consequences.
4.The bridge of self esteem
This comes when you know who you are.
It takes time to develop and cannot be reached until the other three bridges are in place. It’s not a destination but more a process you become aware of.
The key questions that shows you are crossing this bridge is: If I was in a situation where I was being told to do something I felt was wrong / didn’t agree with, would I speak up?
Obviously there is a spectrum here of different potential scenarios and only you know when you have reached the right point.
Nobody else will be able to easily discern this, but having high standards will inevitably lead to better health. People who can tolerate a bit of friction in life are MUCH more likely to make healthy choices.
5. The bridge of purpose
This is the hardest bridge to cross as it is the most challenging to find, it causes you all sorts of problems in life and you only can truly be said to have crossed it when you die and leave behind your legacy.
Most people never find it let alone struggle to get across. The tough questions to ask yourself are below.
Can you genuinely, seriously and wholeheartedly answer YES to the following two questions:
1. Would I be happy if I NEVER got to retire and had to do this life I have now FOREVER?
2. If I died today would I be UTTERLY SATISFIED with how I am living NOW?
Very few people can answer yes to both those questions. I think I’m getting there but I can’t say it wholeheartedly yet.
You see as a physician I could give you all sorts of advice about diets, exercise or drugs or even tests you could have to become healthier.
But as I have learned in my 6 years of practicing medicine it is the ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ that makes somebody make healthy choices and so be healthy. ‘What’ to be, to eat, to do follows everything else.
If you can truthfully answer both 1)Who am I? And 2)Why do I exist? You will inevitably make healthier choices in life. And my hope is that you DENT the WORLD for good in the process.
Connect with me via Twitter/LinkedIn if you want. I love to see and hear what other people are up to.
The latest Tweets from Matt Stammers (@MattStammers_). #Gastroenterology, #Endoscopy, #MedicalTech,…twitter.com