Friday, December 26, 2008

"Weighty" Relationships

I read an extremely timely message this morning that highlights an aspect of wellness:

"Good morning. "I try to have an easy attitude about everything. You have to be able to get along although something may come and upset you. Don't hold on to things that will affect you. It's damaging to anybody's life to walk around with something in them." --Rev. Charles Leonard

God is Love
Rev Run (

What Does it Mean to Be "Well"?

Emotional wellness is feeling positive about ourselves and our lives. To be considered well means that we should understand and manage our feelings, relationships, and stresses. Holding grudges and keeping hurt feelings bottled up can manifest themselves in many ways including stress, failing health, overeating, substance abuse, mood swings, "blow-ups", sleep disorders, self-hatred, insecurity, anger, jealousy, envy, resentment, and rage. Harboring ill-feelings and avoidance will not resolve problems. "Letting it go" only works as long as this approach isn't being used to sidestep confrontation. Our feelings are what they are and they are a part of who we are. Whether it be health, fitness, occupational wellness, or spiritual wellness, we must treat the whole person.

What Are the Effects of Being Un-Well?

Some of the most difficult conflicts to resolve are the ones that arise between family members. There is a physical manifestation that results from holding on to old baggage. A common "go-to" coping strategy is eating--a lot. Coupled with feelings of guilt and anger, overeating and making poor food choices in the process will lead to weight gain. The weight gain sparks self-hatred. Depression and "brain fog" may set in as well as slowed metabolism. To make the pain go away, there is more eating. The vicious cycle continues. The stress that accompanies unresolved issues is detrimental to one's health. As Dr. Steven Covey (author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) put it, "It is not what others do or even our own mistakes that hurt us the most; it is our response to those things. Chasing after the poisonous snake that bites us will only drive the poison through our entire system. It is far better to take measures immediately to get the poison out.”

What Are Some Solutions?

In an earlier post, I shared with you the 8 Steps of Atonement. Before attempting to make peace with others, work through the steps with YOURSELF. Why? It is important to be clear about your role in the conflict. Consciously and unconsciously, we give others permission and direction on how we want to be treated. Unless we modify our own attitudes and feelings about ourselves, no change will occur. Remember, if we don't love ourselves, no one else will and we will hinder our ability to love others.

In an article entitled, "Ways to Keep Family Harmony", Emily Sue Harvey states that, "History itself affirms that the family is the foundation of society. It is the glue that holds together civilization itself. Block by block, it builds nations. But the most important place for family is inside each of us; it is who we are. We’re living in days when the traditional family is challenged to the hilt. More than ever, parenting and nurturing roles are important and necessary. Like an orchestra, each family member is an instrument, with notes that blend the unit." Read the full article here.

Going into the new year, let's take some "weight" off our relationships AND balance the scales. Let's resolve to conquer our fears, love ourselves, make peace with the people in our lives, and "GET WELL"!

More next time...

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