My Sister Is Cool
I love my sister. She's the kind of person to give me a surprise visit while I'm overseas. She makes things happen. We share health and well-being as a common interest. Apart from my son, I'd say she's made the biggest effort out of everyone in my extended family to improve their diet and lifestyle. She has had her challenges but never gives up on something she believes in...and I admire that. She has attended my raw vegan retreats and has always been a big supporter of my lifestyle choices.
In fact, my entire family has been supportive of my lifestyle choices. Many of them were a little shocked at first, but they were never unsupportive, they could see the great results I was getting and they came around fairly quickly.
You don't have to look far to see that family aren't always interested in making the changes required to stop destroying their health. It can be challenging to watch family and loved ones struggle with health issues. Especially when it is obvious they are caused by lifestyle choices including lack of sleep, stress, lack of fitness, lack of sunshine and consumption of artery clogging, mucus forming, inflammation causing, constipating and cancer causing foods, and of course drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. I don't enjoy seeing anyone suffer. It seems so unnecessary.
As difficult as it can be, people's right to make their own choices needs to be respected. That doesn't mean you need to agree with them, give up on them or otherwise be unsupportive, but change needs to come from within. If people don't feel the freedom of choice and the respect of others, they are unlikely to make positive change anyway.
Choosing Acceptance over Expectations
I accepted long ago that it isn't my duty nor responsibility to make people change for the better. I simply do my best to create a supportive environment within which people are able to make better choices (myself included). By not being attached to the outcome of people changing, I am freed from the burden of disappointment and frustration when people continue to neglect their health and even directly cause self-harm despite "knowing better".
Death is Certain. Life is Not.
Over the years I've seen several people I care a lot about, die awful deaths from their unhealthy lifestyle choices. They didn't deserve to die so young. I fondly remember their endearing qualities, but I miss them. I preferred having them around.
Opening the Heart through Communication
It is a shame to see so many people worldwide using destructive lifestyle choices in a failed attempt to cope with issues they really just need to talk to the right person about. Why are so many people closed to communicating about their more sensitive thoughts and feelings?
Freedom of Expression
Overcoming the fear to effectively communicate about sensitive issues is an area many people could grow in. It may save their life. It may save yours. Whenever you have something on your mind that is eating away at you, I encourage you to make an effort to communicate effectively with the right person. You'll know who that is at the time. Express your thoughts, feelings, unmet needs and your desires. It requires some tact and there are skills involved, but you'll never develop those skills if you don't start working on them now.
Resources to find Health Freedom through Communication
If you're not sure where to begin to find health freedom through communication, gaining familiarity with Nonviolent Communications by Marshall Rosenberg is a great place to start...as is initiating more meaningful conversations in your life. You can't force others to communicate with you. If they're simply not able nor willing, there are plenty of others who are.
Have a vibrant and fruitful day!
In support of your health triumphs,
Ultra Marathon Runner, Certified Lifestyle Coach, Retreat Coordinator, Motivational Speaker