I find it ironic that today is the 123rd day of Unexpected Health. Today, Mother’s Day, a day set aside to appreciate those women in our lives who have taught us nearly everything we know: from manners to our ABC’s and our 123’s…yes, I feel quite inspired to be writing the 123rd health insight on a day like today (if you haven’t see the significance, please re-read the first two sentences!).
But today’s insight is not about the significance of numbers (which, you should all know by now how healthy numbers are…if not, go to the sidebar and click on, “177 Days of What? About the 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project”). Although I am fascinated by the numeric system, today, on the 31st year I have been celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom, I realized that Unexpected Health is surprisingly found…by being selfish.
Now, let me quickly clarify: I am in no way calling mothers selfish! Okay, I have that straight. Now back to the health…
Being selfish is not considered the most healthful attribute one can possess. There are healthy aspects of taking care of yourself, but to be labeled selfish is not something to be terribly proud of. I should know…I have been called that before and let’s just say I DIDN’T take it as a compliment! But the Unexpected Health in being selfish is that on days like today, when the focus is on women who have given selflessly for years, we sometimes selfish individuals are given a reminder of the side effects of our actions…and being reminded of our actions–no matter how positive or negative they may be–is healthy.
Moms seem to give of themselves even if they appear to have nothing left. They always have leftovers in the fridge in case you have no food; they always have extra toothpaste if you need it, a spare set of sheets or towels, and a plethora of ‘words of wisdom’ if you ever ask (and oftentimes, even if you don’t ask!). No matter how old their children may be, a mom is always a mom…at least, that’s what my experience has been.
I realize that I am incredibly fortunate. I know my ‘mom description’ may not match many other moms. But one of the most significant nuggets of knowledge–of health–that I have been taught by my mom is that selfishness has no place in humanity. Let me clarify: I am not talking about self-care practices such as speaking up for yourself, honoring your needs, and taking a time-out once in a while…that definitely has a place in humanity. I am talking about the think-only-of-yourself and your needs mentality that creates disharmony and dis-ease in our world.
Our earth is referred to as “Mother” for a reason. I believe the significance in this name relates to the selflessness our earth has showed us since the beginning. But we have not showed that same selfless behavior in return. I watched “Avatar” again today…with my mom (and family). I couldn’t help but think about the giving nature of our ‘Our Mother Earth…’ and my own mom. The health in selfishness is only discovered when we realize how much more gratifying being selfless is! Being selfish on a day that celebrates some of the most selfless people on this planet, gives us the opportunity to expand our lens; to be witness to what happens–how much healthier we feel–when we give as our mothers do. So the next time you want a quick lesson in humanity, take a look at the mothers around you. It may not be your own mother, but remember, ‘moms’ can be more than the women who birthed you; so look at the grandmothers, the godmothers, the stepmothers, the ‘Earth Mother…’ they all play a part in growing up selfless humans. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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