Charles Runels, MD
"Every man [woman] is a builder of a temple, called his body, to the god he worships,...
We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones."---Walden, Henry David Thoreau
365 Health Strategies: May 11 A Mother's Love for Better Health
A couple of years ago, I had the honor of sitting at a table on death row with a few men who live there. Talking with them, it became very clear how important letters are to these men. The average stay on death row in the state of Alabama is 17 years. These men are allowed to leave their cell (which holds one man and is only a few feet larger than their bed) for one hour out of every 24 hours and "walk about" a small yard. Often they are deserted by children and wives and girl friends. But who do you think would be most likely to never desert them? Who would be most likely to send a letter? Probably their mother.
But here's the interesting part. Having a fractured relationship with the father is much more risky for a male to get in trouble with the law than is having a poor relationship with the mother.
So how to make sense of all of this and how does it relate to your health?
A mother seems more likely to love and accept us no matter what the behavior. While the father seems more likely to express anger or create distance if your behavior doesn't meet his approval. I know there are exceptions, but this seems to be the usual way. Not that fathers don't love no matter what. And, not that mother's don't create rewards and consequences for good and bad behavior, but it seems the mother's affection comes more unconditional and the father's demands for proper behavior are more enforced. I think this explains why a poor relationship with the father is a greater risk for going to jail than is a poor relationship with the mother.
Lovers can be more like mothers or more like fathers but as a general rule seem to be more like fathers (placing conditions on their love that enforce rewards and consequences). Children also seem quicker to express dissatisfaction and most people seem to know that the parents love for the children is more unconditional that the children's love for the parents.
As for GOD. I think most people see GOD as Father since disobedience to the laws of the universe leads to unwavering eventual compensation (for good or bad). One of Emerson's most brilliant essays, Compensation, speaks eloquently on the subject. This seems to me more like a father and hence why I think GOD is thought of as Father by most: Love always there but the rewards and consequences never waver. I don't really know who GOD is except that GOD is Love (whether like father or mother, I leave for you to decide). Perhaps, Father/Mother GOD is an appropriate address. But, that's about all the philosophy on that subject that I feel able to say.
But here's how this all relates to health: When you are suffering because you broke certain health laws (perhaps you ate what you should not; perhaps you just keep on smoking; you know what it is); when you suffer, most people love themselves like a father but instead you must love yourself like a mother.
Giving up or punishing yourself does not work. When you break health laws, the laws of health will punish you enough. You must love yourself like a mother.
If you still practice poor health practices, it is because you have not yet found a good habit or multiple good habits that are powerful enough to replace your bad habits (not that you have not yet punished yourself enough). Just read these daily strategies, and then look for a small good thing to do every day to find better health. Eventually your bad habits will just go away (or greatly lessen).
Thank GOD for the unconditional, all-forgiving, Mother's love. Hope you find your mother's love for yourself today.
Part of loving yourself is to practice the 1,3, 5 Plan.
__ II Kings Chapters 16-18
__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles _____
__ 5 fruits or vegetables: actual _____
__ Virtue: Order - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.