“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
Health has always been a topic that is close to my heart, but this past week has reminded me just how valuable our health is.
I caught a cold before leaving for Copenhagen, but it didn’t get bad until I returned to Madrid and decided to go to work after being sleep deprived, traveling the past two weekends, and feeling sick. What can I say, I can be a little stubborn sometimes. Fortunately, I have slowly been regaining my energy and strength, but I was quite shaken because I had never felt so weak and debilitated in my life. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning and would feel out of breath just eating or walking to the bathroom. As someone who is normally an energizer bunny and likes to go to the gym and be active all the time, I have found myself sometimes getting so frustrated in this situation. The doctor told me that I am recovering from a virus and that abstaining from work, taking medication, and resting should do the trick. Despite my occasional frustration and sadness, this experience has really humbled me. It has highlighted how much I have taken my health for granted, shown me where I can better take care of myself, and inspired me to have greater compassion for those who battle sickness on a regular basis.
We take for granted that most of us can walk, talk, hear, see, taste, touch, smell, and breathe without pain. Its so easy to get caught up with life and what we don’t have, but when is the last time you celebrated the fact that you could walk outside and enjoy the sunshine? It’s simple I know, but these small capabilities are gifts. And they are gifts that not all of us get to enjoy. Nothing in life is more important than our health. Everything else is just extra toppings on our ice cream sundae. Our health and wellbeing is the foundation for living a good life. When the roots of our health have been planted into fertile soil and we regularly water it, our branches can finally blossom. The sky is the limit! But without those strong roots and daily nurturing, our tree will not make it.
During my time in Copenhagen with Rhys, we talked about the healthcare system in Sweden. The max amount of money they will pay per year for their health care bills is 100 euros!!! MAXIMUM. Of course, their country has much higher taxes than the United States, but think about that for a minute…How nice would it be to know that no matter what happened to your health, you would be taken care of by your healthcare system. To know that they have your back. You wouldn’t have to worry about fighting the system because the system is designed to have your back. I’m not trying to hate on my country’s healthcare system. I recognize that every country and system has its pros and cons, but the United States is for sure a country that you do not want to be sick in, especially if you do not have the socioeconomic means to cover yourself.
In any situation in life, perspective and attitude is key and will create your experience. I am reminded of my family member from the Netherlands, Adriana, who is a beautiful ray of sunshine despite having an auto-immune disease. She is always so positive and smiling and grateful for the things that she can still enjoy. Like Adriana has shown me, my intention is to turn any painful or difficult experience into something beautiful. Find the light. No matter how dark our circumstances can get, there is always a light. Find the light and decide to dwell in hope and gratitude instead of living in fear or anger or sadness or confusion. Trust that there is light and CHOOSE to live in Hope.
Lastly, I want to express my gratitude for the people who have helped me during this time. My family is far away from me right now but thank you to Renee, Jackie, Clara, and Javier for having my back. A lot us, myself included, are hesitant to ask for help, but it is when we lean on others that they have the opportunity to show us how much they love us. Asking for help is a doorway to love and miracles. And it will show you who your real friends are.
Wishing you all the good health in the world!
P.S. Photo credits belong to my amazing friend Javier, while doing the Camino de Santiago in Portugal 🙂