Paula SchneiderLarry and I have been studying Truth principles since 1985, and along the way, we have frequently discussed what constitutes health.  I personally like the World Health Organization’s definition of health:  “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Additionally, we both have gone through many years of formal education about health issues, so this has affected the way we think about health and how our thoughts line up with Unity teachings.  One day recently, we began putting down on paper what we believe to be the determinants of good (or bad, as the case may be) health.

            In no particular order, I would like to list the factors we believe can impact a person’s health as defined by the WHO.  I feel certain that you, too, will come up with some variables we may have missed and that should be added to the list.  Here goes:

  • Immune system

  • Heredity or personal biology

  • Economics or social status

  • Early childhood experiences (abuse, neglect, loving and happy home)

  • Level of education

  • History of injuries or accidents

  • History of medication use, surgeries

  • Lifestyle choices early in life (drugs, alcohol, tobacco, poor sleep habits, etc.)

  • Current lifestyle choices

  • Culture

  • Use of preventive health measures, such as immunizations

  • Individual’s perception of stress

  • Environment (clean and sanitary or squalid)

  • Outlook on life (positive or negative)

  • History of exposure to various microbes, viruses, etc.

  • Nutrition, current and past

  • Support systems, either healthy or dysfunctional, including faith community

Larry and I both feel that a person’s health status is affected by so many diverse variables that it is really unreasonable for anyone to ever spend a lot of time asking, “Why?” if and when life takes a turn and illness occurs.  We believe that the best course of action is to relax, breathe, and go within for guidance.  In the case of a serious illness, the guidance may be to do nothing, to use Western medicine treatments, to use allopathic treatments, or to try a combination of both.  This is really an individual decision.

This is an area of high interest for us, as we both know people who have lived very clean, healthy lives and still passed on early from one disease or another.  One acquaintance of mine in Florida died of colon cancer in her 30’s.  Other people we know have abused their bodies in many ways and are living healthily way into their 90’s.  Much of the area of health is simply part of the Great Mystery, perhaps to be examined and experienced, but not 100% understood!