Monday, March 22, 2010

Reflections on Health, Happiness & Wealth

If you have health, you will probably be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. 
~Elbert Hubbard

As I reflected on the quote above, I was reminded of several things.  For one, health is not only a gift; it is a responsiblity.  We make choices every day that affect our overall physical, emotional and spiritual health.  What we put into our bodies and minds has immediate and/or long-term influence in our lives.  Something as simple as complaining about a frustrated goal or dreaded appointment can keep us from feeling gratitude and hope.  Something seemingly innocuous as snacking on sweets can spoil our appetite for healthy foods and contribute to our feelings of guilt and lack of self-control. Taking good care of ourselves is an ongoing process and challenge that can become an established way of life with commitment, discipline and practice.  The more we practice healthy habits of body and mind, the more likely they will come naturally to us.  With practice, we can feed our minds and bodies with what is good for them, and we can have better health. 

Now if we have health, that is, if our minds and bodies are well taken care of, we will most likely be happy as it stands to reason.  In that case, happiness is actually a byproduct of a healthy body, soul, and spirit.  And furthermore, if we have both health and happiness, we are wealthy indeed.  Now the last part of the quote is what I spent a little more time thinking about.  It states that with health and happiness we have all the wealth we need.  Yet, despite having this wealth, it may not be all we want. 

Does this imply that we can still be happy and not have what we want?  We may have what we need, but is it enough?  Does not having what we want justify unhappiness?  To some of us it does.  We are not happy unless we have what we want.  But to be happy in the midst of not having what we want suggests a way of being that leaves our inner joy intact.  Is it hope that keeps us believing? Is it gratitude that keeps us fulfilled?  Is it patience that helps us to appreciate and live in the now?  Is it peace that keeps us secure?  Is it love that satisfies our deepest longings?

The next time not having what we want tempts to rob us of true inner joy and peace, maybe we ought to ask ourselves how much our health is worth.  Are we not wealthy when we see the good, hope and believe the best, release doubts, fears, and anger, receive and give love and thanks?  And are we not wealthy when we awaken to a new day with strength and vitality, seeing the light, breathing fresh air, and ready to fulfill our day's purpose and enjoy life's simple blessings?  

Health, happiness, and wealth.... suddenly they all seem to come together.

Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service.  - Henry Ford

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved., Written by Krystal Kuehn

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher and musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling Services, a marriage counseling and family therapy center and, an award-winning, self-help and personal growth site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights and inspiration.

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