Principle of Health #5: Forgiving Others is Healing

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A principle is a rule or law that never changes.  In this blog we will cover 7 of the many principles of health.  So far we have gone over 4 of them:

#1 – Man Comes in 3-D.  Man is a combination of body, mind, and spirit [[2/1/13].

#2 – The Force is With You.  We are all born with a certain amount of vital force, or energy that maintains life [5/31/13].

#3 – What’s Blood Got To Do With It?  To have good health we must have good blood [7/19/13].

#4 – Doing Good is A Powerful Promoter of Good Health [8/9/13].

And now, #5 – Forgiving Others Helps Heal the Body, Mind, and Spirit.

On Tuesday morning a long forgotten memory came flooding back.  I’m so glad it did.  Why?  For months bits and pieces of anger and bitterness had been seeping out of me, like a draining wound.  I wondered where it was coming from.  Now I knew.

About nine years ago I had been deeply hurt by someone’s words.  But instead of confronting them right away; telling them how much their words had affected me; and then forgiving them, I said nothing and buried it.  It wasn’t hidden anymore.  For months I had been speaking rudely and with disrespect to that person.  Now I understood why. 

The pain of that past hurt, plus my ugly behavior toward that person made me want to weep.  God impressed me to deal with this issue now.  I didn’t want to, but knew I had to.

Why forgive? 

  1. Whether an offense is minor or horrendous, The Bible tells us to forgive others for their wrongs, or God cannot forgive us for our sins [St. Matthew chapter 6, verses 14 and 15].

  2. The body and mind are so closely related, that holding onto anger, grudges, hurts, abuses and more – they all change the body chemistry, destroy health, and can even kill us.  It’s like dragging around a sack with radioactive rocks inside.  The weight is draining , and every day we get more contaminated.

  3. Forgiving frees us and releases us from stress and the past; gives us peace of mind, and helps us heal from physical, mental, and spiritual issues.

It has been said that good health is not just what we are eating, but what is “eating” us [our issues].

We can’t change the past, but forgiving is a choice we can make for how we will live in the present and future.  And after choosing to forgive, we need to pray for help: to want to do it, to do it, and to mean it.

Faking forgiveness can happen.  We can mouth the words without a change of heart.  But the body knows the real thing from the fake – it changes the body chemistry.

Forgiveness is not easy and needs Divine assistant to happen properly.  And you may have to try time after time until it’s real. 

Pray about who you need to see, when you should go, and what your words and attitude should be when you see them. 

 

Going to a person or persons is not always easy.  Why?

  1. They may not want to hear what you have to say about their past behavior.  Pray first and try anyway.  If they won’t see you, call or write a letter.

  2. If a person’s whereabouts are unknown, write them a letter and then bury or burn it.  Tell God you did your best.

  3. The same would go for a person who died.  Write out your feelings and forgiveness.

 

What does forgiveness mean and not mean?

  1. It doesn’t mean what was done was OK.

  2. It means you will still remember, but your memories won’t be saturated with pain and anger.

  3. It also means that sometimes we need to forgive ourselves for bad choices and decisions in our past. 

  4. It doesn’t mean to wait for the injuring party to be sorry and come to you.  Possible, but not likely.  As soon as you remember the injury, you seek them out.

  5. It means leaving revenge to God.  He said vengeance belongs to Him [Hebrews chapter 10, verse 30].  And He can take of those who do wrong very nicely!

A first cousin to forgiveness is apologizing to others for wrongs we have done.  Pray and try.  But know that they may not want to hear you, or will respond with much anger.

Next week I hope to be able to go to the person who hurt me.  I’m asking God to direct me and them, so things are done without any problems.

 

That’s all for now.  I hope something helped someone.  See you next week.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

My Sugar Blues, Part 2

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This sugar is mostly refined white sugar, made from sugar cane or sugar beets.  It has no vitamins, minerals, or fiber of its own.  But this also refers to other sweeteners too.  For example: high fructose corn syrup [man-made; cheap]; brown sugar [white sugar mixed with molasses]; molasses [has some vitamins and minerals]; honey [contains protein and enzymes]; and the many man-made artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, Saccharine, Sorbitol, and more.  Besides being chemicals, they can cause many negative side effects like seizures, increased appetite, and even weight gain.    *Sugar In The Raw is not raw sugar.  Raw Sugar is not legal in the USA because of contaminants.

NEWS FLASH:  The body reacts to all sugars the same way.  So even if natural and organic, don’t over-use sugar.  And avoid those artificial sweeteners.

We add some sugar to our foods, but sugar is also hidden in many items.  Read labels for how many grams of sugar is in something.  Then multiply it by the number of servings, then divide that number by 4.  This will give you the number of teaspoons of sugar in a food/beverage.  The numbers can be crazy [4 grams sugar = 1 teaspoon sugar].  Here are two examples:

Breyer’s 1.5 quart of butter Almond Ice Cream –

This 1.5 quart contains 12 grams sugar for each serving.

There are 12 servings per container.

12 grams x 12 servings = 144 grams sugar.

Divide 144 grams sugar by 4 teaspoons = 36 teaspoons sugar in container or 3 teaspoons per serving.

Or

One 20 ounce bottle of Pepsi Cola soda contains 69 grams sugar.

There is only one serving per bottle.

Divide 69 grams sugar by 4 = 17.25 teaspoons sugar in each 20 ounce bottle.  That’s massive!

NEWS FLASH:  Good health does not need sugar.  It’s best to get sugar from fruits, vegetables nuts, figs, dates, and other natural sources.  Get it the way nature made it, but don’t eat too much – even of good things.

But three incidents ‘knocked me in the head’ about the reality of sugar’s not-so-sweet-side.

1st Incident: February 17, 2011 my hubby and I were in the ER because I couldn’t take steps, walk, or bear weight on my legs.  Even my arms were weak.  The left knee was swollen and the pain was terrible.  What happened?  All that day I had been enjoying meals accompanied by pie, cake, ice cream, sodas, and even candies.  Ridiculous!  By 5pm I could barely walk.  After the exam and x-rays, the ER doctor said it was inflammation.  He gave me an Oxycodone tablet, and within minutes I could raise my legs, stand, and take steps!  I didn’t know inflammation could do that – but it was quickly reversed.  What’s the point?  For anyone, especially those with MS, too much sugar can greatly increase inflammation, which can increase MS symptoms.  Reduce the sugar eaten.  This takes time, but tastes can change.  And eventually you will not want too many sweets.

Years ago, when I told a lady in our MS support group about sugar, she replied, “I’d rather be in a wheelchair than give up sugar.” The next time I saw her she was in a wheelchair, and showed me her new lift to get it into her car.

2nd Incident: November 16, 2012 I came down with the flu just days after eating a slice of my homemade peanut butter pie [very sweet ingredients].  Right after I ate it my throat started scratching, then each day brought new and worse symptoms.

3rd  Incident:  Just 2 weeks ago, right after eating a Mr. Goodbar candy bar, my throat started scratching.  A bad cold followed and I took an over-the-counter medication to help.  On one hand it cleared up annoying symptoms.  But on the other hand, it left my brain like scrambled eggs.  Not a good way to be. 

What’s the point for  the 2nd and 3rd incident?  At any time our bloodstreams can contain germs, cancer cells, parasites, or other body invaders.  They cannot break into our cells unless our immune systems are weakened or deactivated.  Sugar does both.  So, when I ate that slice of pie and that candy bar, their sugar content weakened my immune system so that germs could break in and multiply.  Sickness quickly followed.  So, to help prevent sickness and cancer, eat much less sugar.

The more sugar eaten, the less germs the White Blood Cells can destroy.  And this deactivation of the body’s fighter cells lasts at least 5 hours [after eating the sugar] in a normal person.  See below:

 Teaspoons of Sugar Eaten                # of Bacteria Destroyed

    1. 0 teaspoons …………………………….  14 bacteria

    2. 6 teaspoons …………………………  10 bacteria

    3. 12 teaspoons ………………………..  5.5 bacteria

    4. 18 teaspoons ………………………..  2.0 bacteria

    5. 24 teaspoons ………………………..  1.0 bacteria!

Bottom line:  Sugar tastes sweet, but it’s really a bitter enemy.  To help the body fight off bacteria, viruses, cancer cells and other invaders, and to help resist inflammation, drastically cut back on sugars of all kinds. 

I hope this helped someone. That’s all for now.  See you next time.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

My Sugar Blues, Part 1

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I have history with sugar.  My earliest memory was at age 4 while in nursery school.  Each afternoon the ice cream man would come by.  Kids would pass their money through the fence, and he would hand them the most delicious ice cream pops.  Mine was chocolate.  And then a few years later Mom got my sister and I an Easy Bake Oven.  Sometimes those little cakes actually got baked before we ate them.  But quite often we just ate the mix right from the package – the chocolate mix of course.

Mom told me that she ate a lot of chocolate when she was pregnant with me.  So perhaps I came into the world with a love of good chocolate.  I’m a chocoholic in recovery mode.  It used to be on Fridays that I would check and see if there was enough chocolate in the house for the weekend.  Now, I can go in and out the supermarket and pick up no chocolate!!!

Back to my history.  In 3rd grade [8 years old], while at lunch one day, a classmate asked if she could trade her Devil Dog for my apple.  I didn’t know what a Devil Dog was.  But looking at those two pieces of chocolate cake with cream filling in between, I figured it had to be good. It was.  And I fell in love with them and other snack cakes like Ring Dings, Yodels, and more. 

Also in 3rd grade was another classmate who played a role with me and sweet things.  She was taller and chubbier than the rest of us – and pushy too.  But even at that early age, she showed some budding business skills.  Regularly she went down to the candy store and bought bunches of candy.  Then she brought them back to school and had us other kids meet her at recess, on the playground, by the brook.  There we gave her our coins and she handed us our own little stashes of candy.  Did the teachers ever wonder what all us kids were doing down by the brook?  Who knows.

Cakes, candy, cookies, cotton candy, Halloween candy, holiday candy and other sugary yummies.  I ate a lot of sugar!  And since every action has a reaction, there had to be some sure results.  There were.  I wasn’t over weight – since I ran around, biked, and played a lot. But as one dentist told me early on, “You have more cavities than teeth!  Some of you are probably quite horrified at this.  They are all filled. 

Regardless of how it sounds, our home didn’t have sweet things in it all the time.  We usually got something once a week.  But ice cream was usually in the freezer.  Mom did get a 5 pound bag of white sugar each week or two.  Most of that went to making Kool-Aid fruit-flavored drinks.  We even had a green pitcher that looked like a Kool-Aid pitcher.

But we all had so much sugar.  And except for knowing it could make us fat and give us cavities, I don’t think many people had a clue of the dark and ugly side of this sweetener.  Many understand today.  We hear and read about it often.  There is even discussion that sugar should be labeled as a toxin; that sugar and some other sweeteners are poisons to the human body.

Here are just a few of sugar’s negative effects:

  1. Increases risks for diabetes [avoid this like the Black Plague];

  2. Increased risks for obesity – which brings its own negative side effects;

  3. Increases risks for several cancers [like breast, prostate, and colon]

  4. Increases bad cholesterol [LDL] – inviting clogged arteries;

  5. Increases risks for Fatty Liver Disease – which can lead to Cirrhosis of the liver.

  6. Increases poor nutrition – steals vitamin B-1 needed by the nerves, and calcium needed by bones;

  7. Weakens the immune system’s White Blood Cells from being able to destroy bacteria and other enemies;

  8. Increases inflammation in body;

  9. Dulls thinking;

  10. Ages the skin.

 

To Be Continued In Part 2 …

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

Principle of Health #4: Helping Others

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So much joy!

So much joy!

A principle is a rule or law that never changes.  In this blog we will cover just 7 of the numerous principles of health.  So far we have gone over 3 of them:

#1 – Man Comes in 3-D: Man is a combination of mind, body, and spirit [2/1/13].

#2 – The Force is With You: We are all born with a certain amount of vital force [5/31/13].

#3 – What’s Blood Got to Do With It?  To have good health, we must have good blood [7/19/13].

And now, principle #4: Doing Good is a powerful promoter of good health.  In the book, 8 Secrets of a Healthy 100, pages 93-94 [on Amazon.com], the authors say this, “The health impact of helping others is stronger than exercising four times a week and attending religious services.”  Awesome.

And in the book, Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, page 642, the author says this, “The pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health.”

This kind of helping or doing good is based on a love for other human beings.  It’s totally unselfish and does not look for anything in return – not even a thank you.  There may be times when receivers of our kindness say nothing.  That’s Ok.  The joy is in doing it because there is a need.  And joy is truly a wonderful ‘side effect’ of helping.  Some call it ‘the helper’s high’.

I’ve experienced this ‘high’ so many times.  It flows all over and through me making me feel like I’m walking on air.  The above picture was taken at Jones Beach, New York, in the summer of 1987.  Yes, I already had MS, [had a limp] but I was doing some missionary work.  It filled me with so much joy and satisfaction!  I think the picture captured all of it. 

Now, just because we have a disease, illness, or some issue, doesn’t mean we stay home and do nothing.  Sick folks need to have something useful to do.  It takes our minds off self and focuses it on others or something else.  Thinking too much about self encourages sadness and self-pity.  And sadness weakens the circulation in the blood vessels and nerves, and invites sickness, disease, and even death.

You may ask, “What can I give, if I don’t have a lot of money?  I don’t have much either.  But here are some ways I give: I love to smile at folks and kids; offer encouraging words; make phone calls, send cards or emails; offer to pray for some; give a ‘God bless you’ to others; if I have extra cash [$5, 10, or 20] I put it in an envelope and give it to two struggling senior citizens at church; and more.  But if there is a need for cash, that I don’t have, I’ll ask people to donate [family, friends, and church members].  And they respond.

Generous donations made it possible to get supplies for feeding many needy families one Thanksgiving; feeding and giving clothes and toys one Christmas – for numerous families; for getting a tutor for a boy who couldn’t read; and even getting hand puppets for two little boys.

Those in need are all around us, and come in all economic brackets.  But wherever possible, try helping those who have less than we do. 

Giving or helping makes the mind free, gives a sense of satisfaction, makes us cheerful, puts twinkles in our eyes, floods us with joy – and if that wasn’t enough, it also helps the mind and body heal.  We may not be rid of our illnesses, but we will feel better and enjoy a better quality of life.  So, if you are sad, lonely, or need to get high’, go help someone!

That’s all for now.  See you next time.

 

Copyright© 2013 Regina Spence

A Special – What I Have Learned

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I'm Getting It.

I Got It!

One week that I didn’t go to church with my husband, he came home and said something that shook me to my core.  I hope I never, ever forget it.  And I share it with you all – just in case anyone out there needs to hear it.

So, what did he say?  As he usually did, he told me how his class with the young people went; what the sermon was about; and who asked about me or said hi.  But then he added quietly, “Nobody asks about me.”  Wow!

I heard the hurt in his voice and saw the sadness in his eyes.  But I immediately understood what he was saying.  People, in their well-meaning intentions to see how I’m doing, too often overlook him. 

His words hurt me too, because he was hurting.  It also made me wonder if I too had taken him too much for granted.  He is such a good man, and good to me.  He accepted me with this disability knowing it would get worse over the years.  But he is so thoughtful and kind; helping, encouraging, and always looking out for me.  And he is my best friend!

He is truly the “wind beneath my wings.”  I never want him feeling like our marriage is all about me and MS, and that he is invisible! 

With any sick person in a home – baby, child, teen, or adult, the whole household is affected.  But it’s easy for the phone calls, visits, and conversations to focus only on the sick person.  But others are there too.  Every day they are helping and supporting their loved one.  They have needs and problems; hopes, dreams and plans.  They want others to be interested in them too.

Before my husband shared this, I wondered if I had taken enough interest in what he was doing or wanting to do.  Did I say thank you enough?  But since then I make sure to say thank you for all that he does; let him know how much he is appreciated; ask about his hopes and dreams; encourage him to go and do things he likes; give him more hugs.  I need to do even better, because he does well for me every day.

So, now when people run over to us, but only talk to me, I gently remind them that, “Tony is here too.”

And for all of you who have a support person or a team of persons in your life, love them well; say thank often; do special things for them; ask about their lives and plans and problems; don’t let others ignore them.  And make it very hard for them to ever say, “Nobody asks about me.”

That’s all for now.  See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence