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THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY
Remembering My Father and the Lessons His Life Taught Me A TUMULTUOUS END TO 2019
As many people were celebrating the holidays and preparing for the end of another decade this past November, my family and I were reeling from some news: On the same day I found out my daughter had been accepted and received full scholarships to multiple colleges she applied to, I also learned my father had died. It was a whirlwind of emotions on a day that should have been either exhilarating as a father or mournful as a son. I never imagined I’d experience these together. My father was 75 years old when he passed. He was a good man known by many people in my home city in India due to his work with the government. He had many friends, and about 600 people attended his funeral. And these weren’t just people who were paying respects; many of them loved him dearly. “EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED ... YOU CANNOT EXPECT YOUR HEALTH TO IMPROVE IF YOUR MINDSET IS STUCK OR YOUR SPIRIT IS DEPLETED.” I can still remember all the times I would leave India after a visit reminding him to take care of himself, as a son does. But years ago, I realized that my father’s journey is not my journey. I can’t control what other people do with the advice they are given, regardless if I know that it’s going to be the best course of action. I learned a long time ago that people are the only ones in control of their destiny, and if they are not up for receiving help, we cannot help them. As a therapist, it took me a long time to realize that I can only offer them the right thing and hope that it sticks. Yet I’m always going to try my hardest to do what’s best for my patients and my family. Everything is connected, and your body relies as much on your mind and spirit as these other components
rely on it. You cannot expect your health to improve if your mindset is stuck or your spirit is depleted. This is where addiction and poor habits slip into our consciousness. Addiction begins with false pretenses. When a person’s mind isn’t in a good place, they feel they have reached a good place by taking an addictive substance, so their mindset, spirit, and body are still being damaged. You have to focus on all these components to see any semblance of success. But as I’ve begun to mourn my father and get back into my routine, I can’t help but think of the lessons we learn when we face death in this way. I’m reminded of other friends and family members I’ve had to mourn. A very dear friend of mine died of a heart attack despite being very fit and healthy. He was in the Army and enjoyed a career as a surgeon, and yet, he was still the victim of something inevitable far too soon. I’ve learned that it’s not the career you have or the things you accumulate. Instead, it’s all about doing the right thing and how you choose to live your life that matters. And if you ask me, even though he was only given 75 years, my father lived a miraculous life.
And that’s all anyone can hope for.
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