My family’s choices and my choices – what a difference they make!

By Steve Matson, UK 

My family’s choices and my choices – what a difference they make!

Both my parents are now gone, but they proved that, like Mr Burns always says in the parody that is not too far from the truth, The Simpsons: ‘You can almost live forever if you have lots of money and great health insurance.’ The quality of life in this trade-off is questionable.

My mother was a walking encyclopaedia of things that can go wrong in your body. She had all of today’s standard old people’s ailments. She had smoked for years, so that gave her all the respiratory and heart related conditions. She drank a soft drink daily for most of her life. That should have ticked the diabetes box. She loved to cook and the standard fare was meat, two veg, bread, butter and a glass of milk. Breakfast was cereal during the week and a fry up on weekends that included pancakes with lots of butter, maple syrup and toast with butter. In the US they have State Fairs where each year the food vendors try new gastric delights for the visitors to consume; they always have a deep fat fried process in their making. My mother loved the Battered Deep Fat Fried Cheese Curds. I just can’t understand why she had cholesterol problems and four heart attacks, three strokes and a triple bypass! In the end she had her own cupboard for all her drugs. She never had a job after all of the children moved out, except retail therapy.

My father worked for 40+ years and retired from a global package delivery company. Growing up, from the middle of November till Christmas we never saw him till Christmas day. He would leave before we got up and we were in bed when he got home. His summer holiday was to spend his two weeks off by loading and unloading furniture for a local moving company. Once, he had a job moving someone down the street from our house and we went and watched him hump furniture in and out a truck for hours in the summer heat. He did smoke in his early years, but not a lot. He was 6ft 4 and had a good appetite, but never put a lot of weight on. He liked to play golf… more for the exercise rather than ability. There was always the 19th hole after the game for a beer. He did not drink a great deal and I don’t ever remembering him being drunk. He never said a lot or showed any emotion. His personal business/life was no one’s business but his. He retired and still could not stop. He did the charity thing where you drive elderly people to the hospital, wait and then bring them home. Life was good, he got to drive around, eat and drink what he wanted, play golf, go on boat holidays and as he used to say: he enjoyed giving the Indians in their casinos our inheritance. His whole life had been about being in control. He was a shrewd investor and managed his money wisely.

When my mother passed away, an error on the last will was discovered… it had been signed but never filed by the attorney, making it invalid. My dad had invested a lot of work into ensuring everything was safe. If the will had been filed, a small amount would have gone to the government in tax. In the end the government took half the estate in taxes – the tax bill turned out to be just over $2 million because of the error.

From this point, my father kind of quit everything he had been doing. His health started to go but he never did like doctors. He never did cooking but for the Sunday morning fry up; he was not a big fan of washing dishes either. So, my Dad loved eating out and enjoyed burgers to the point he could eat them every day; most days he did. When he did see the doctors, the cholesterol drugs, blood thinning pills and then the dementia started to show and this is what in the end took him, 5 years later when one night his heart forgot to beat.

My two sisters are both on blood thinners and medications for blood pressure or cholesterol, because there is a family history, their choice.

My whole family – sisters, parents, parent’s siblings and their parents ­– were all on drugs for most of the second half of their lives and so are most people I know! … Except for me.

I have considered myself not healthy, but at the same time not ill. Ill is when I have been carted off to the hospital because I could not walk. Once was a cold December night when I missed a turn on my motorcycle at high speed, that left me with two shattered ankles. The other was skiing in Iceland on Blue Mountain and yes, this was the first time I broke an ankle. This was in fact a whole new experience. I had spent my life doing dumb things that should have killed me but in fact I never broke anything, but I have lots of scars and stitches. For anyone who has never broken anything, it’s a strange experience and sensation … if you don’t move it, it doesn’t hurt!

I had put down never being sick to my body being such a toxic environment that germs could not survive. I rarely got ill, unless it was because I had broken something and instead of stopping me, it just slowed me down. I just carried on like the battery rabbit, but on crutches. My local NHS doctor’s office sent me a letter a few years ago enquiring if I had died, moved, or generally why they had not seen me in about 15 years. I was on a course of slow suicide with the life style I had been living….

Eight years ago I went to a presentation that a friend of mine had recommended as a ‘must do’ in London. What was presented there that day has changed my life. The speaker was Serge Benhayon. It was like coming home after being lost in the wilderness. I have been inspired over the past 8 years from the teachings that I have attended to make choices based on what is good for me and my body…I have never since looked back. The person I was and the person I now am, bear no resemblance to each other and this is all down to my personal choices on how I want to live. I believe that life choices are the number one cause of illness and disease…bar none!

A few months ago my wife had a full private health check. The exam was 4 hours of all kinds of tests, internal, external, joints, x-rays, ears, nose, throat and all fluid tests; there was not an area of the body that was not investigated (there was no waiting at any time during the processes). The exam finished up with an hour with the doctor, who did the stuff technicians could not do, and you got to discuss any concerns you had medically. On completion you received a report that contained the results of all the tests with charts and curves, doctor’s notes and recommendations.

I was so impressed with the whole process and the comprehensive report, I booked myself for the same exam.

The results showed that with all the years of smoking, which in the end was 50 a day (I quit 15 years ago and swapped it for food), the main item the tests showed was some reduction in lung function which is hardly surprising. The only other item was that I could do with losing a bit of weight – in the last 5 years I have lost 32kg. I have seen dentists every year even in the periods when I was making bad health choices. I started seeing opticians annually when my arms got too short to read and later on glasses were cheaper than a bigger TV.

I have spent years religiously practising preventative maintenance with my car, and not my body.  I don’t like to drive in something that is not fit for purpose… so why would anyone choose to live in a body that is not fit for purpose?

I had resisted going for check ups in the past, because I knew what bad things I was doing to my body and had no intention of changing my life style…they were my choices. Why would I waste my and the doctor’s time to be told what I already knew? (Only a bit of arrogance there!)

Now whilst UM has inspired me, I have made changes to my life, making choices for myself and for my well-being. With my new awareness of myself and my body, one that is like an older car that requires a bit more TLC…especially one that has spent most of its life rally racing. There are bits that have just about been worn out, but are still working fine if you don’t abuse them. I am far from a classic but have intentions of becoming one.

My plans are to have my annual check-ups and to keep doing the self-body checks for things that change; also to listen to my body, which is my best barometer of change. Like a fine classic car you require an expert to keep it that way – and I am the expert on my body and my choices. I now feel that the reason I have not ended up on multiple medications with medical conditions like the rest of family is because of the changes I have made to my life and the daily choices I make to take care of my body.

I feel that having been inspired by Universal Medicine about the power of choices, it is time for me to share with the world there is another way of living and to show that it is never too late.

918 thoughts on “My family’s choices and my choices – what a difference they make!

  1. Awesome Steve, I love the car analogy you present … and how you aim to be a classic and you’re willing to take care to keep yourself in tune! Very inspiring.

  2. The feeling that you got after the presentations from Serge Benhayon would seem to be a catalyst not only for a complete diet and lifestyle change, but also a feeling/knowing that there is a much bigger purpose in choosing to self care that you also aligned to.

    1. Life isn’t about us but we have to make it about us in order to make it about everybody else. What I mean by that is that we have made life all about the ‘mini me’, the constant narrative of ‘what’s in it for me?’ but in reality there is no me, there is only the One collective Us. But we are each a patch of the collective us and so we have to focus on improving the quality of our patch of the collective Us in order to improve the collective quality of us all.

  3. Thank you Steve for your great sharing! How amazing is the power to change from heading down the road of illness and disease to taking back the responsibility of looking after ourselves and our health.

  4. There is always the opportunity to change and make different choices. Stepping up and taking responsibility for what we create and our own health can offer such a great reflection for others to be inspired by.

  5. It’s not the first time I have read or heard of an attorney with shoddy workmanship making an error or not filing an important document resulting in the document another was relying on (and no doubt paid for the service to be completed) to ensure it was valid – and when it was found to be invalid it had a severely negative outcome for those relevant to the document of which they could do nothing. The irony is not lost on me that if the same error in principle occurred in health care or another industry an attorney could well sue.

  6. Steve, your wit, humour and warmth is so prevalent through this blog. I absolutely love your style and find the whole thing so interesting, especially the way you have embraced a life of regard for your body like never before, just beautiful.

  7. It is always gorgeous to read how people are inspired through Universal Medicine to start to make choices to live in honour of the fact that they are worth caring deeply for and can then reflect to others the profound benefits of choosing to bring a little TLC into their lives too.

  8. It had been over three years since I had last seen a doctor. I kept meaning to schedule another full body MOT. I have coasted a wee bit in the past three years, but have been more healthy than any time in the last 40+ years. I was cold called by the private health care people I had my Last MOT with, and they offered me 40% off for another, so a week later I had an appointment. The interesting thing was the pre-questionnaire, I needed to fill out! The pages of all the stuff that was a snap shot of where we have come to with the disregard to ourselves with the way we are living. The questions asked about everything that is now the norm for people to have and be living with; drugs prescribed, how inactive and fat are you, lists of illness we have, drinking, smoking, food, aches and pains, skeletal and sexual dis-functions, eyesight and hearing and the list went on and on. I had answered N/A to almost everything. I did have a few questions for the doctor and got a referral for something that had cropped up with in the last few months that turned out to be a bone shard, that is a calcium build up on the foot that I have had treatment to deal with. My final report just recommended losing a few pounds (work in progress), and I just had to smile at the elevated chances on their charts of me getting X, Y and Z because there was a family history of it. I also turned down the offer of statins as a just in case medication.

  9. It’s amazing the extent to which we can give up on life when it seemingly ‘disappoints’ us. Once we take that concept on board, it’s a slippery slope to the kind of despair described here. If I don’t care about life, to hell with my health, with my demeanour, my work… and so on. And then… it’s a slow climb back.

  10. We can so easily fall for the ideals and beliefs of carrying on the same traditions of our family but what if they are far from supportive of what we know is true. Choosing to ignore the harm or carrying the harm is a sign of how our ties to the “ways of the family’ can be part of the ill health .

  11. Reading this again really brings home the reflections we get from our family and friends. Prior to meeting Serge Benhayon and attending the presentations, I would have said that I was eating healthily/exercising and yes, compared to how I grew up I was, but during the presentations things that I never considered would start to be exposed. Health issues which I did not associate with food were blatantly obvious, and to the point where I would sit there and ask myself ‘why did I not question that myself’ – just goes to show how entrenched in our beliefs we are that we do not see the truth, even with our own body.

  12. Responsibility. Serge Benhayon presents that we all have a choice to take responsibility for the way we live and this story demonstrates very clearly the benefits to our wellbeing when we take responsibility for caring for ourselves – let alone the reduced burden on the over-stretched health services.

  13. Isn’t it incredible that we need someone such as Serge Benhayon to come along and show us that we are living without a care for our bodies? I was the same. Abused my body in multiple ways all my life, never once allowing the thought that perhaps I should cease this destructive behaviour. We need to question how we can all have such little common sense about caring for our bodies. Asking this question will start to reveal the truth of how life is all about energy and how until we grasp this, we are owned by an energy without even being aware of the fact.

  14. How many of us put off going to the doctors even when there are changes in the body? Are we afraid of what the doctor is going to say and make excuses e.g. that we’re wasting the doctor’s time? You just never know… the indigestion that has been going on for sometime may not be indigestion after all, but signs that a heart attack is on the horizon. No matter how small I may think it is, I now book myself in to see the doctor as I feel it is no use grumbling if I find myself in a situation when I wished I had done it sooner.

  15. ‘My plans are to have my annual check-ups and to keep doing the self-body checks for things that change; also to listen to my body, which is my best barometer of change.’ How true Steve our body is definitely a great guide for us, and having an annual check up is a great choice, because it’s far better to be proactive in our health than just waiting for something to happen.

  16. “Like a fine classic car you require an expert to keep it that way – and I am the expert on my body and my choices.” This is beautiful to read after the account of what your father lived through in his body and with his choices. His life taught you something and was not lived in vein, as you have learnt by observing his actions to modify your own to be more self-loving.

  17. Steve I just love this blog and your very straightforward way of presenting that life is about the choices we make and choices do indeed have consequences. It’s amazing we would not consider driving our cars without insuring they’re fit for purpose and yet we do this all the time with our bodies, and I love your allusion to being a classic, we can all become that and there is a level of care needed to maintain it, so why not apply that same level of care to us. It’s simple common sense and deep down we all know it which is why many of us avoid the doctors etc. As you put it be beautifully ‘Like a fine classic car you require an expert to keep it that way – and I am the expert on my body and my choices.’

    1. Great picks from a great blog packed with dry humour. I have no doubt the author could write a book that would be a best seller that woke people up to what they are choosing for their bodies.

  18. I love this Steve “I am an expert on my body and my choices”! It is “Never to late” to take responsibility for the decisions we make.

  19. We drink too much alcohol and feel the effects in our body, we push ourselves to get the work done and feel exhausted at the end of the day, we lift something which is too heavy for us and wake up with a painful back, we overeat and end up with a bloated and uncomfortable abdomen, we get a cold or the flu because we have been staying up late and overdoing it, the list is endless yet we can’t seem to fathom that illness and disease is because of those choices we have made that abused our body. It makes absolute sense to me too that every choice I make either supports my body and my wellbeing or it contributes towards illness and disease in some way, shape or form.

    1. Love your first sentence, Caroline! Doesn’t it describe to most people, what they just call normal life! We need to make listening to our body’s the new normal!

  20. We are here, it’s all real, we can do things, choose to smoke, go to the movies or drive the car down south for a holiday, all these are true. But why are we here? Why are we not only here is a big one, but why do you stand where you stand and I stand where I stand? We will say choices, fate, genetics, or something similar to that is just how the world works. It’s not to say that these things have true parts to them but when you apply the bigger picture to things, still, why are we here? What is the purpose of our life or human life? To keep building the tallest buildings, the fastest cars, the nicest house etc., or is all this a distraction from the fact there is a large part of things going on before our eyes that is not seen by our eyes? I loved the article and it’s not a critique or a distraction from what is being offered by it but more a flow on from what it presents, we can try and always be better people but yet in thinking we are just people we are already making life too small. We are bigger and there is a much bigger part playing out; whether we want to be aware of it or not doesn’t change the fact it is happening.

    1. That’s very true Ray and this article reflects exactly that to me. Awareness growing out of observation of another’s life choices. It’s like Steve clocked inside himself that there must be something more to him and his life than the choices his father made for living his life. It’s through sensing the “bigger picture” that he was able to come into contact with Serge Benhayon and accept his teachings wholeheartedly so.

  21. Incredible! This is an awesome example of self responsibility Steve, and totally blows the whole ‘hereditary’ thing out the water too! We all have choices.

  22. Steve, I may have said this before, but you could write an IKEA instruction manual and I would read it – I love how you write and express. It’s so real, relatable and funny. But it’s also inspiring for those who may have never considered their bodies – or just conceded that something is out of their control because it’s genetic. You are living proof that taking responsibility for your body can break a family cycle of poor health.

  23. as a society we have become accustomed to a way of life that is keeping us ill, living with disregard, aggression towards our body, using it to satisfy all our desires – when the body is crying out for harmony and consistency. Add to the equation that we have medical systems which allow this to take place and offer endlessly developing and branching forms of treatment and management (which is a gift and very necessary) which we rely on too heavily to take away our ills, but it is us who are causing them.

  24. It’s amazing what people will accept as ‘health’ – a life full of self-medication through overwork, excessive shopping, misuse of food, indulgence in drugs, alcohol, sports, cigarettes and so on; then a truck-load of prescribed medications to address the ills they have accumulated through these lifestyle choices. Can we really be so blind, or is there a wilful human spirit at play here, undermining the wisdom and natural sense of ease we carry inside?

    1. Victoria, your first sentence was what I had called a healthy life style; except for the sports and the ‘prescribed’ drugs! Yes, we can, I was, really that blind by choice!. Because of my ill choices and what they are doing to me and people around me, this life just became normal. Until you can feel what you are doing to your body you become trapped and don’t even know it! Leaving this non-body supportive life style is always just a choice away!

  25. It is so true Steve that as a society we champion the statistics on people living longer and lower mortality rates for certain illnesses etc but have we really questioned enough the quality of those longer lives. Is it just about living longer or about how we are living while we are alive and how much joy and vitality and health we experience on a daily basis?

  26. Some one reading this article may well doubt their own ability to turn their health around, acknowledging that it is this doubt and unsureness that controls us is something to grapple with and possibly see as the truth it is, simply a series of thoughts we give our power too, nothing more.

  27. Great story Steve. Open, Honest and with humour thrown in. I got my wake up call two years ago in Vietnam and am working hard on the moving parts in the body, so it can run smoothly for a little longer.

  28. This blog has me chuckling all the way through with the gentle humour and honesty it is presented with.
    So true Steve – to be an expert on our own body is the way to true healing and well being.
    “I am the expert on my body and my choices. I now feel that the reason I have not ended up on multiple medications with medical conditions like the rest of family is because of the changes I have made to my life and the daily choices I make to take care of my body”.

  29. By applying what we know to be healthy and mostly avoiding what we know to be unhealthy, one ingredient is the most beneficial – self-love. It is usually not mentioned when referring to all the outer things like food, smoking, exercise, alcohol etc but it is actually self-love that makes the self-care aspects truly healing and healthy. Without self-love we still support the body to be fit on a physiological level but still miss out on having a fully vital body and life that is encompassing of all aspects that make us who we are.

  30. It is interesting how the blog shares the physical choices that we make in whether we choose to eat certain foods, smoke or drink. Our behaviour choices can be just the same. I grew up in a European family where reacting to situations emotionally was the way you got heard. I would notice my grandmother used emotion to manipulate a situation and watch each adult in her life pander to the behaviour. My mother continued to display this behavior and I knew deep down inside this behaviour was not true and would respond by reacting myself- the cycle continued. Having become aware of the work of Serge Benhayon I have now realised that my choices did not have to be like my family. It was not inherited and the way that I knew to be deep down inside was far from emotional but a quality of lived authority and truth. Thank you for sharing a blog that debunks the ideas and beliefs of how we can be conditioned into being like our family when every part of our body is feeling the opposite.

  31. Steve, I like your honesty here – you may not be ill but you were ‘on a course of slow suicide with the life style I had been living….’ So many people think they are well just because they do not have any ailments, but their lifestyle is slowly killing them and they don’t see it.

  32. Steve, your family history clearly illustrates how our lifestyle choices play out in our body and all our symptoms are just the evidence of this fact.

  33. Considering the history of family disease in your case Steve, it truly is remarkable that you have, by way of a few simple lifestyle choices, reversed an ill momentum that could have led you to the same place. We must never underestimate the power that is in our own hands to change our future nor underestimate the stubbornness of that part of us that seeks to override such power and succumb instead to the way we have been told it is that such illness is inevitable because it is ‘in the genes’.

  34. Love the lightness Steve on what is a serious subject it just shows when we reflect back on our family that the choices they made make up the sum total of their life. I can see this in my life too that my choices before Universal Medicine were to dull my body and make sure I never really lived my full potential I was comfortable with what I had even though deep down I knew something wasn’t right. I ignored my body and didn’t take into consideration the true value of what it was able to offer. This is all slowly changing thanks to Universal Medicine, living my life less than my full potential harbours illness and disease. I am now making choices that are consistently improving my vitality and health and transforming how I see life.

  35. We are indeed experts of our own body, which is a great thing to be aware of when things start to go wrong with the body. If we ever end up in hospital or with the GP it is important to remember that we do know what is happening in our body and in that way we are a true support to our health professionals.

  36. ‘I am the expert on my body and my choices’ Brilliantly said Steve. And so we can take responsibility for that – it is very empowering..

  37. I love the way that our body communicates so many things to us, from how to rest, when to rest, what to eat, and when to eat… When we start to listen to what our body is saying we are able to make choices that perhaps our parents were unable or unaware to make, and those new choices can lead to a healthier and more vital life.

  38. A presentation from Serge Benhayon is like coming home from being lost in the wilderness. A cold, damp seemingly never ending wilderness that in an hour of listening to Serge disappears.

    1. I love this analogy Heather. And to add to that . . . listening to Serge is like sitting by a fire, with the wisdom being spoken from a place deep within that has been felt and known, but not heard in words. Serge invites us to unlock the doors and step into the warmth and love that has always been there.

  39. Great blog Steve, lovely to read about the changes you have made to your life and how much responsibility you now take with your choices, I agree it is never to late to make more loving choices that can change a predisposition to an illness.

  40. ” I don’t like to drive in something that is not fit for purpose… so why would anyone choose to live in a body that is not fit for purpose?” It’s such a classic analogy but it is so true… We obey the road rules, service our cars, panic if a red light comes on, garage them so they don’t get damaged, maintain tyre pressure, fill with petrol …. the list goes on, but do we even consider the same attention is required for our body’s optimum performance, and our bodies have far more sensitivity, wisdom, feelings, sparkle, divinity than any mechanical car yet we override most signs feelings and symptoms. It’s all changed for me when I began to choose to note my body’s responses and things began to significantly shift, which has also supported a life free of ills and medications, and a vital body that is moving with purpose.

  41. Steve I love your sense of humour and was chuckling away as I read your blog. You do cover a very serious topic though. It’s usual to hear of people on medication for various illnesses, so well done for turning the tide on what could have been the path you were heading for. I too take care to have my regular check-ups at the dentist and doctors. I agree we are the experts on how our bodies feel, and we do know when something is not right.

  42. It is amazing what our choices can result in and equally so how powerful is the understanding that we do indeed have such a choice available to us! Because until Universal Medicine there was never an option to not blame others or situations for my life, never was there a choice in the state of my health or situations that I would walk into. For example at school we were taught to not drink, but with your friends not drinking is not an option. Or not gossiping or getting into a conversation where something/someone is to blame for how those in the conversation feel isn’t in that moment considered to be a choice available to us. But we always have a choice and thats awesome.

  43. That gradual realisation that we only have one body and it has to last for a lifetime and that we are trashing it instead of treasuring it, is a great moment. Without Universal Medicine I would no doubt still be trashing mine.

  44. “I have spent years religiously practising preventative maintenance with my car, and not my body. I don’t like to drive in something that is not fit for purpose… so why would anyone choose to live in a body that is not fit for purpose?” Interesting that we may take more care over our possessions than our own body which is with us for life. What do we choose and with what quality – for our body and our health?

  45. Great question, and makes you wonder why many do still choose to…, ‘I don’t like to drive in something that is not fit for purpose… so why would anyone choose to live in a body that is not fit for purpose?’

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