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. Hear hear steve I totally agree our illness and diseases are founded on our choices. I love how you have totally presented just that and how possible it is for anybody to make different choices and the future would be far different to the one that is on track from the ill choices that can be stuck in.

    1. The trouble with those ‘ill choices’ is that they are ingrained into our lifestyle and culture. When I read about how Steve’s family have ‘cereal during the week and a fry up at the weekend’ it struck me just how normal this is for so many of us. We simply don’t question it, in fact cereal is considered a very healthy choice by many, even though lots of cereals contain a lot of sugar and the milk that we pure on them isn’t necessarily great for the body either. ‘Working hard’ like Steve’s dad is viewed by many as a ‘good thing’ and so yet again, we don’t question it’s impact on the body or what’s driving the compulsion to work even through a holiday. Basically we don’t question our everyday life but it’s our everyday life that’s making us sick.

  2. Thank you for sharing, it is snap shot of what many people experience in life and something that many of us assume is normal, the medicalisation of old age, where the pills and the cocktail of them keep us going until we eventually die, but the quality of life has been? This is the question we are neglecting to answer.

  3. When we are inspired to make true changes to our life our body immediately responds to rebalance and restore itself back to our natural rhythm and flow. It is never too late to start listening to our body and what it is communicating and making the necessary changes as we are the experts as you describe Steve in how our body is truly feeling.

    1. I’ve been amazed at how responsive the body is and its ability to heal if we work with it instead of ignoring it. The body is very harmonious and will naturally want to come back into balance if we are able to self care by listening to and honouring what the body is asking.

  4. Sadly the description of your mother is true of far too many people in the world today. We are surviving on medication and putting up with a level of well being that is far from well, or truly being for that matter. The only real way I can see out of this dilemma is taking the responsibility for our daily way of being into our own hands by focusing on the quality that we are choosing to move in and the quality that we are bringing to every day objects and to ourselves and by valuing ourselves in and with that quality and allowing ourselves to grow from there.

  5. Fantastic very humorous blog Steve love it! One of the things I got from it was that we are not doomed to illness and disease by our genes or family history but we can choose otherwise in terms of our lifestyle choices which can have a big impact on how our bodies end up. Perhaps the ‘family history’ factor in our health has more to do with copying or mimicking the same behaviours rather than genes? If that was the case then it makes sense that we can choose otherwise and do not have to go down the same behaviours and therefore the same medical conditions.

  6. ”I am the expert on my body and my choices” – so simple. We do know how we live every day.

  7. So true Steve, our choices do make a difference. Being willing to listen to our body and respond based on how we are feeling and seeking medical support when needed is part of self-care and our responsibility to ourselves.

  8. And whats great about this way of living that it’s not anti-drugs when it comes to medical conditions, sometimes we need to support the body with medication. But if our lifestyle is being maintained by covering up the ill effects with medication then our choices need reviewing.

  9. Well, it sure seems that you have broken your family cycle of self-abuse via many of life’s potential indulgences, and it is no surprise that you aren’t on the meds like your parents and siblings now, even if they are definitely needed in those cases. I loved the overall feel of self-acceptance and no judgement for your family members while reading this blog, Steve!

  10. It cracked me up that your hospital wondered how you were going and if you had died because they did not hear from you for so long! Probably the last thing they would expect was that you had changed so much that you didn’t put your body on the line anymore. It shows how there is indeed always a choice whatever our past choices have been.

  11. Your mother’s cooking certainly excites the taste buds, perhaps not quite so good for the rest of the body. My mother had a similar repertoire. Its fascinating how unhealthy diets get handed down from generation to generation.

  12. Beautifully written Steve, it shows how much we abuse our own body and yet accept it as normal, when we honour ourselves and treat ourselves with loving care we make it our norm, and the more we do this the more society will see there is something different.

  13. This story just goes to show what a difference we can make to our health and wellbeing when we listen to our body.

  14. This blog is a great example how minor administrative matters can have a devastating impact on our life. It is worth checking these things.

  15. “I have spent years religiously practising preventative maintenance with my car, and not my body.” How many of us do this? Do we expect our body to continue on whatever we put into it, yet regularly service and oil change our car? Since taking more loving care of my own body my health has improved – no surprise really!.

  16. I love coming back to your blog Steve, there is humour in what is a serious message that we as a society don’t look after and care for our bodies as we should, and then wonder why we get many of the illnesses and diseases that plague us as we get older. Our body can only withstand so much before it has to say enough is enough and say stop and ask us to look at the way we are living.

  17. This is such a wonderful and relatable blog and shows how abusing ourselves and living irresponsibly is quite normal and equally how simple and beneficial it is to change all that with just a little bit of love!

  18. Great blog. Whilst our bodies can do all kinds of things when it comes to clearing with illness and disease, our quality of life and vitality is 100% related to our choices.

  19. I too have been making choices that feels right for my body and have been experimenting along the way. What has been super inspiring is Serge and how he has openly shared his lived experiences and having that as a point of reflection that we do have a choice. We can do things differently that are honouring and supportive for our body and being.

  20. ” 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.”
    Well said Steve , yes there is a way of living , that is fun.

    1. The most fun that any of us can truly have is simply from being ourselves in full but most of us aren’t living ourselves in full and so we have to resort to getting drunk, high, adrenaline rushes, hobbies, entertainment and food to have fun.

  21. OMG I love this blog, such a fun read although what you say is awful in many way. Awfully funny, awfully true in its awfulness for many and awe-full in terms of how far a little love can go!

  22. I’ve often reflected on how much more care we will often give to our cars than our own bodies… which is what you very clearly call out in this article Steve. We actually do know what we are doing when we obliterate our bodies – that is the crazy thing.

    1. It’s an interesting analogy and one that is true. We wouldn’t dare put the wrong fuel in our cars. Yet our other vehicle (our body) often not only gets the wrong fuel, but all kinds of other neglect and mistreatment. The car costs us directly when we disregard it but we seem to have accepted the cost of disregarding our bodies.

  23. Your honest, deeply loving and very humbling account of your own and your family’s health leaves undeniable proof of the true and often unrecognised impact of our lifestyle choices. There is no doubt that the way we choose to live has a very significant impact on our health, one that it certainly pays not to ignore.

  24. 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? Such a great and true statement here Steve, and so gorgeous what you have chosen for yourself and your life.

  25. It is rare these days to read a story where the mould of ill health has been broken from that of the family line. Last month I was talking to a lady who had seven close members of her family, and all of them had diabetes. She had the attitude that it was only a matter of time before she was diagnosed with it, so she had resigned herself to getting the same condition as if it was inevitable.

    1. Some people seem to accept family lines and what is hereditary. I’ve wondered if genetics or genetic disposition is what leads to the same conditions, or if it’s the accepting and expectation of a condition combined with the same lifestyle choices that lead to the same conditions. This blog is a great example of breaking a family chain.

  26. ‘You can almost live forever if you have lots of money and great health insurance.’ This made me smile, mainly because it is true… we have used medicine as a prop to get us through life and in the meantime the quality of life is vastly reduced because of this wayward attitude towards our own health.

  27. I’m so glad you decided to share what you have discovered about true health and true living because we all get to feel the results of that super loving choice. Thank-you most graciously Steve.

  28. It is great to break the intergenerational pattern of self destructive choices and offer a reflection of a different way.

  29. Thank you for your sharing Steve. I admire your ability to follow your own way , as opposed to your families path to destruction!

  30. Becoming an expert of your body – now that’s something worth working towards. I can feel the freedom that they can offer you, it is like you become an observer and a scientist all at the same time. ‘Oh ok, when I eat this, I feel this way’, ‘When I go into this emotion, it has this effect on my body’ etc.. etc..etc… When we can observe our bodies like this, we get to know them super well.

    1. It’s a great point Sarah that we can observe the body and how it’s affected and that emotions are a part of this, not just physical things like diet, exercise and sleeping patterns.

  31. ‘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?’ Great question – we are able to bring such care and attention to those things outside of ourselves but at time neglect our own body. Lessons to be observed for us all here.

  32. Great blog Steve, thank you. And perhaps the lightness that comes through your writing is also a part of your wellbeing. It seems to me that not taking life too seriously can be very supportive of our heath too.

  33. Life is a movement, as we all move through life as the earth moves through space and so the very basis of what and how we all live is therefore based on the movements we each make every day and these are what constitute the experiences of our world and these are the foundation of our lives both with each other and with ourselves. So, yes choices are a part of it – of what we have created – but the movement that led to the choice is perhaps far more powerful than is readily imaginable or understood.

  34. Our health is really super simple – make choices every day to look after our body and our well-being. Your example of the different choices you’ve made and the quality of your health is without doubt proof that our health is all in our choices, and our choices are all down to us.

  35. Definitely Steve, it is never too late to step out of a family line and make your own choices and take care of your health just like you would take care of your car or otherwise you don’t want to be in the driverseat. And I am with you in that we are the experts on our bodies and our choices.

    1. Absolutely it’s never too late to make choices and changes regarding our health, and we are 100% experts on our own bodies, meaning we know what is right for us or not at all points in time.

      1. And what is ‘right’ for one person may well be poison for another and what might be ‘right’ for us at a particular time in our lives might be poisonous at another, which is why we need to consult our bodies constantly as to what they need.

  36. Brilliant Steve, your description of your family is so vivid and to me could be any ‘normal’ family you meet. I especially relate to what you say about your Dad and the way some men operate like a closed shop – with habitual activities that keep others away with ‘closed for business’ sign up. When you look at life this way, just changing our diet or the place that we live is never going to solve the predicament we are in – nothing will change till we realise we’re not the rally car we think we are – but a precious diamond, a powerful symbol of God.

  37. A great blog Steve that shows a snap shot of not only your parents’ life and how they progressed into ill health as they got older, but a snap shot of how many people in the world also live their lives, and how little care we really take of our body. This sentence is a great reminder and reflection that if we look after our body as we would our car, we would make different choices to ensure that our body ran smoothly and didn’t need medical intervention later in life “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?

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