What Do You Expect Part 2: The Unexpected

Soothing ImageRobert Inesta, DC, L.Ac, CCSP

Although it was not my intention to write a sequel to my article, What Do You Expect, I was inspired by the feedback and very interesting comments of a friend and patient (who I’ll refer to as Julie) who had recently read it. I felt it required a follow up and further exploration of the concept.

Julie said that she did always expect to be healthy, as she always tried to make the right decisions and take the right steps to take care of herself. She led a very healthy and balanced life-style, and therefore rightfully expected results consistent with this.

Despite this healthy lifestyle Julie so proactively maintained, she was recently diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, this was a shock.

In her response to the article, Julie said that although she expected good health based on her lifestyle, she felt that possible genetic factors and the unhealthy environment in which we live probably led to this “curve-ball” that life threw at her. As I was upset to learn about her diagnosis and the obstacles that she would face to overcome it, I was also very inspired by her perspective. It is a true testament to a healthy mindset.

The reality of our world is that no matter what we do, there will always be things that will be out of our control. As Julie accurately stated, an unhealthy environment and genetic factors can have massive effects on our lives and our health. It is important to note that unhealthy environment includes not only physical toxins, but mental/emotional toxins as well. Just turn on the news briefly for an example of mental/emotional toxins.

We hear stories every day about bad things happening to people that were out of their control – people walking down a particular path, for example, toward good health, only to be blindsided by a serious injury or diagnosis of disease. It is easy to be discouraged and to think, what’s the point of working toward a particular outcome if bad things can happen anyway that throw us off course? What’s the point of putting the time, effort, money etc. into improving ourselves, educating ourselves, if we cannot truly control our outcomes?

This, to me, is all the more reason to take the steps and continue on the path toward a better state of health and being, because if we control the things we can control, we can better manage the things we can’t control. Storms are inevitable, but a healthy and strong foundation will make it easier to navigate our way through.

The cure rate for the type of cancer Julie was diagnosed with is high, but as her doctors learned of her self care practices and lifestyle, the cure rate rose significantly higher. Julie said, “Doctors told me that because I was proactive about my health, maintaining a healthy diet and weight, exercising and receiving body work, my prognosis was so much better.” The things she did have control over helped her to handle what she did not have control over.

I believe there is a reason for everything. It is the lens through which we choose to perceive the situation, though, that determines this reason. A great quote by Jim Rohn I think beautify and simply sums it up:

“It is not the blowing of the wind that determines our destination, it’s the set of the sail.”

I’ll also add that if there’s no wind, then row!

Life is an amazing journey full of mysteries. Perhaps no matter how well we are doing, how straight we are walking the path, maybe there is a serious lesson that we still need to learn or that we missed somewhere along the way. Maybe then life decides to hand it to us on a silver platter in the form some unexpected hardship or obstacle. Perhaps these lessons force us to look deeply into ourselves, deeper than we could have ever imagined, to really find out who we are. Perhaps they allow us to understand things on a completely different level and to contribute to the world in ways we could have never dreamed of.

Perhaps what we think is the right expected outcome is not really the outcome that we actually need, and being able to let go of the attachment to that desired outcome allows us to make room for what we really do need.

Dr. Robert Inesta