I’m grateful for good health, in general; for not having any major physical health issues that prevent me from doing things I want to do, and for not having any mental health issues that seize control of my life and all its moments– happy and horrible, soaring and aching, mundane and significant– in their true, raw, honest form.
Basically, I have never had anything that “can’t be fixed” or that would steal from me options and choices for more than a few days, months or a year or so (as severe depression has in the recent past). Nothing requiring lifelong or long-term medication or aids to movement, or a regular check on my perception of reality, which must be a terribly frightening, floating sort of experience.
Without health, our choices and ability to contribute and receive are cut. It is the priority that must come first. One could argue the chicken-or-egg question, in that if you have lots of money, you could buy health (I say this because at Chinese New Year, the first greeting tends to refer to prosperity, and I have always found this very disconcerting). But, realistically, you could be wealthy and so stressed out you give yourself cancer, IBS, anxiety attacks, depression, and so on; you could eat expensive food and still be malnourished. You could have a brilliant or exciting career but work yourself into the grave (the Japanese have a word for that. Karōshi, I believe it is; and arbeit certainly doesn’t macht frei no matter how good the pay is). I have experienced all of this firsthand. Hardly surprising for a recovering perfectionist. No, health needs to come first.
We don’t all get that privilege, of course. We are not all born robust and healthy, we have different susceptibilities. And yet those of us who are generally healthy take that for granted, push our bodies above their limits, worry and whine over imperfections in an otherwise fully-functioning miracle that has its own in-built intelligence. There’s that negative bias in action again!
I’m grateful for good health and the chance to experience life in a healthy body.