By Brian Dean

We all make choices. What should I have for lunch? What do I want to watch tonight? What do I want to do this weekend? We make big choices. What do I want as a career? What car should I buy? We make little choices. What do I want in my coffee? What should I buy at the grocery.

We do this all the time. Sometimes when making little choices, we are actually making big choices, and we are simply not aware of it. And this is no truer than with our health. How many of us put off dealing with problems only to have those problems develop into something worse, something bad enough to make us seek help?

Many of us need to lose weight. We know we need to, say we need to. But what are we doing other than talking about it? In most cases… nothing. We sit down to dinner and as we eat, we make choices. The chicken was really good. I’d really like another piece. Do we need it? No. Do we want it? Yes. 

Now, that doesn’t seem like much. And it is a small decision. But that small decision affects us in the long run. We overeat, even that one piece, then we don’t lose any weight. We don’t exercise, or exercise enough. So we go on as we are.

The problem with doing that is what we are doing to our bodies. The strain on our hearts that the extra weight causes, not to mention the pain in our joints, muscle issues, and a whole wealth of other issues could ensue, like diabetes. Eventually, these problems will build up until we are living much less of a life than we could have lived, or shortened the time we have here. So while it seems like we are making a small choice, we are really making a big choice on our long term health, and yes there is that choice there. It does not seem like it, but by not changing, we are making a choice about our future. 

Years ago, I was told that I could live to be real old, and the genetics in my family suggests that could be true. I was told that if I did not get myself under control, my later years could be very miserable. I see it now when I move, or try to get up after getting down on the floor. I also see it in my joints, and back. (And I also see that what I write is just as important to me as it is to others.) I remember my father who spent his last years in a wheel chair, getting weaker by the day until he passed at 93. This is not what I want for me.

So we make the choice to change, and in doing so, we give up some things. We change our habits. We eat things that are better for us. We eat less. We create new habits. 

The same is true for cancer patients. No matter what type of treatment one chooses (conventional or holistic), many of the same things are true. With cancer, one needs to change their habits. One of the keys is to drastically change their eating habits. One needs to change the alkalinity of their bodies to create a place that cancer does not want to live. That means giving up things like sugar. 
So every time someone with cancer makes the small decision that they want to eat what they like instead of things that are better for them, they are making a big, long term choice about their life. 

But the bottom line comes down to the fact that we are truly responsible for our own health, our own healing. Too many people go to people like me and say, “Fix me.” We do what we can, but the ultimate choice to heal comes to each individual. Are they going to take the pills they were prescribed, or do the exercises that will keep them looser, or change their eating habits? As a healer, we may work magic, but even magic has its limits. Without follow up support, the magic eventually runs out.

And this is true for caregivers as well, if not more so. Caregivers give so much of themselves to the people they care for, clients, family, friends, that they leave little time for selfcare. Eventually, the caregiver breaks down to the point that they can not help anyone. 

But one of the hardest parts about being a caregiver is when the people you are caring for will not help themselves, and this is true for the person that does not do the exercises they were given, to the cancer patient that only wants to eat what they like. No matter what you do for them, no matter how much you as a caregiver care, the people you care for will make their own choices, good or bad. And yes, those small choices are actually big choices, and you as a caregiver can not force them to do differently. And here, acceptance is a choice.
So, what choices, small or big, are you going to make today?