(just for clarity again, I’m referring to the tallest finger that stands right in the middle alongside all of our other fingers)
I’m hoping this doesn’t happen often to you, and assuming that you wouldn’t dream of doing that to anyone else either, but if someone has ever stuck their ‘middle finger’ up at you – how did it make you feel?
Or, have you ever noticed how…Trying to bend our middle finger (in towards the palm of the hand whilst keeping the actual finger straight) impacts on adjacent fingers and causes them to bend too?Or how your fists clench when you are angry?Or if you sit with your palms facing up it is much harder to be cross with someone?
If you’ve ever noticed any of these, you’ll probably appreciate that we are affected by others and that we ourselves are connected.
Noticing we are connected is all well and good, but what does it have to do with our health and wellbeing?
Being connected means that if we focus excessively on one aspect of our mind-body or soul, it can be at the expense of another.
Taking even the healthiest of behaviours to the extreme could leave us vulnerable to becoming obsessed or addicted by the behaviour itself, or can even set us up for failure. For example, focusing excessively on eating only healthy foods, could end up compromising our ability to be flexible, cope with circumstances where we have no control, and negatively affect our sanity or emotional wellbeing.
If your January intentions are not quite working out as you had hoped or thought, do you see it as a failure or a reason to give up? If so, why not try and be compassionate with yourself, because you’ll probably find yourself in a better position to keep going or try again if you do.
If on the other hand, you live the rest of the week condemning yourself, or just giving up, you are much more likely to find yourself reverting right back to the comfort habits you were probably trying to change in the first place.
Something we use as a rule of thumb on our Intentional Health community programme, is to ask ourselves
“how might we help a friend through a similar situation”?
So in referring back to our handful of ways this week – try and avoid any extreme thinking, especially the kind of exclusive “middle finger” extreme thinking that leads us to offend others!
Instead remember that we are whole person beings, designed to be in relationships, standing alongside others but each also interconnected and amazingly created, and that every part of our health and wellbeing benefits from being given a ‘manicure’ of grace and compassion once in a while!