My Dad Taught 360 Wellness Without Even Realizing It

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Hope everyone had a great Father’s Day!

As I reflected today on the top things that pop into my mind when thinking about what I learned from my dad, it amazed me how many of them relate to wellness. As you’ve probably heard me mention before, wellness is about SO much more than just knowing about healthy foods and incorporating a little movement into your life.

So much more! Pretty much everything we do or don’t do has an impact on our physical, emotional, and/or spiritual wellness.

Some of the top lessons from my dad:

Faith:  Back as far as I can remember, I knew about my dad’s strong faith in God. He loved Jesus. There was also never a question about what we were doing on Sunday mornings.

This lesson about faith became a foundation throughout my life, in the great times and in times that were quite challenging. A ROCK. An anchor.

Definitely an important aspect of overall wellness — 360-degree wellness.

Integrity:  My dad always said, “Don’t EVER take anything that isn’t yours without asking.” He reinforced this even in our own home.

He’d say, “Not even a stick of gum from the drawer in the kitchen or some change from my pile on the counter. If you ask me, I’ll gladly give it to you. But don’t just take it. That’s not the right thing to do anywhere.”

As a teenager and when I got a part-time job, he told me that when people waste time when they’re supposed to be working, it’s really like stealing from your employer.

Lack of integrity definitely messes with our overall wellness. Whether it’s stealing, lying, or other forms of integrity challenges, it eats away at our overall sense of wellness.

Work Ethic:  Another thing I never questioned was my dad’s strong work ethic. He worked hard to provide for our family and rarely missed a day of work for sickness or any other reason.

He used to say, “If you don’t work, you shouldn’t expect to eat.” Harsh? Maybe. But I’m so thankful for his example.

My dad also did some part-time business ventures over the years to bring in extra cash, no doubt planting an entrepreneurial seed that would sprout later in my own life.

Take a look at people who have overall wellness. Quite often they are people who work — who serve — who provide value — who make a difference. Whether it’s in a paid position, work for one’s own family, or in volunteer work, they feel better because they have a solid work ethic.

Respect:  Another thing my dad emphasized was having respect for other people — including our elders, but others as well.

No doubt about it that when we respect others, it affects our emotional wellness. What is really meant as a benefit for someone else, is a benefit for us as well.

Drinking Alcohol Responsibly:  My dad had a drinking problem. You could probably say he was an alcoholic.

There were some embarrassing times when friends were over. There were things I saw and heard that kids shouldn’t have to see or hear. Nothing that scarred me for life, and my mom did an unbelievable job of protecting us from any significant fallout. There were times we waited and waited for him to come home after work. And there were some falls, and at least one car accident (the one coming to mind involved a ravine).  Some scary times.

There was enough “stuff” to make a huge impact, and it was actually a major blessing in my life.  One thing I knew from the time I was a pre-teen was that I would NEVER want to become an alcoholic, and I’d never want to be married to one. I thank God He has protected us from falling into that lifestyle.

Most people’s body and mind can handle a glass of wine here & there or other cocktails occasionally, but there are many ways in which excessive alcohol doesn’t contribute to overall wellness. So thankful for this lesson from my dad.

The other meaningful lesson I learned from this is that we can still have a massive amount of love for someone, despite their imperfections. I hope my kids and husband have learned that lesson somehow, too, because perfect I am not. 🙂

What are the top things you learned from your dad or other father figure in your life? Please comment if you’re able to share with us!

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