In my last post, I discussed the idea that we can best deal with difficult life circumstances holistically. Today I want to make this as practical as I can. So the task at hand for you today is to use your fingers as a diagnostic and prognostic tool. Use this handy five-finger exercise regularly. For each one give yourself a score from 1 to 5, 1 being “totally missing,” that is, you are ignoring this aspect of your health, and 5 being “hitting on all cylinders,” that is you are doing great (not perfect) at this aspect.
- (Index Finger) How is my physical health? (Be sure you point at yourself, not others, throughout this assessment.) This of course is the most fundamental thing (everything else takes place in relation to your physical self). Am I testing? Am I eating right? Am I exercising? Don’t forget that the other components seriously affect this one.
- (Middle Finger) How are my emotions? Am I feeling mad? Sad? Afraid? Joyful? Trusting? Sometimes this finger can get us into the biggest trouble. When life doesn’t go as we would like it to, we feel like giving this finger to everyone around us, and to ourselves, and even to God. But remember, your emotions are not in control! Emotions are pulled along the tracks by the engine of your mind. (That’s important.)
- (Ring Finger) How am I doing mentally? Perhaps I need to change the way I think, which has an effect not only on my emotions but everything else. As you evaluate your overall health, use this finger to consider your commitment to your health in each of the other areas. Put a ring on it.
- (Little Finger) Do I have healthy relationships—good friends and close family who support and encourage me and provide me some accountability? Don’t discount the little finger because it’s “little.” I’ve injured my little finger several times and I found it difficult to do much at all with my hands. It’s the same with your relationships. Positive, healthy relationships help you deal better with things emotionally, mentally, physically, and yes, even spiritually. Do you have a little group who will do that with you?
- (The Thumb) How is my spiritual life? Regardless of what your spiritual life consists of, this component has a substantial, perhaps even supreme, impact on everything else. I believe what the New Testament says about this one: that if I put this one first, all the other things line up as well (see Matthew 6:33). As I mentioned in my previous post, you can hold on for a short while with your four other fingers–that is, with your own power–but without the thumb, a higher power, you will eventually lose your grip.
I’m writing this blog because I hope to help people with all five of these vital components of life. Please follow my blog (either at the top or bottom of your screen) to keep up with my posts. I’ll touch on each of these “fingers” in other posts.
Hold on tight!