“You are coming with us, whether you like it or not, so you may as well enjoy it.”
That’s what my mother said to me while I was sitting in the back of the car with my 2 older sisters. I was about 10yo sitting in the middle, hot, bothered and with my arms crossed and didn’t want to go on the stupid trip to some farm in the middle of hicksville Victoria. But that statement is probably the single most important lesson I got from my Mum. I am in this life whether I like it or not, so I may as well enjoy it. Actually you can put anything down in the beginning of this statement and it works, “I am doing ________ whether I like it or not, so I may as well enjoy it”
My Mum, Janet Lovett, died in 2006 from Mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, she was only 69. Her goal was to become a centenarian, and she lived the healthy holistic life, at 68 everyone believed she would make it to a hundred easily. Her death was a mystery to me, because not everyone that is exposed to a carcinogen dies from it, so there must be something else? This simple question led me on a quest. Since I was a film maker, I decided to make the documentary. It was also good therapy for me.
I interviewed experts in the field of cancer, health and nutrition and they referred to lifestyle, genetic predisposition and luck. Luck? It just didn’t seem a very scientific cause to me. It’s most likely I had the same exposure to a carcinogen as my Mum and I led a very similar lifestyle, I thought there just had to be something else. The biggest insights came when I interviewed all the family; her siblings, Dad and my sister Cyndi. Even though my questioning wasn’t going in this direction, they all said the same thing about Mum, that I hadn’t realised before. Mum had an ability to keep a stiff upper lip during great loss. Mum was for the most part an emotional woman, and expressed those emotions freely, showing excitement, or anger, or joy. However, she buried grief. I learned from research at John Hopkins Medical Centre, Balitmore and Kings Medical Centre, London that if you suffer a loss (marriage split up or death of a loved one) and correspondingly don’t deal with that loss you have the same chance of getting a lung related cancer as a smoker. It’s believed by most holistic health practitioners that unresolved emotional issues are the root of our problems.
I am now on a mission to explore the emotional-physical health relationship, and not just as a technique to cure, but what can be done to cultivate healthy emotions and hence live a long and healthy life. Simply being mindful of my emotions seems to be a step in the right direction, but there is still so much more to learn. It’s not about living forever, it’s about getting the most out of every day I am alive, because I am in this life whether I like it or not, so I may as well be fit to enjoy it.
PS My film “What ate my Mum? And will it eat me?” is really the back story into my motivation of exploring emotional health. The sooner this film is a success, the sooner I can get filming the follow up. The DVD of the film can be also purchased through Changing Habits, my sister Cyndi O’Meara’s website.