One of the things I’ve noticed about those in the natural health world is that often proponents of holistic living tend to be big on fear. They talk about how you are going to get cancer from all the things that surround you, lecture you on whether or not you eat organic and generally keep throwing things in your face about how you are doing it wrong. I don’t find any of that incredibly motivating.
I started looking at natural living stuff because of this fear in the beginning, but that has not been the motivation behind maintaining it. I realize that this lifestyle is something I’ve decided I will do the best I can and that will be good enough for me. If I am to cut out all things that might give me cancer, I will have to live in a bubble.
However, there are a few things I can do that will help lessen my family’s exposure to some of the carcinogens, and that is worth it to me. My husband is a firefighter who is on the Hazardous Materials Team at his department. Firefighters are already at a much higher risk for cancer than the average person, and the additional exposure he has by being on that team makes it even worse. I will not let the fear of the “what-if” dictate our lives, but I can do a few things at home to help lessen the carcinogenic exposure for him.
I also want to keep my kids on as natural a track as possible, and this has incredible benefits. We generally visit the doctor once per year for their annual checkup, and that’s it. My oldest is in public school and exposed to all the usual things, but he doesn’t get sick very often. My youngest gets sick more often than her brother, but she gets over illnesses much more quickly than most kids.
I attribute this to attempts at limiting the destruction of helpful bacteria (no hand sanitizer at my house), focus on unprocessed food to aid in good digestion (many say health begins in the gut), addition of helpful vitamins and minerals (daily multivitamin and probiotic), use of immune-boosters to prevent sickness (elderberry syrup is our go-to when we feel like we are getting something) and focus on natural cleaning and home products.
Now, that said, my kids still get sick and they still could get cancer. I hate it when parents with sick kids feel that they are to blame—we already beat ourselves up enough as parents, right? My hope is that in trying some of these things, I’ll give them the best chance of avoiding some of the hard illnesses, and the rest I leave with God.
So, why not give some of the natural living a shot without participating in the fear-mongering? It frees you up to sometimes do dinner out of a box, to sometimes buy a cleaning product instead of making it and to sometimes use Advil. And this makes me much more likely to stick with all the other things I’m doing to help because the standard isn’t impossible!