Trying to understand the relationship between body, soul and spirit is a major challenge. The difficulty is magnified by the fact that each person is unique. Thus any observations only relate to the people observed.

When I was on dialysis I soon realised what I thought was a standard process for everyone was, in fact, different for everyone. Eventually, I learned to tweak my sessions. Combined with a change by doctors to decrease my fluid removal, my severe cramp episodes in the small hours following dialysis eventually ceased to be a major issue. I was highly motivated to drive these changes.

Many seemed to just accept the "standard" treatment they were offered, and I wondered if their outcomes might have been improved as mine were. The medical staff were wonderful caring people. None of us enjoyed seeing one lady who invariably had severe cramp during her sessions. Hooked up to a machine, she couldn't really move, so two staff would adjust the settings and massage her legs, but the whole thing was unpleasant for all of us.

When bones are broken I thought that was at least clear-cut - but not always. So even the obvious can be less than obvious. When you factor in the many things we can't see (even with imaging), it requires observation. For example, I always thought watching weight (something I never had to do before my new kidney) was simply balancing input (diet) and output (exercise). Obviously, the way my kidney works made a difference. I've also found that our gut bacteria also makes a difference.

When it comes to the mind we can't see. Scans can show signs of activity - I've just seen them talking about a new area of brain activity they hadn't known about, claiming it's unique to humans. But what goes on in minds is a whole unseen area. After seeing a neuropsychologist I realised I had been doing it all wrong. Adding "rests" (lying still in a darkened room) after lunch extended the usefulness of my mind even later in most evenings. Trying to maximise my brains use until it petered out just meant it took longer to recover.

I've also found Lumosity (5-10 minutes a day) builds up mental skills. This wasn't recommended by the neuropsychologist, but I find it useful.

Our minds are amazing things. Since I have been having an afternoon rest, I sometimes feel the "brooms" sweeping up after the chaos. Quite often when I can't "get" something, it will become clearer after a rest - or it might take a bit longer. So never give up. If someone you know thinks differently from you, it's quite likely your different backgrounds and personalities are the prime cause. You generally won't change views instantly - usually, your vision will expand over time. Meantime enjoy the journey together.

As for the spirit - what can I say? I went to Sunday School with my Mum until I was old enough to say no. Ironically I overheard Mum and Dad when I went home to tell them I'd become a Christian. Don't panic, it's just a phase. On the one hand that made me more determined than ever to stay with it. On the other, there was (only seen lately) an element of wisdom there.

I'm grateful for the guys who gave me a temporary flat where I found out some people still took the Bible seriously, leading me to become a Christian. I'm still in touch with a key guy. But it's only in the last few years I've discovered what it means to have a relationship with God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I'd already moved from church to house church - but I now know people in house churches can be just as religious as people in churches, and people in churches can have a relationship with God that is just as real as people in house churches.

We all muck it up at times - especially when we try to do it on our own. But just as in our human relationships, the key is communication. Talking about anything and everything is the start. I've had talks about sport, politics, community, media and so on. Perhaps the most amazing thing for me was when I couldn't do an accounting job for three weeks. I eventually said to God something was wrong. When He suggested I try something different I was dubious (a bit like Peter fishing on the other side of the boat). But when it worked I was astounded - God had shown me "the way" to do accounts.

When I tried the next one that way - and failed, that when I really laughed. God wasn't showing me how to do accounting - I already knew that. He was showing me that even in what I know best, it goes better when He's involved. He really does love us and wants the best for each and all of us.

That's why I eventually fell in love with "The Shack". It shows one person's journey to accepting the reality of this truth.

The way I started talking with God was hearing about it, then being told to have my own conversation there and then - in the middle of a large group. We had no way out, so reluctantly tried. I was astounded at what came back and the brief conversation that followed. Now I don't need to do it in writing - God is always talking to and about us. But it's still much easier in writing. If it's not written, a key question is "Did God really say ..." and that isn't helpful.

Of course, since conversation chiefly consists of thoughts, we could confuse our own thoughts, or thoughts of the enemy (they're always out for our harm). We need God's protection. But He wants to talk with us (as in a real conversation) much more than we want to talk with Him.

When it's new, the tip to start a conversation is just type whatever's on your mind. Then don't stop and wait. Start typing God's response. If you ended with "what should I do", you might start typing "In this situation ..." and whatever comes to mind.

Now in my first time, it was clearly not my ideas, and definitely not the enemy's, but if you're unsure (as I have since experienced - more than once) just keep on asking.

Yes, you might get it wrong at times - but you'll get it terribly wrong far more often if you don't talk with God about everything. Answers almost certainly won't be as from a drill sergeant. (I often find myself pushing for more detail - but He really does want us to work things out WITH Him.) God wants us to live our lives to the fullest extent possible. Yes, He could send you to Zimbabwe (just to pick a place at the end of the alphabet), but most likely he wants you to become the most you are capable of right where you are.