A Big Enough Reason

Recovery ButtonMaking a change is hard. Habit, routine, addiction, convenience, or a thousand other reasons keep us doing the same thing over and over again, even if it’s terribly unhealthy. Or dangerous. Or even deadly.

It takes a big enough reason to endure the anxiety, setbacks, difficulty, or even pain that may be involved in making a lifestyle change. Sometimes that reason is positive, where the outcome you desire is enticing enough to work hard for. Sometimes that reason is negative, where the pain of remaining where you are is big enough to force a change.

We usually respond better to positive reasons for change. But when severe enough, sometimes a negative reason will do.

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Food for the Soul: Learning to Feed Yourself

Food for the Soul: Learning to Feed Yourself

Child Eating FruitWe get hungry! And it starts from the day we’re born.

A newborn baby needs to be fed every 2-3 hours. They are completely dependent on others for the timing, quantity, and quality of the food they receive.

Later a child learns to get food into their mouth if it’s provided. With time food preferences develop, and we have an increasing control over how much food, what kind of food, and when we eat. Eventually everything about what we eat is our own choice.

Some people take feeding themselves to an even higher level. An elite athlete, for example, pays great attention to every detail of what they eat for the purpose of functioning at their maximum performance capacity. They may have a nutrition coach. Their eating is with a purpose.

Food for the soul is just like that.

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Doctor, Doctor: The Hope Factor

Happy GirlWe all hope for something.

At least I HOPE you hope for something. The loss of hope is dangerous – of course mentally, but also physically. Hope is an especially powerful force for good in our health.

Science has been able to demonstrate the very real biologic effects of hope. Believing and expecting that something good can happen, for example, can block physical pain. With even a little bit of hope the brain releases endorphins and enkephalins – substances that act like morphine in eliminating pain and providing a sense of well-being. The pain lessens a little, which increases hope that the pain may lessen even more. It creates a positive cycle leading to healing.

Hope can also change the function of the autonomic nervous system, which controls many physical functions that we don’t usually think about, such as heart rate, gastrointestinal function, and our level of tension or relaxation. It can alter the chemical function of portions of the brain.

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A Baby: God’s Opinion That the World Should Go On

Baby SleepingAs an OB-Gyn physician I’ve seen it many many times. A brand new baby comes into the world, takes that first cry, and begins the long journey of life with its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and more than a little uncertainty.

But today you’ll have to excuse a few of my personal musings. This morning the youngest grandchild in our family entered the world much earlier than planned, but alive and well. She has her mother’s checks, and all ten fingers and ten toes. Mommy and daddy are already exhausted, but thrilled that Madelyn is here. And Poppa and Grandma Carol are proud!

If you are a parent or grandparent perhaps you can remember the soft feel of a baby’s skin, their unique smell, the silkiness of their baby hair, the feel of tiny fingers wrapping around your finger – and your heart.

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All’s Fair in Love and War?

Helen of TroyThat cliche “All’s fair in love and war” brings up thoughts of intrigue and deception, giving the impression that no one can be trusted in such emotionally charged situations.

I’m not sure that’s a reasonable conclusion all the time, but it certainly too often rings true. Yes, we will do just about anything for love. (I don’t know as much about war, at least not in the “usual” sense.) I know some of the things I did “for love” when Al and I were getting to know each other. Pretty crazy when I think about it now.

If you had to think of a picture illustrating love, what would you choose?

  • A mother nurturing her baby?
  • A young man on one knee asking his lady for her hand?
  • Feelings of well-being while in your loved one’s embrace?
  • Jesus holding out his hand, saying, “I forgive you”?
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