Doctor, Doctor: Bitterness and Unforgiveness

Doctor, Doctor: Bitterness and Unforgiveness

Bitterness and unforgiveness doesn’t pay. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

OK, pretty graphic. And I can’t take credit for coming up with that analogy. But that’s exactly what bitterness and unforgiveness does. It’s terribly toxic physically, not to mention emotionally and spiritually.

It does no good to say, “It’s OK. It doesn’t matter.” It does matter, and that’s the very reason forgiveness is so important – and so difficult.

Some fascinating research has found some very physical effects of unforgiveness. (And by the way, this research has been done by psychologists and medical doctors at major universities.) Here’s a sample:

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5 Tips For Growing Up

5 Tips For Growing Up

Growing up is a process. Have you ever grown up in some significant way when everything was easy?

Probably not.

There’s the cliché that says, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I don’t believe that’s always true. Sometimes trauma can stunt our growth: child abuse, rape, severe poverty, and others. There are probably many variables that determine how one responds: genetics, time, age, support, personality, and much more.

I DO know that the times when I’ve grown the most have definitely been some of the most difficult. That doesn’t mean to say I’ve grown from every problem! But if I hadn’t had real almost-overwhelming challenges at times I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Sometimes I feel like Einstein when a fire destroyed much of his work. Far from feeling devastated, he is reported to have said, “Now we can start over!”

So what can we do to turn a problem, a tragedy, a loss, a trauma into a growth experience? These tips can help make the difference in growing up.

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Growing Up Is Hard To Do

MadelynOur little granddaughter is a month old. Is there anything more precious? We’re told Madelyn will be the last one, so we as her grandparents treasure each moment just a little bit more. We know this will be the last opportunity to stroke such silky hair, to grasp such tiny fingers, and to hold such a tiny life in our arms – at least in the Tanksley family.

A newborn baby is a full-time job. Mommy and Daddy do it gladly – at least most of the time! But their biggest job is working themselves out of a job, helping her grow to become thoughtful, loving, wise – and independent.

Growing up emotionally, relationally, and spiritually is often harder than growing up physically. We pick up fears from the people around us. Something painful happens and we pull back inside and hide. The people who should be there for us somehow let us down, and we stop growing.

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7 Things to Check when Not Feeling Good

7 Things to Check when Not Feeling Good

Girl Feeling SickI’m feeling good today. Things are wonderful. Body, mind, and soul are doing well.

But there are certainly days when I don’t feel good. Something’s definitely off. Occasionally it’s immediately obvious what’s wrong, but other times it’s frustrating to just feel bad and not be sure why.

Part of maturity is coming to know oneself well enough to recognize warning signs, and to do something about them before things deteriorate further.

We can’t expect to feel good every day. That’s just life. There are certainly things outside our control that we do well to just “let go.” Some of those things directly affect us.

But I’ve also learned that some things predictably lead to a “bad day.” And if I do something about it, things will look different very soon.

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Hot Flashes, Power Surges, Grey Hair – and Wisdom

Hot Flashes, Power Surges, Grey Hair – and Wisdom

Grey Haired WomanI’m getting old!

That’s a very subjective statement. I don’t feel old. And I do subscribe to the adage “You’re only as old as you feel.” So I guess I’m not really old. But passing middle age still feels uncomfortable.

But more than half a century has passed since I first came on the scene. It’s almost certain there are fewer pages left to write than have already been written, at least as far as simple years is concerned. Rather than scheduling vaccinations or PTA meetings, I’m now getting to enjoy grandchildren – and then send them home. Seniority has its benefits!

As a gynecologist I speak with many middle-aged women about very personal things. Passing through the menopause transition is sometimes very emotionally challenging. Although freedom from the risks of pregnancy is usually a welcome change, issues of body image, desirability, mental and physical health, and multiple life pressures are difficult for many of them to manage.

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