Is Someone Else In Charge Of Your Health?

Is Someone Else In Charge Of Your Health?

HallwayPerhaps you’re like many of those I talk with. You feel powerless. Stuck. Sick and tired of being sick and tired.

And it seems that no one cares.

Well, you’re right! NOBODY CARES that you’re tired, sick, powerless, and stuck. At least nobody else on earth. Not really. Not enough to really make a difference. Not the kind of difference that will make you healthy and strong.

Nobody really cares that much about your wellbeing:

  • Not your doctor
  • Not your pharmacist
  • Not the hospital
  • Not the government
  • Not your health insurance company
  • Not your employer

Your doctor really does have your best interest at heart (I know; I am one!), but she can’t be with you every day. The government tries to institute policy that improves public health, but they don’t know anything at all about you. Your health insurance company is making decisions based on profit, and those decisions may or may not be good for your health.

And when it comes down to it, do you really want to leave your health in the hands of someone else? Anyone else? Certainly not some impersonal monstrous corporation, someone who may have competing interests, or some person or committee that may be thinking about thousands – or millions – of people instead of you!

Here’s the cold hard truth: No one cares about you and your health more than you do!

But that’s really wonderful news. You don’t have to leave your health – or your healthcare – up to anyone else!

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How God Deals With the Consequences of Bad Behavior

How God Deals With the Consequences of Bad Behavior

HopelessIn this world we all face bad stuff. Sometimes others wound you, and those scars are painful. But what can be even more painful is when you face the consequences of your own bad behavior, your “wrong choices.” How does God deal with you then?

I think we all face things like this:

  • Over years of unhealthy living you became seriously overweight
  • You’re struggling with infertility because of an STD you contracted during an unwise “hookup”
  • After smoking for a long time you developed lung disease
  • The credit card debt you racked up buying unnecessary “stuff” is making you physically ill
  • You had an affair, and now your marriage is on life support

Sure, you could rationalize. Most of us do for a long time. And there are plenty of excuses you could come up with that would actually be quite true:

  • Your parents were fat, plus they never taught you how to eat healthy.
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How to Disinfect Your Shame

How to Disinfect Your Shame

We are all wounded. Life happens to us. People hurt us. And we hurt ourselves. But when the infection of shame sets in the pain of those wounds can become unbearable and permanent.

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to function so well after even serious trauma, while others who suffered the same indignity seem permanently paralyzed? Wounds such as child abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, marital infidelity, business failure, abortion, or addiction are painful. Always. But some people overcome them, heal from the wounds, and move on. Others seem stuck as though the wound happened just yesterday.

The difference is shame. Healing doesn’t happen once shame infects those wounds.

As a physician I sometimes must treat a patient whose surgical wound has become infected. Those wounds are incredibly painful, and they won’t heal until the infection is eliminated.

Shame is like that infection. And you’ll only heal from the wounds others have caused you and that you’ve caused yourself when you bring your shame into the light.                  Tweet that.

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Why Do Some People Beat the Odds?

Why Do Some People Beat the Odds?

Why do some people beat the odds and others don’t?

Some people remain stuck. Their addictions are just as strong as ever. Their life is defined by loneliness, anxiety, anger, or fear. Their traumatic childhood continues to dictate their emotions and behavior decades later. Their unhealthy lifestyle and the diseases it leads to catches up with them, while they continue to live the same way. They may die young, miserable, and lonely. They may get older, but nothing else changes.

Other people overcome tremendous obstacles. They beat their addiction and live clean and sober for the rest of their lives. They leave their fear, anger, PTSD, and self-destructive behaviors in the past. They quit smoking or lose 100 pounds or otherwise make dramatic lifestyle changes and realize the benefits. They stop relying on violence, control, or illegal activities. They grab poverty by the horns and make something of themselves, and then help others. They forge strong connections with other people and experience loving friends and family. The trajectory of their life changes in ways that make their future entirely different.

What makes the difference? Why do some people remain stuck even while continuing to pray “God, help me!” repeatedly? Why secret magic ingredient do other people have that allows them to get better in spite of the odds against them?

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What’s GOOD About Shame?

What’s GOOD About Shame?

Can there ever be anything good about shame?

You may have heard it a lot: “You ought to be ashamed of yourself!” Perhaps you felt a knife in your own soul when a parent, teacher, or coach said it to you. Perhaps you watched a sibling or friend wither under such a putdown. Or perhaps you caught yourself saying it to your own child or someone else close to you.

And the truth of it is, that’s right! Each one of us ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We’ve done things, said things, and failed to take action in ways that have harmed ourselves and others. If we were to feel the full weight of our shame we would be crushed. And some of us are.

Human beings hate shame. Throughout the years people have devised all kinds of ways to deal with shame. Religious penance or the doing of good deeds doesn’t address the inner shame, however, even though they try to. Whole movements have developed over trying to get rid of our shame about things such as sexuality or body weight. (Wasn’t that the underlying issue in the “sexual revolution?”)

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