Each day, as mere mortals, we have decisions to make. Choices surround us 24 hours a day. Ever since Adam invented the word “nag,” and Eve baked her first apple pie, mankind has had the ability to make a choice. We are assaulted by choices even when we’re asleep. For instance, during the night, are we cold, are we hot, do we get up to urinate or is it worth the effort? Do we feel enough pain to check the clock and see if it’s time for a pain pill or perhaps, a muscle relaxant? Does that mean we have to get up or did we plan ahead and put some water or juice at the bedside, trying to avoid that long, long hobbling walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night? When we try to get back to sleep, we wonder about life, decide we need a new mattress, or in my case, think of ways to get my spouse to stop snoring. I hate to bother the poor, tired man so I try not to wake him but I have found he will stop snoring if I pick up our pup and put him next to his head. Puppy kisses are a pleasant way to awaken, right? At least it isn’t a brick, a pillow or anything dangerous. Each of us makes decisions night and day. Some are small and others encompass our entire lives.
We are constantly assailed by the need to choose, decide, pick and hopefully to dream new dreams. Life hasn’t turned out as we planned. It never does. Around each corner life offers a surprise; it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad surprise. Just because we feel like the Hunchback of Notre Dame doesn’t mean we have to allow ourselves to totally “lose it” like that poor fellow; although it always amazes me that he can swing so well from the bell towers with all of his deformities. I had to stop climbing bell towers ages ago. I wouldn’t even feel safe on the “monkey bars” in the local park playground but they do sound more appropriate for me on certain days.
We constantly need to decide if we have found the best doctor for our particular problems. For any of you without a medical background it does take a bit more research to know the answer to that particular question. Even though I’ve been a nurse for many years, married to a nurse and given birth to one, I still find it confusing. I’ve known nurses and doctors to choose their own medical care based on the personality of the physician. How important is that to you? Nobody wants to receive medical care from a jerk but our measure of care should be how they make us feel. Do they do their job adequately and with fervor? Do we get better, do we get relief and do they listen to us? In other words, is your doctor smart, well-practiced in his or her field and compassionate? Those are my personal standards. Over the years I’ve worked with two doctors in hospitals who were rewarded the title, “Doctor Yum.” Certainly, a handsome or beautiful doctor makes for a pleasant office visit but it’s hardly fulfilling his/her vocational purpose in life. You need help, not indifference. Don’t tolerate it. Move on.
You can lie down and give up, sticking your limbs up like a dead cockroach or you can use those aching muscles, read about your medical condition and participate in your own life. You may feel you are a victim but you can also overcome, persevere and turn all that pain into victory. To find triumph over your daily pain is possible. That may mean
learning to live with it but that is also worth investigating just to improve your daily life, 24 hours at a time.
CHOOSE YOUR PERSONAL PATH:
Each choice we make has consequences. We are not mere flotsam floating on the sea of life. We are willful, purposeful individuals who can still direct the course of our lives. I know, sometimes it does feel as if all choices have been taken from us. This is not true. You and I, although ill, physically compromised or in pain are still in charge of our own lives. There are those little hateful, bitterness dispensing gremlins that sneak into our minds and try to get us to embrace them but we must resist their appeal. These ugly beasts exist in our minds and while in there they whisper, “Oh my, poor you. Why didn’t this happen to that nasty woman up the street?” Self-pity is another whispering varmint that sneaks in through the cracks in your life, always beckoning. These are the days and hours when we must retain our moral compass. Those are the days we choose joy and a better attitude than our bodies actually direct us to feel. To become a flaming bitch or the male counterpart does little good for anyone. The memories we leave with friends and family are based on the essence of each relationship. No one is going to remember you because you limp, or have some deformity, although that may be a part of your physical self; they are going to remember whether or not you made them laugh, loved them or performed continuing acts of kindness for them or others. Choose. The evil witch, the snarling guy or someone who still loves life and all the beauty it offers.
The roads we travel are of our own choosing. No, we didn’t choose to have a bad back, participate in an accident or inherit some hateful genes which have changed our lives but we can choose how we react, what we say and our basic attitude toward life. Each 24-hour span of life can require each of us to decide, choose, and direct our thinking. Sometimes that may mean literally changing locations like going out onto the porch just for a change of view; picking up a new book or turning off the TV. That can be especially true in our current world when the news is full of so much turmoil and tragedy. What strange times these are but we can’t let them suck us under.
If we want to pitch a fit, throw the good China dishes or get drunk; these are our choices to be made. Each action has a reaction and a consequence. Acts of violence, bitterness and anger often multiply into more acts of the same ilk and have destructive results. We need to be aware and responsible for those results. Good grief, isn’t life hard enough when you live with pain everyday? Do you feel any better if you make a jackass of yourself? You still have to make the effort to sweep up the broken dishes or have a hangover in the morning.
From my own personal point of view, I find the decisions for good and for my well-being to be easier to make than destructive decisions. Sometimes, those destructive roads we choose to travel can lead down so many back alleys and dark trails, it makes it very difficult to find our way home again. The personal conscience we each have implanted in us is fragile can be changed and molded by too many destructive decisions. It’s like telling a lie. The truth is always easier to remember and recall or retell than a lie which is truly a slippery slope and one cannot always climb back up that hill.
I’ve seen many individuals with hardships; poor health and numerous problems grow bitter and resentful. The news is full of just such individuals. They often dig a hole so deep and so mired and sticky; it makes it very difficult to get back on solid terra firma. They find themselves living in a land of anger which is filled with remorse, regret and enough hostility to power an engine. Their feelings are palpable and protrude from them like spikes from a wild beast or shoot from their rears like the stench from a skunk; spraying all who are near to them. Lonely individuals who choose this route grow lonelier. Their problems become excuses for all types of foul behavior. Stop thinking about yourself and do something for someone else. You will reap the reward in your spirit and in your heart.
Bitterness, anger and ill will are such a load to live with. I don’t want to live like that, do you? Gravitate toward forgiveness, even of yourself if necessary. Seek out something enjoyable to do each day and never give up the battle to feel better, get the best care possible and choose joy. You have more choices left to you than you thought. Move. Laugh. Cry. Pray. Choose. You can find power for your life in different choices. Don’t be the victim, be the victor over whatever that huge obstacle is that is in your way.