Thursday, June 18, 2015

Healthy Choices, Harmful Choices

Suppose you have very high blood pressure. Because of lots of stress as well as eating foods too high in cholesterol and fat content over time, you're now facing a risk for heart attack and stroke. The unhealthy condition in your physical body was produced by your unhealthy lifestyle and bad health habits.

What will solve this problem? Well, the solution will be for you to cut down on your cholesterol and fat as well as reduce and manage your levels of daily stress. In addition, doctors will prescribe active exercise, vegetables and fruits, and periodic physical checks on the condition for possible medication if needed.

What is the way out of an illness or problem created by unwise, harmful choices?  Wise, healthy choices. And who is primarily responsible for making wise, healthy choices?  The person who has made unwise, harmful choices.

Consider Tina who saw me a few times for personal therapy because her husband wanted to separate from her already. According to her account, her part was she had always been neglectful, angry, and verbally/physically abusing of her husband. What is the solution for Tina's need and problem? A big part, of course, is healing herself, managing her anger, and choosing to stop her destructive behaviors towards her husband. Who is responsible for making those wise, healthy choices? Tina, herself.

After learning more deeply about her self and resolving to change, her husband volunteered to come over to join his wife for marital therapy. Tina had opportunity to make wise, healthy choices. If she had always been angry, calmness and self-restraint need to prevail. If unkind, verbally abusive words had been a pattern, kind words need to be spoken. Unfortunately, in the session, Tina chose to revert back to her own old pattern where she began raging, kicking chairs, threatening and verbally abusing her husband again. As a result, her husband walked out and finally decided to separate from her.

Through unwise, harmful choices, we create problems or needs in our lives. In a certain sense, we are all capable of generating much of our own suffering and misery. And we learn what we all learn or experience in life: bad choices produce bad consequences.   

"We are all fallen creatures and all very hard to live with."   (C. S. Lewis)

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