We can all break. . . .

That was the first thought I had after leaving his 5th-floor hospital room.

You see, earlier that week, I had been asked to see him for repeated admissions and recurring complaints that raised the possibility of an underlying autoimmune process.

But, that’s not what really got to me. After all, once I agree and prescribe immunosuppressants, the next step is to wait and watch—to see how he and his bloodwork responds. So, for now, both of us had a day or two to wait and see.

After leaving his room and as I was walking down the hospital corridor, the first thought that came to mind was, “I am leaving, but he can’t. I will go for a walk today. He won’t.” It was then I started to reflect on the dichotomy that we all share, physically and emotionally.

We Can All Break

We are all very strong and resilient, yet very fragile. We can all break.

I have been through many things. More than most and fewer than some. The one thing I have learned through it all—and the one thing that this individual who was now lying in the hospital reminded me of—was the ease and cost of us breaking rather than building. The ease of destruction compared to creation.

It’s like a basic wooden chair. Can you picture it?

Imagine the process of creating a chair . . . from getting the wood, to cutting, sanding, painting the different components, making the bolts and screws, and finally, to putting it all together. Imagine the number of people involved and the work effort that was required just to make a single chair.

Now, imagine taking that same chair, raising it high above your head, and smashing it on a concrete floor. Imagine as some of the pieces fly through the air, splintered and damaged while others just sit unrecognizable.

What once took time, work, and functioned is now lost. Within less than a minute, if we want to, we can destroy it.

Our physical and emotional lives, as well as the physical and emotional lives of those around us, are no different than that chair.

We can choose to build or break, create or destroy.


10 Choices To Avoid that Break and Destroy:

  1. Lack of, or unwillingness to, practice self-honest introspection
  2. Poor dietary choices
  3. Lack of exercise effort
  4. Unhealthy habits (including recommendations from health care providers)
  5. Poor personal hygiene
  6. Negative self-talk or insulting and attacking others
  7. Using a cold shoulder, avoidance, or arrogance
  8. Failing to admit our fault
  9. Failing to admit our strengths and not setting personal goals
  10. Removing ourselves from conflict rather than working toward resolution

10 Choices To Make that Build and Create:

  1. Practice self-honest introspection
  2. Improve dietary choices
  3. Improve exercise effort
  4. Minimize unhealthy habits (including recommendations from health
    care providers)
  5. Improve personal hygiene
  6. Practice positive self-talk and complimenting/building others up
  7. Use understanding, compassion, and empathy
  8. Admit our fault and weaknesses, both personally and in the setting of
    any conflict
  9. Admit our strengths and set personal goals
  10. Choose compromise and conflict resolution

Now, certainly, there are times that we have little control over our bodies breaking. The man I saw in the hospital that day could not have prevented what happened to him. But I guess that is exactly why I started asking myself. . . .

How much of my own physical health and emotional contentment am I actively choosing to break and destroy, build and create?

Remember, today and every day, live your value one choice at a time.

-Dr. D


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