Is It an Affliction or Self-Inflicted?
For those of you who don’t know me personally, in today’s politically correct speech, I would say I am able-bodied, vertically limited, follically challenged, big-boned, a senior citizen, trying my best to avoid being terminally unavailable, and many people would call me behaviorally challenged and/or a person with a mental health condition! (For translations – see the chart at the end of this message.) Quite frankly I have always described myself as healthy, short, bald, fat, old, alive, different, and a bit of a nut….but then again I’ve never been the most politically correct person!
I have also had periods in my life where I have had anxiety, depression, migraines, gout, coughs, colds, the flu, and have suffered from binge eating. Many people would call these afflictions and some have even attached the term “syndrome” to these conditions. However, at least for me, and I clearly know and celebrate that everyone is different, all of these things are truly more self-inflicted than true afflictions.
For example, I used to have headaches all the time. I would medicate and they would go away, but nearly always to return. I eventually learned that as my blood pressure rose, my headaches increased. So is the root cause high blood pressure, or is this self-inflicted?
Another example is anxiety, depression, gout, and binge-eating. For me, these have always occurred when I was anxious or unhappy with work, life, or whatever. I would experience these things because I would over-react to whatever and then comfort myself with food. Gout, knee and ankle pain and weight concerns would follow. For me, I believe these were all self-inflicted because I had the knowledge, experience, resources, and support to not allow these things to bother me, yet I succumbed to those feelings. But for many people, it’s not so easy to manage or control these feelings or issues.
So, ultimately it comes down to mental health, cultural background, education, and like it or not, diet and physical health. Where would you put yourself in relationship to these things? Do you have similar struggles or a totally different set of concerns or issues?
One thing we all know, but still don’t seem to truly “EMBRACE” in our thought process, and/or daily community interactions, is that we are all different, so what works for one does not work for another. That does not make one set of circumstances better or worse than another – just different. Another example is immune system – everyone’s is vastly different and what can hurt some doesn’t hurt others. Example; There was some salmonella tainted peanut butter that killed several dozens of people, a few years back. The manufacturer recalled them all and the problem went away. But how many people were affected, but did not die. Many actually continued eating the tainted peanut butter, unaware of the recall, and did not die; I was one of those people. So again, one diagnosis, one prescription, one set of treatments, etc. will work for some and not work for many others.
So, what are the answers out there for everyone? One major part of the solution is education. Our schools need to continue to teach health, diet, and physical care curriculums, as they did far better years ago…AND…they need to make such curriculums more impactful and prioritized. So much so that when our students graduate, they have the embedded knowledge and commitment to stay educated and take care of themselves.
Another curriculum item has to be parenting. We teach our children the basics, but they are not prepared for life, nor for becoming parents. And it needs to be taught with the same priority, rigor, and commitment as the most important subjects, because it is.
Another key part of the solution is mental health. There are so many facets to this that we could spend months discussing. But quite frankly, the bulk of the mental health issues that arise, stem from people with rocky cultural backgrounds, less committed educations, and a lack of accountability or a strong belief system. The diminishing parent and family structure, the employment factors with unemployment incentives, the significantly growing impact of social media, television, and gaming, all contribute to various mental health struggles. Each of these things driving people in a direction that might not be best for their physical and mental capabilities.
I believe nearly all of these answers lie with Jesus and in the Bible. I know this rubs some people wrong, but honestly if your one of those people, hear me out or give the Bible a chance. There is nothing we will ever encounter, in our lives, that is not addressed by God and/or Jesus. And committing to these life principles and Godly directives is not at all hard. In most cases, we can be more Godly people by making simple decisions, or developing simple habits, or making better choices.
You see, I have had a life-long affliction to Jesus and the Father; God. I was fortunate enough to have Christian parents who raised me with this love, understanding, and appreciation. I never had to be born again as I always had this faith. Yes, I have often had valleys’ where my affliction was weaker and mountains when it was stronger. So, if I have been born again, then I have had many “rebirths,” each happening every time I realized the path I was taking was not of God. I’m no saint. I have done many things I am not proud of and made many mistakes, but all the time I knew God loved me, and I truly believe my knowing and continued seeking for his forgiveness and love, has kept me from taking some very deep and dark paths to destruction. Because of God’s love and my affliction to Him, I have avoided these self-inflicted problems and been truly blessed by the Father.
God loves everyone…yes everyone. Not just dedicated church-goers, or the Catholics, the Jews, or the Bible thumping outspoken folks. But also, those who never go to church, aren’t sure what they believe, dabble in inappropriate and criminal actions, and even the ardent non-believers. He loves everyone and has provided all the resources, people, environment, and tools to make living a Godly life, far easier than choosing not to.
There is nothing new under the sun and nothing happening today that has not happened in the past…most importantly, there is nothing happening in our world that God did not plan for or expect. You may feel like; “But God can’t imagine how bad my situation is” or “There is no way anyone ever planned for problems like these!”
I’m sorry but no matter what you think or how bad it might seem to you, God loves you, and if you give your challenges or problems to God, they will go away. History has proven this time and time again.
Every time I have a problem, challenge, or affliction, I look back on it and assess the issue and find…NEARLY EVERY TIME…that it was self-inflicted. Yes, I have had my share of these issues, and a very few have been outside my control, but had I been smarter with my commitments, my decision making, my workload, my health, and my choices, I would have avoided at least 90% of the problems I have experienced.
So yes, we will have afflictions, and many of them will help us grow and become stronger. But don’t just blame your afflictions and give up – do something about them. Ask for help, change your habits, seek counseling…or better yet, make the Bible your guide to better health, better choices, better relationships, and a better life.
So, when you look at your issues, as they arise, are you seeing an affliction thrust upon you or could this issue truly be self-inflicted. For me, more times than not, my afflictions are honestly and genuinely – self-inflicted…INCLUDING MY AFFLICTION TO GOD!!!
Appendix: I admittedly have Jesus Obsession Syndrome and the proven treatment for it is one capsule of reading the Bible, at least once per day, first thing in the morning preferred, but dosage can be repeated up to four times a day if needed. For a list of more main-stream syndromes, see this list compiled by Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_syndromes
WARNING – This list has numerous syndromes which may be harmful to your health…BUT…my syndrome, only needs ONE SOLUTION, the Bible and this solution will only BENEFIT YOUR HEALTH.