Are You In Denial?

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heartSo, let me tell you a story about this past week.  I’ve worked in healthcare for 27 years and have told many people to seek medical assistance and evaluation for chest pain.  Over the past few days I had been experiencing some symptoms myself.  I had an odd heart “flutter” one day, some shortness of breath one day, and some dizziness another.  My husband said, “Maybe it’s time to go to the doctor,” but I, like those who I had spoken with over the years, was “in denial”.  I had no intention of going to a hospital or a doctor to be told that there was nothing wrong with me and be embarrassed.

Sometimes we all know better, right? 

In this case, today, I finally did get checked out and have a follow-up with a cardiologist shortly.  I decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

But, then I started thinking.  How often are we in denial?  Maybe we choose to ignore something has to do with our health, or maybe it has to do with a life situation.  Hate your job but suck it up and go in to be “tortured” each day?  Maybe you’re in denial.  Have a family member that is causing you pain in some way?  Have you addressed it or are you ignoring it?  Maybe you are in denial.  Budget tight and getting overwhelmed with bills coming in the mail with no way to pay?  Are you addressing the situation or ignoring it?  Maybe you’re in denial.

It’s most interesting to me how one situation we may experience can be applied to so many other situations or things that happen in our lives.

What to do?  The first thing is to recognize that there is a situation that may need to be addressed.  That is, perhaps, the biggest step.  Once you identify something, whether it has to do with your health, happiness, financial situation or work life balance (by the way, these are the items that make up the Time to Play philosophy), you can weigh your options.  This is a most important step as there are ALWAYS options, although they might not seem evident.  When reviewing, you will realize that some options are feasible, some options have potential, and some options would never be considered.  Look at all the options you have and evaluate each one.  Perhaps you can narrow the options down to one that would be the best to implement for the situation at hand.  Then it is time to implement it. 

Really.  Not kidding. 

It’s great to come up with ideas on how to make changes, but without actually taking action, they are just that – ideas. 

Do you want a better quality of life?  Take action.  It might be hard the first time you make a change, but life is a learning experience.  Each time we take action, and take control of our circumstances, it gets a little easier.

As far as my heart arrhythmia, I’m sure all will check out fine.  But, if I didn’t address my symptoms, I would have three possibilities that could happen.  One would be that I would continue to worry that something was wrong; it’s not easy to determine if there is a real cardiac event occurring in a woman without medical evaluation.  The second outcome might be that everything would be fine and the symptoms would go away.  We don’t even want to discuss the third potential outcome.

It’s most important to remember anything is possible and that it may be in our power to make a change to prevent a potentially undesirable situation from becoming worse.

Are you in denial?  Look inside and see.  The decision to evaluate your options and move from denial to action may be a good one, like mine was.

It's Not OK

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It’s not ok to identify a problem and not solve it

It’s not ok to not recycle

It’s not ok to take advantage of someone

It’s not ok to ignore someone’s needs

It’s not ok to ignore someone’s rights

It’s not ok to feed our kids crappy school lunches

It’s not ok to not help each other

It’s not ok to lie

It’s not ok to be mean

It’s not ok to steal from someone

It’s not ok to not see the beauty in the world

It’s not ok to not take advantage of the opportunities that surround us – the beauty of the beach, the wonderful museums, events, etc.

It’s not ok to hurt someone

It’s not ok to make someone feel bad

It’s not ok to give up and just take it

Its’ not ok to ignore something.  Fix it.

It’s not ok to be inconsiderate or selfish

It’s not ok to always be working or to work too hard

It’s not ok to duplicate efforts – for example, causes for cancer.  If people with the same goals work together for the common good, we will get much further.

It’s not o.k. to not have friends

It’s not ok not to smile

It’s not ok to miss the little things

It’s not ok to not be free

It’s not ok to not make it better

It’s not ok for chemicals to be added to our food

It’s not ok to not be healthy

It’s not ok to be sad

It’s not ok to be overwhelmed

It’s not ok to be prejudice

It’s not ok to oppress others

It’s not ok to use our people as disposable items.

It’s not ok to not realize each and every person is important – that they are someone’s mother, father, child, spouse, friend.

It’s not ok for our soldiers to fight for our country and not get the support they need when they come back with injuries or post traumatic stress disorder

It’s not ok to not enjoy life

It’s not ok for lobbyists to persuade how our laws are made instead of our laws being made for the good of the people

It’s not ok for our politicians to not work for us

It’s not ok for our politicians to not work in our best interests

It’s not ok for someone to take away your (our) quality of life

It’s not ok to leave a mess someone else has to clean up

It’s not ok that there is a job where someone has to clean an animal with a toothbrush

It’s not ok to overfish our oceans

It’s not ok to hurt our environment

It’s not ok to be stressed out

It’s not ok to be frustrated

It’s not ok to not follow your dreams

It’s not ok to not achieve your potential

It’s not ok to not say it’s not ok

– – –

It’s ok to start a revolution.

It’s ok to do something.

It’s ok to be outraged to move to action.

It’s ok to change it.

Copyright August 6, 2011, Doreen Lenore Guma, All Rights Reserved

Visit my midlife crisis project — my goal is to make people smile again: — Resources for a Better Life.  Let’s help each other.  Together we can make things better.