At least three times this week, someone has said to me that I have a lot of stressful things to handle. In each instance, I’ve replied to the effect of, “Doesn’t everybody”, and been told, “Not like you!” I come away from these three experiences thinking to myself, Is it true that I have more stressors than many people; and if so, do I draw that to myself? Is it genetic? Is it “just the luck of the draw”, or have I made choices that bring this stress on myself?
One of the people who made the comment to me specifically referenced medical issues. Even so, I believe humans can definitely induce health problems by emotional choices. We scream and yell, our blood pressure rises. We cry all night; we’re a basket case in the morning. Some somatic response could be seen as outside of our control. A spouse has chronic illness; we cope well, but our hair thins. We get bad news; bleeding ulcer attack follows.
I breathe deeply when tachycardia starts. I understand that this SVT is not stress; it’s genetics. I have a “premature heart beat” that causes supra-ventricular tachycardia. I have “the Corley heart”. For now, it’s in a state that is not life-threatening or life-shortening. That could change. VT, ventricular tachycardia, could later develop. I’m taking it one day at a time and assuming that it won’t. But it could. I know that.
I’ve made a list of the things that ail me, the issues that bother me, the circumstances which wrinkle my brow and deepen my scowl. In my own defense, some of these things lurk beyond my control. I’m making a list of those and lighting fire to that list, giving it to my ancestors. I’ll work on the remaining items, the ones I can control. I’ll meditate. I’ll smile. I will put aside wrath, and anger, and a natural inclination to disgust.
In the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: I will choose love; hate is too great a burden.