Autoimmune diseases are mysterious. For some unclear reasons the immune system recognizes healthy cells as foreign and attacks them, causing harm to the body, which could be life-threatening. Some scientists propose that foreign substances come into the body and create confusion in the immune system which triggers these misplaced actions; however, no consensus has been reached on why exactly the body could harm itself. Self-destruction is more dangerous than an attack from outside.
While reflecting on life, I realized the mechanism of autoimmune disorders extend beyond our biological system. Psychologically, self-destruction is common and more life-threatening than we acknowledge. Adopting the proposed theory of foreign substances confusing the immune system, there are emotions and habits in life that create the exact response psychologically when unchecked, three of which stand out to me. Have you ever wondered why we take some decisions and actions, when it’s very clear initially to every party involved that the consequences will be unpalatable?
I was making my hair at a store over a decade ago when the woman who owned a salon; out of anger, threw a metal against a little girl who wasn’t her child and broke the girl’s head. The blood that my little eyes saw that day is still fresh in my memory. I often wonder if she ever imagined that she could kill the girl or get arrested or incur serious expenses or one of the possible negative consequences of her actions. The older I got I realized, when a person gives anger power over them, they don’t make any rational decisions. Anger is the culprit for many suicides and homicides. Results from research have proven that people who are angry more times than not have higher chances of having hypertension and other health complications that go with it. Anger can make anyone the biggest enemy of themselves. The moment a situation triggers anger everything around you changes and narrows your view to the offence committed by you or against you.
Anger in itself is not wrong when managed effectively and re-directed; when it’s prolonged or acted on, then it becomes a problem. Apart from breaking things and hurting people or yourself, prolonged anger makes decision and planning more difficult. How much progress can any angry person make? Which job interview or business plan can anyone successfully execute when angry? Even when all the chips are in place, anger can make anyone destroy themselves through several ways.
Laziness is another backbone for self-destruction. It’s amazing some people still believe they can wish and speak success into existence. They have grand ideas, amazing support systems, and potentials for greatness but can’t bring themselves to put in the required work that will birth success.
There is a more disgusting form of laziness that is laced with pride. The person decides what’s beneath them and what they will or will not do, even when they have a bank account on the negative side of zero. I once met a very accomplished periodontist who mentioned at the start of his career, he volunteered at a clinic where he washed toilet, so that he could learn how the dentists in that clinic ran their practice; he attested that he successfully plans his schedule and surgeries because of what he learned from that experience. A lot of people will consider that unimaginable, if they had to clean a toilet after getting a degree.
Laziness could be so subtle that we have reasons to justify its presence. Laziness is also a parent to procrastination. It’s no news that a lazy person advances towards poverty.
What’s more disconcerting is that laziness even in its mildest form, will make one miss and misuse opportunities, and lead the person to find reasons to be content with mediocrity. Anyone who will have a meaningful life will dig through difficulties and put in a fair share of sleepless nights and sweat even in ways we might consider demeaning.
The alternative to hard-work is self-destructive.
Fear is certainly not the least in eliciting self-destruction. What I find fascinating about fear is that it always appears protective initially while causing a person to make damaging decisions. You don’t go back to school because you are afraid of what people will say; you don’t start up the business because you’re afraid you’ll lose; you don’t go for the audition because you are afraid you’ll be embarrassed; you don’t leave an abusive relationship because you are afraid there’s nothing else out there, and the list goes on and on.
Apart from making poor decisions, fear cripples whatever ability you have and chances of gaining new ones. I agree with Gosho Aoyama who stated “fear is worse than death itself”. What kind of life will one have when every decision is overcome by fear? Imagine having opportunities and ideas and because you see through the lens of fear, you consistently jump over them; this will indeed cause a person to die many times before death itself comes knocking. Fear will make you choose less important options over the chances of great benefit and nothing could be more destructive than that.
Who in their right mind will cheat themselves out living the best possible life? Anger, laziness, and fear can cloud that ability to think clearly and negative decisions and actions that will affect us and those around us are taken. The mind is like the biological system; we all should work to eliminate anger, laziness, and fear once we notice their presence to avoid the adverse effects.
It’s a new year; plans, actions, decisions, or the famous ‘new year resolutions’ will be made. None of it will have any positive effect if we don’t handle the things that make us self-destructive. While autoimmune diseases that affect humans biologically remain mysterious; anger, laziness, and fear that could lead to self-destruction can be managed and eliminated. Let’s make 2015 indeed greater.
Happy New Year!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Danie Nel