When the offer for desert came, I knew. Flying, sleep deprivation, and sugar are never a good combination for my body. Something about the combination always leads to a sinusitis attack. Having weathered multiple episodes over the last decade, I have more than enough evidence that links the two events with each other. In spite of the evidence, I turned and said “yes”.
Three days later I reminded myself that I knew the outcome of my choice when I made it. Nothing came as a surprise except the surprise itself. There was a voice in my head talking like a writer centuries ago. Even as I listened to myself being talked about in the third person, I knew that I knew. “That’s why so many of you even now are listless and sick, and others have gone to an early grave.” (1 Corinthians 11.30)
For anyone unfamiliar with the impact of a severe sinusitis attack, please excuse my reflection. It is, candidly, extremely painful. The treatment of choice will vary by individual. For me it is a simple formula of rest, water, and periodic treatments of steam. Even though relief will come, in the short term, the pain is overwhelming. I know the formula works.
Links are problematic. Just because we know with our head does not mean our hearts will follow. Even when the outcome is negative, the immediate can take precedence. Having survived another round, I find myself noting the following reminders.
Decisions that track with aspirations only come when the heart and mind are working together.
Confidence that one will avoid the negative is often arrogance in disguise. Reaching for the positive is always the way towards the best choice.
Painful events are an invitation to learn. Survival is not the same as learning. Getting through something difficult is not the primarily goal. Life is about using yesterday’s experience to transform our hearts and minds from the inside out.
Today the memories seem wonderfully distant. I hope the lessons remain, helping me reach for more. Not for myself, especially for those around me.