Surprise, ladies. I can’t hazard a guess of how many, but some of you may not be healthy enough for uninterrupted dates. So, I hereby stick my neck into an arena for which I’m unqualified by normal standards. I admit the chivalry articles partially inspired this opinion piece.
- You’ll think I’m crazy, but stick around for a highly unusual and perhaps controversial or perhaps worthless example of What Women Never Hear.
- I’m neither a medical doctor nor other medical professional. However, I’ve studied human nature and motivation for 64 years. The following describes my analysis of bad habits of thought and emotion that lead to poor body functioning, specifically that which leads to frequent bowel disturbances.
- I neither understand nor describe the process that happens. I just identify likely causes of adverse bowel functioning that plague some men and women. I leave the details to medical professionals, while I focus on causes and the behavioral changes that can relieve discomfort.
- Let me know what you think. Those of you or who know someone with continual bowel distress, see if I am pretty close to identifying your or their causal habits. Everything is relative and nothing is precise.
Our physical condition is a function of what we eat. Our body functions are impacted, sometimes severely, by the result of how we feel and think about emotional matters. The following causes ‘internal burnout’, the result of special kinds of anxiety, to which I attribute bowel disturbances.
I choose self-image as the concept around which to explain causes. Self-image, the picture we each have of ourselves, governs our lives. We assiduously live within that picture of who we are and what we do, can do, and expect to do. We are motivated to pursue our self-interest, and our self-image contains our guiding beliefs and juggles our emotions to match our pursuit. If we fall out of line with it, or in effect contradict our self-image, we correct or rationalize deviations. We see normal functioning in this truism: If you think you can, you can, and you act accordingly. If you think you can’t, you’re right, and so you choose to do something else.
While it can’t be called faulty, some people’s self-image interferes with the proper functioning of their bodies. That’s where this is headed. What might the causes be of the symptoms that adversely disturb bowel functions?
Let’s look at it under four headings.
- Internalizing. We should all know about this factor that plagues both introverts and extroverts. Many people focus too much on themselves. Their thoughts turn inward with personal concerns. They focus mostly on negative functions; they worry, agonize, and find faults in relationships, jobs, and their body. Thoughts such as, this ain’t right, that doesn’t work right, that hurts a little, it could be serious, and what am I to do? And worst of all, they focus far too much on things and about people they can do nothing about. Such as, how do I make someone like me? How do I impress them? How do I hide my bad side? How can I help someone, when I have the same fault?
Some people are so vulnerable to internalizing that it consumes their spare time. It causes them to fall prey to stirred-up emotions and hormones, enzymes, and digestive juices in excessive doses that act almost as if foreign to one’s GI tract and connected functions. It’s not what they internalize so much as too much of it. Not good, but then most of us have learned about the repercussions of too much worry, and so nothing new in all that. It’s just my recap of what too much internalizing leads to.
- Guilt. Women live continually with guilt. Much of it reminds of their bad side, which stirs certain guilt to plague their spare time. Their focus on it intensifies by internalizing about their relationships.
Men are less prone. Their guilt swings mostly around their actions and independence. Guilt doesn’t make them bad, it stirs them to action. I’m not good enough, or I should do better; I have to try harder. Or, how do I handle that SOB or hide my cheating? A man’s sense of independence disconnects others from his guilt; he’s more a loner to relieve it. He can more easily than women take action that relieves guilt. Women have no such ‘easy release’ because their guilt is tied to someone else; they’re less independent.
- Judging. This is new ground for readers. People don’t naturally talk along these lines. Too personal, too descriptive of our personal motivation, which is not usually a discussable subject. You may find yourself uncomfortable.
We judge and it takes place in two ways. Part of the shaping of our self-image is judging ourselves. It’s usually not much of a contribution to internal burnout, because natural pressures push us and sense of independence enables us to do something about it. (Example: I have to lose weight, dress more attractively, smile more, get a better job, give spouse more attention.) We are the only ones involved with fixing whatever we judge to need it. Action displaces disappointed emotions, and so we learn to either fix or accept and live with the rest. Internalizing about it usually does not make us sick.
But some people make themselves sick by ‘comparison shopping’. That is, judging themselves relative to others.
We are always in the process of judging others; it’s required for our own safety. For some, it gets out of hand. It’s an irresistible urge for all of us. But those vulnerable to internal burnout find themselves excessively wanting or lacking. It self-demeans their worth and belittles their picture of themselves.
Such people fuss with themselves. Not to work on recovery, but to stew about comparative shortcomings that can’t be fixed. Stewing takes less courage and steadfastness than to change habits, create different beliefs, develop new behaviors, or just take actions that keep one busy enough to divert attention from internal stewing.
They find themselves unhappy with what they do, want to do, or can do. Their self-image shrinks relative to others, while their self-interest urges them to do better. Confusion exacerbates anxiety, which invites more stewing.
- Image Projection. There are two kinds to be covered, do it for yourself or for others.
a) Imagine one’s abilities and qualities to be different for the sole purpose of pleasing oneself. (I suggest the book The Magic of Thinking Big.) You can become a much better, powerful, influential person without inducing illness. The difference is this. You have to do it for no one but yourself.
b) Do it for others and you can too easily induce illness. Some people develop their behaviors and habits in order to generate an image to others that just isn’t what’s in their hearts. They don’t have to be phony or out to fool people so much as to convince themselves of who they are or want to be relative to others. They worry constantly even if they are being successful. They just want to be better instead of somebody definite, so there is no end to their internalizing about it.
Essentially, they are wannabes, such as women to be prettier or more important, guys to be more respected or admirable, alphas to be easily recognized as such, or who they really are as person to be hidden. Their internal problems come from this phenomenon; they set an objective, which is a process without an end, and so they manage progress, which induces internalizing, which impacts their gut.
Too much internalizing of emotional issues, excessive guilt, unproductive judging, and convincing others of one’s qualities cause internal burnout. Deliberately change your actions and you change your feelings. Deliberately change your feelings and you change your thinking and vice versa. Deliberately change your behaviors and you change your habits. Deliberately change them all and you can calm if not end bowel disturbances and malfunctioning. Then, you’re healthier for mid-life dating.
Deliberately changing oneself is very difficult for men. Not so for women, whom I advise this way. Change first to quit thinking in parallel with or emulating man-think and masculine values, standards, and expectations. If you return to specialize in your feminine nature, you can more easily and deliberately change the makeup of your beliefs and emotions in ways that are healthier.
Finally, there’s even a simpler way. When believers sin they can take it to the Lord and be forgiven. When people disappoint others, they seek forgiveness from the disappointed or offended. However, too many people can’t forgive themselves; they don’t think they deserve it. It intensifies their internalizing, which almost automatically stops with true forgiveness of oneself. Whether through the Lord or self, forgiveness generates better health.