This segued into another discussion about stress and how to mediate stress and what stress does to your body on a physiological, chemical, and psychological level. I mentioned an article I read in a magazine about a study done on women and children of domestic violence. The study found that later in life women and children of domestic violence developed asthma, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. They explained that when someone experiences high levels of stress, the body releases cortisol. Cortisol causes a release in HDL or good cholesterol used for fight or flight. However, in these types of situation, there is often no fight or flight. So, when the HDL is not used it turns into LDL or bad cholesterol. Overtime this LDL causes a hardening of the arteries and joints thus leading to asthma, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. So, how do we better deal with these types of stresses or prevent or lessen the effect they have on our bodies, minds, and spirits? What systems are in place within our daily lives to help us? What happens when the systems, like our ceremonies, go away?
This began with a discussion about knives. A former student and basketball player of mine was selling knives and did a demonstration for my brother and his wife. After the demonstration, my brother decided to research the knives and found some opposing views on the quality of the knives. He decided it was best not to invest in these knives. Then he talked about the type of hiking boots he had been buying. They were only lasting him 1 to 3 years because the tread would wear out. So, he began researching hiking boots and he found that some boots are made with soles that can be replaced thus lasting longer than other boots. He talked about investing in quality items and how he wished he knew this growing up. It would have saved him time, money, and stress. So, lesson here: invest in quality.
Reconciliation, “the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement,” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reconciliation). I have had a plethora of experience with reconciliation throughout my life at all levels. Often times it has been a struggle making friendly again opposing forces in my life. I think it would not have been possible without compassion. This blog though was inspired by a conversation I had with my brother. The conversation was multi-faceted but the overarching message was forgiveness. How do we forgive or reconcile stressful situations in our lives or better yet how do we better prepare ourselves to reconcile these opposing forces so they don’t cause us stress?