Dee's Blog
Sun 10/14/2007
Structure or Chaos
Topic: Health Choices

AS we examine our personal timelines, each of us will find times when we were healthier--physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and socially than at other times.  Hopefully, we are healthier today than ever before in our lives.  If so, chances are we've learned something about structure. 

"Old things are passed away.  Behold all things are become new."  Those words don't just apply to the once-and-for-all Christian conversion, taught by staunch evangelicals.  They are applicable every time we have a transformation in our lives, a transformation that allows for a major spiritual revelation to enter the realm of old, rigid realities that we may have held onto for years. 

Many of you grew up, as I did, in a family that thrived on chaos.  One thing I've noticed about such families (and other institutions) is that most seem to get more chaotic with each passing year. 

Eventually, those who have differentiation--you know, the ones that know how to be individuals who can stand on their own feet--are forced to pull away for self-preservation, moving into other circles, where there is a sense of peace.  Ideally, many peole have their needs for connection met in churches, professional organizations, by neighbors or civil groups. 

The opposite of chaos is structure.  Not necessarily rigidity, though many people confuse structure and rigidity.  Structure, laced with flexibility, allows for growth and development.  Structure allows us to have security and a degree of predictability so that real crises are more easily handled.   Structure provides us with a sense of self.  It gives direction, so that we do not have to stop and think about every move we make.

Chaos seems to be preferred by many people.  Since crises seem to be all that keeps them feeling alive!  It also keeps participants from having to make vital decisions that will produce long-term results.  After all, when you live in chronic crisis, there's no time to think beyond the next few hours.

Maybe that's why people who live in chronic chaos consider everything to be a crisis.  Yet the real crises are ignored or denied.  They thrive on adrenaline, in a state of hypervigilance so that anything less is considered boring. 

If a healthy person walks into such a situation and begins voicing observations or solutions that would easily calm the system down, hold the most chaotic accountable, and force people to look at the truth, the messenger's speaking BECOMES the crisis, a crisis that suddenly is at a higher decibal than usual!   In fact, that's exactly what happens in collusion.

The nursing profession cannot function well without structure.   Neither can you nor I, as individuals.  Structure is efficient.  Healthy, too.  Even when it seems to be so ordinary.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT

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