My Rationalization Stupor

Isn’t it sad how people try to manage the rot in their own life?

I have an abscess under one of my molars.  The pain over the last six days at times has been excruciation to the point that I finally went to a dentist.  He confirmed the infection, as well as a crack through my tooth.  He also was nice enough to let me know that the only response to it is to extract that tooth.  It is the mirror tooth to the one I had removed 2 years ago and looks like it is cracked down the middle just like the one back then.

The nice Doctor put me on some antibiotics and now I am feeling just a bit better.

So, am I planning on going through with the extraction? — Nope!

I figure if the penicillin can knock out the infection, I will be good to go.  Actually not really totally good to go, but partially.

You see….
I still have a pocket of dead gunk down there at the root tip.
I still have the very likely potential of another infection setting in due to the crack running through my tooth.
I still have the potential of little caverns, cavitations, forming in my jaw bone.

I still have the potential of other infections breaking off and migrating to my brain or spinal cord.

So why is it that I am doing nothing?

  • I think to myself that that is an awfully extreme remedy for just a little infection.
  • I think I can somehow manage this, especially now that I have antibiotics.
  • I think that all those things that I listed will not happen to me, they happen to other people.
  • If I lose that molar on the other side, now I really won’t be able to chew.
  • The rot in my jaw can’t be so bad, cause as I type this at this very moment I am not doubled over in pain.

Did I mention that I am scaredreally scared, terrified?

Really that is the main reason.  Fear.    Fear talks me into a rationalization stupor whose only outcome is more harm.  But it is quite convincing at the moment.  I rally behind my fear and give it more reasons to look legitimate.

The truth is, I stand unwilling to deal fully with the rot in my life.  The cost feels too great and I am afraid.

  • I want to question the diagnosis of the Dentist.  X-rays can be wrong. Right?
  • I want to curse Wikipedia.  They should not have told me about all the bad outcomes.
  • I want to somehow negotiate a truce with this rot.
  • I want to imagine it as something that it is not—manageable.

If I ignore it, it will go away.  At least I can think that for just a while longer.

The problem is, I am lying to myself.  I know what needs to be done and I resist throw a tantrum; all the while thinking I know more.

Isn’t that just like other things in our life?  The rotting things that every now and then cause a twinge.  We try to ignore them, negotiate with them, manage them or try to deny that any harm will come from them.  Knowing all the while that real harm will eventually come from them, even if at the moment we deny that “it can’t happen to me.”

That kind of logic looks really familiar with another kind of logic.

One, that with our permission, locks itself around our ability to see things as they are. It even locks itself around our willingness to see things as they are.

It is called sin.  And that is what sin does.

It convinces us that missing the bulls-eye but hitting somewhere on the target is not so bad.  “Hey, I gave it a try  at least.”

It lulls us into some kind of rationalization stupor that convinces us that says, “this is just a little thing and I can manage it.”  But we can’t.

My doctor says that I have no other option.

I have to get the infection out of my jaw.

If I don’t– bad things will happen.

We too need to get those infected things out of our life.

Prejudice, hatred, pornography, sexual recklessness, alcoholism, drug use, lying, blaming, abusing, arrogance, pride, and the list goes on….       We have to get them out of our life or bad things will happen.

The cost of their removal is smaller than the cost of them being allowed to stay and fester

Fear is not our friend, and neither is rot.

So let us purpose to be brave and face the rotten things in our life with a determination that is undaunted.

I will let you know how things unfold…..feel free to share as well.