The Great Physician

The Great Physician

The Welder and Her Heart
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She fears that she is becoming like Jane in Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth is famously known for her words during her fight with Mr. Darcy, saying, "My sister hardly shows her true feelings to me!"

She feels as though this is becoming more and more true as the days pass. She is becoming a stone wall, unbreakable, unshakable. She feels as though the more she keeps in, the more she is protecting everyone else around her.

She can just imagine her family saying to themselves, "just as we think we've gotten over one bump, we run into another with her", shaking their heads and wondering what they've bitten off with her.

A big part of me knows that it's most unlikely, but there is still a part of me that wonders if these... misgivings... for that is what they truly are... these lies whispered into her ears by the enemy as he plots her destruction, might be, somehow, true. After all, the enemy does work in mostly truths with a small amount of deception.

She keeps waiting for someone to see through all these pretenses, waiting for someone to see her, the girl behind the mask, locked away inside of a cage, never allowed outside her tower for fear that next time, she might be destroyed.

She passes through life in a bubble, a shell if you will, moving through the options like a puppet with her master pulling her strings. Like sleeping beauty, she's slept most of her life away, waiting for the right one, or for her true loves kiss to awaken her. I see the sun rise every morning. I see it set every night. As the sun goes to bed, she wonders, "when will my life begin?" "When will I rise with the sun and stand proud, strong and sure?"

And then one day, an arsonist comes into her life and sets her frozen heart on fire. She fights against it, trying to pretend that it's not really there; it's not really happening. The arsonist turns into a bomb expert and realizes that she was just waiting to explode. With a steady, careful, slow hand, he begins to disarm her all while snipping wires as she is unaware. When he senses that the heart has become afraid, he repeats to her, "Slowly and softly, slowly and softly". Then he turns into an archeologist and carefully begins digging through her walls, the layers and layers of brick and stone that she has built up over the years. He digs gently, brushing away the loose dirt, and finds the edge of the wall with a skilled hand of a surgeon. Again, he repeats to her, as her walls come down little by little, "Slowly and softly, my sweet heart, slowly and softly". Once he has removed the walls and the bricks, he turns into a welder.

There seems to be a semi-permanent ache in her chest with a slight burn. In her mind's eye, she can see the spark and arch of an experienced and steady handed welder, welding these pieces of her heart back together again in the hopes that this time, they will stay together. She sees the welder, strong and courageous, bold and determined. She sees his eyes as he looks at her; she can only imagine the mess he sees. In his mind, he's thinking, "Alright, challenge accepted". He rubs his hands together, enthusiastic to begin his work. Before he can get started though, he first has to peel back the layers and break through her defenses. He finds that she is like an obstacle course, very similar to "Wipe Out", at every turn. Everytime he thinks he's gotten inside, she wipes his feet out from under him and he has to start all over. Again, as her defense flairs up like a scorpion's stinger, he says to her, "Slowly and softly. I'll wait for as long as it takes, until you tell me to stop. Slowly and softly". Like an archeologist, he keeps brushing away the dirt and lightly digging at the edges of the walls she had built, until, slowly but surely, the flower opens. It begins to blossom, spilling secrets, and with it, she reveals her heart; he is finally ready to begin his work. Painful as it might be for her, this will be his most amazing achievement in all his life.

She can see the art piece he is making: a heart, not made of stone, or metal, but of flesh and blood; it's a heart that is patched and still semi-broken, a heart that, while semi-healed, still bleeds. It's a beautiful piece, like a mosaic tile or a stained glass window, and it's beat gets stronger and steadier with every weld.

The broken side takes strength from the healed and patched side, and it also takes both courage and encouragement. She can see this art piece beginning to form, and she can almost see the artist's face shining with accomplishment and concentration, never stopping to think of himself as sweat runs down his face and covers the neckline of his shirt, all while he continues his welding. He is ever so careful and ever so gentle; he is always cautious but never timid, always soft and gentle, but never shy, and always kind, but never angry. He reminds her again, "Slowly and softly, no anger, no aggression, no frustration. Slowly and softly." He takes great care in his art work with his welding lines so perfect and straight; they are good thick lines made with the toughest and strongest welding rod that can be found.

With a slow, hot burn, he sears the heart back into place, and then goes back over the weld with a chisel and hammer, gently smoothing over the surface and making sure the weld is strong enough. When he comes to a weak point, he welds over it time and time again until it becomes the strongest point, then he chisels it, smooths it, and tests it again before finally moving onto another part of the heart.

"This piece", he says to himself; "This piece will be my shining glory, the most beautiful of all my art pieces, priceless and insurmountable".

And he's right. This piece will be his best work ever, his masterpiece. This piece will deserve it's place in the hall of fame, in the most prestigious museum of them all. It will make all other art pieces look dim in comparison. And there he will be, the faithful artist, always there watching over his most prized and most beautiful art work, never leaving her side, never letting her go. He will watch as she soars on wings like eagles, and he will be there when she lands. He will be there to pick her up and carry her when she falls down again. He will be there to help, always.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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7 Signs You've Found An Authentic Friend

Never take true friendships for granted.

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In a generation like ours, sometimes it's hard to distinguish a lifelong friend from a temporary one. There are friends for every part of your life: your childhood friends, college friends, work friends, and even friends that you play poker with at your retirement home. But one thing holds true during your life journey, hold on to your authentic friends. Here's how to distinguish one from an ordinary friend.

1. They remember specific details you've told them in the past.

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How did they remember that your dog was turning 12 on June 6th? It's because they genuinely take the time to listen to you. This shows how much they care and want to know about your life.

2. They care about your well-being.

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If you've heard your friend say things like "drive safe" or "text me when your flight lands", this shows how much they care about your safety. Authentic friends will make sure you are protected and feeling happy.

3. They always want the best for you.

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We all know there is a big difference between a jealous friend and a supportive friend. Surrounding yourself with friends that want the best for you is important. More positivity will be brought in your life if you are aware of maintaining an encouraging environment for yourself.

4. They will be extremely honest with you.

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True friends say it like it is. They won't lie and tell you your skirt matches your shoes if it doesn't. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to distinguishing a genuine friend.

5. They keep your secrets safe.

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You can trust them and tell them anything. Authentic friends won't repeat secrets you've told them to anyone else, and this is such a refreshing feeling! These are reliable and trustworthy people.

6. They will go out of their way to help you.

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This relates to caring about your well-being because they will do anything for you. Your true friends will go the extra mile without hesitation. They will be there for you wherever you need them and won't expect a favor in return.

7. They embrace your goofy side.

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Everybody's got one! If you are able to be your true goofy self around your people then you, my friend, have found a true one! Enjoy being weirdos together.

If any of your friends meet these criteria, then you are blessed! Never take your true friendships for granted.

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