Thursday, December 24, 2009
Do you know the story "The Gift of the Magi"? Growing up, we learned that the magi were the wise men who brought gifts to baby Jesus in the manger, so before I read "The gift of the Magi" for the first time many years ago, I thought it would be the same story, perhaps updated. And it was - in a way.
The story tells of a young married couple who were literally living pay check to pay check. The wife, Dela was only able to squirrel away a few pennies she'd won in her haggling with the local vendors. It was Christmas eve and she wanted so badly to buy a Christmas present for her husband, Jim, but she was disappointed to learn she only had $1.87 cents.
Dela went to the local notions shop and found a most lovely pocket watch chain. Her husband had a beautiful pocket watch that he inherited from his uncle. It was his most prized possession. She thought of how beautiful the watch would look on the end of that chain, and knew that is what she wanted to get for him. But the cost was $21. How could she ever afford that? Dela had one thing she believed to be of material value - her long luxurious hair. So after a little thought she she went to the hair buying salon, and had it cut off. She received $20, went to back to the shop and purchased her husband the chain for his pocket watch.
She was so happy with her purchase, she didnt think about how she would explain her new do to her husband, and could only hope that he would like her just the same.
When her husband Jim came in to see all of her hair gone, it is written that he wore a strange look, a look she had never seen. She was momentarily disturbed but he assured her that he loved her just the same, and that when she saw her Christmas present she would understand the look. When she opened the gift she saw that it was a set of fine combs she had always admired for quite a while - she asked her husband not to worry, and assured him that her hair would grow back very quickly.
In all of the excitement she almost forgot to give him the gift she brought for him. When he opened the package Dela was so proud and asked him to get his watch so she could see what it would look like on the chain. It was then he told her that he had sold his watch to buy her combs.
O. Henry (the writer, although the name does evoke memories of some type of candy I always saw when I was little) summed up his story by explaining that although it seemed like a foolish thing to do, these two in fact were wise beyond their years- each sacrificing his most prized gift for the other. In the end they ended up with nothing much, and at the same time ended up with everything. Love is something we cant put a money value on, to love and know/feel that you are also loved. It's priceless.
Have a wonderful holiday! Do not pass up the chance to give and gain as much love as you can this season!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Ive been MIA lately - Ive been MIA from myself too.
After the last blog, I "checked out" a bit, I didnt want to have any other realizations, so I've laid really low, I didnt really want to go any deeper or feel any more pain. So Ive been lazy, lazy, lazy, I havent even logged into my meeting myself blog in about two weeks, and Ive been pretty inconsistent here with my daily spark point target.
Now, because I wasnt busy with the things that have usually been keeping me busy I started "busy-ing" myself with the problems of my friends. When in doubt - shift focus! I reverted to the "comfort" of the life I had been living for so long. The life where I can hide, and I dont have to really take care of me, I just have to be very nice to and take care of other people, maybe do one thing to feel like Im alive every now and then. Comfortable? yes. Happy or fulfilled? - not a chance. I miss what has recently become my normal. I think Im just about ready to pick it up and push through, but the weight loss journey is not the only journey Im on - it's just one of a few.
MS can cause memory issues, and I can't ignore any longer that my memory simply is not what it used to be, I cant cook without a timer very much anymore because I will forget Im cooking. I cannot do my leslie sansone 3 mile walk without not being able to move by the time Im done, and it's not because Im out of breath, it's because I cant really lift my legs at the end. It's scary.
Im dealing with spacticity (stiffness), tremors, and a memory that's not interested in keeping up with me in addition to trying to maintain (at least) my weight, and I have so far though Thanksgiving and everything! Im happy for that!
Something else that happened that I wrote about but didnt post at all is that I was published nationally in the NMSS's quarterly magazine. My dr was beside herself with happiness, and excitement. I think she might have been more excited than I was. I am/was happy -but Im not sure I absorbed it very much. I didnt relish in it, I didnt really celebrate it. That little nit picky editor in my head keeps on saying - it's not a big deal.
I gave one copy to my dr, and another copy to my uncle who also has MS, and I shared it with my sister and 3 of my friends.
I am happy about it, because if you told me last year that I wouldve had the motivation to write anything for the magazine, I wouldnt have believed it I credit SP for that. For giving me the little boost of confidence I needed to send my article to the magazine. Im happy because I got to read some of the responses to the article and they were touching beyond anything I couldve even hoped for. And, perhaps that's the way in which Im most happy, Im happy that someone, somewhere read something I wrote and said - I understand this - I feel like this too. I thought I was the only one. Thank you for letting me know Im not alone.
I wish the MS society had a Spark People like environment.
The support that I recieve from all of you keeps me going, and I thank you for it. Thanks for letting me know Im not alone in this.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Over the weekend, I read some comments in a response to a recent daily spark entry. The entry was about Gabourey Sidibe, the young lady who portrayed "Precious" in a movie of the same name. Sidibe is what we would call by sight alone obese, and despite this she danced, and I mean danced her way onto Ellen's stage. The article mentioned an interview that Sidibe did explaining that she was sick and tired of being so miserable, so she decided to live her life no matter what anyone said.
Many of the comments started great attitude! Or I wish I could be that confident, then comments slowly turned into yeah she has a great attitude, but there's no denying that she is not healthy and will have a plethora of health issues in her future. Then I started to see - I don’t believe she is happy, or how can she love herself and not take care to eat right and exercise. She cant possibly love herself. Then the kicker- I don’t believe *any* obese person can be happy.
You're too fat to love yourself. If you loved yourself you'd be thin, you're too fat to be truly happy. Truly happy people are skinny...
Do you know that there was a time in my life that I would've agreed with these people? I mean, I was obese and I know how miserable I was, just smiling through all types of pain, so when I saw a heavy happy person, I just knew it was a myth. Fat people don't love themselves. They can't. I didnt. How could they?
I'm still obese, and I dare anyone to tell me I'm not happy. I don't buy that crap anymore (sorry for the strong language) but this really upsets me. Do these people not realize that they are talking about themselves? It must kill them to see this large lady come out dancing, and actually happy. What would they have her do? Come out and say - well I wanted to dance, but I'm not at a healthy weight, so I cant do that. Yeah Ellen, I'd love to laugh and tell you a funny joke, but I can't do that!! I'm fat, I'm not allowed.
How dare you tell someone else that they couldn't possibly be happy, and they couldn't possibly love themselves? You are not the happiness police. How about you work on your own happiness? Before predicting what or how someone else should feel?
When I really started to think about all I was seeing, and how I was feeling, I started to realize that for years that is *exactly* how I responded to life- I'm too fat to live. I don't deserve to live, let me be as quiet and as agreeable as I can as not to disturb the people who are thinner and therefore have earned the right. So why in the world would I have those feelings? It was only then that I realized that this is the attitude that I was raised under. After that realization, a whole horde of stuff started making so much sense to me. It is why I chose to hide away for so long, what else was I supposed to do? I was taught that this was the way I had to be. I couldnt ever truly be happy or love myself. Fat blocks you from doing that for yourself. It's better to try to gain your worth from someone else, because you cant have that for yourself. The Fat blocks it. :(
It makes me so angry, that people take the feelings they have towards themselves to poison others.
Anyway, back to the unfair judgment placed on Ms. Sidibe -
1. We don't know the health regimen Ms Sidibe follows, just because she is not skinny, does not mean she isn't eating right and exercising - does it? I exercise at least 4 times a week, and I'm not stuffing my face with cake and cookies. I'm healthier now than I was a year ago, actually, I'm more healthy than I've ever been in my life. I have the medical records that say so. Even though I may not *look* like it. It is unfair to say well, she's unhealthy, when you don't know anything about her. You don't know what she has already worked through, nor what she is working towards.
2. I saw more than one person refer to her weight problem - weight problem for whom exactly? The person referring her weight as a problem or Ms. Sidibe herself? Apparently she doesn’t know of her "weight problem". She isn't letting it hold her back at all.
3. How can you use the ruler by which you measure yourself, and how you love yourself, to tell someone that they don't love themselves enough, or love themselves too much! For all of the people who taut how much they love themselves now that the fat is gone, would they still love themselves if they gained every single pound back? What if they were on medication, or weren't able to move anymore - would they be able to love themselves just the same? Something tells me that Self-love is not supposed to be conditional.
I wonder , do these people realize that being thin only means that you're thin? If you’ve vomited your guts out, or got hooked on drugs and cigarettes to get thin or to avoid gaining weight, That is not healthy. Is that person loving themselves at that point? You know I once had someone tell me, it didnt matter what they did to get thin. They looked healthy and that's what mattered.
What bothers me is that it is true. We've all bought into it until we put our foot down and say - hey! No more of this. NO MORE. If you don't want to love yourself, go ahead and hate yourself. Do not poison me with your hate.
Too see people judge Sidibe based solely on her weight, people, some of which have probably gone through or are still struggling through the exact same thing, is so disturbing to me, I'm not sure what to do with my feelings. I can imagine these ideas just being passed down generations. It's ok to judge a fat person - they don't "look" healthy. They don’t really love themselves anyway. Just throw in a - we care about your health - spin and the judgment is fine.
It's not fine.
And I don't buy it anymore. I think I am getting to know myself. It's slow, and it's painful at times, but I'm meeting the me that I am. Not only what people have always wanted me to be.
Sometimes I think about the conditional self love, and I wonder if I were 100 pounds heavier again, would the self-love that im working on right now remain? If in 10 years, Im unable to move - will I be ok? Will I revert to the ways I learned when I knew no better? Im hoping that what I do now will help me in the future.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Sometimes, I read the journal of the me I've been - just to remember, just to prove to myself that change is indeed possible. I still have a difficult time getting out and "living" because I'm still trying to figure out what that means for me. I'm not entirely sure where to start, or what exactly I consider "living" to be, but thats all a part of getting to know myself.
I read those entries from my journal years ago, and I see all the pain, shame, heartache, and torment I gifted myself. While I'm sure I could feel anger towards that girl, for all of the time wasted, I don't. There's still a piece of me that is her, and I feel such compassion, and gratitude for the person who wrote those journals. She is the person that got me here. She's the one who logged onto SP last May, She is the one that said - "Today is a new day" (Thanks Jespah).
When I read those journals, I wish I could give her a hug, and tell her that it's going to be ok. I would whisper to her "You're going to start changing your life, you're going to start realizing that there some things that only you can teach, you're going to learn to love yourself, it will be ok. It won't be quick, and it won't be easy, but it'll be ok."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Yesterday, I read a line on Kate Spade's - Blog Shapely Prose, it read -
The way you feel about yourself informs what gifts from others you allow yourself to accept.
I believe this. I can look at my past experiences and see this lesson with a clarity I never had before. But I feel another part can be added to this.
The way you feel about yourself informs the gifts you will give to others.
I was able to see and understand these statements with a clarity I never allowed myself to have, or even believed I could have. It's only since I've started working on meeting myself (yup, that's still happening) that I see all things I shut myself off from with the heartbreaking belief that I didn't deserve anything, anyone or any better. I look back and see how much I kept myself all locked up because I didnt want to be seen, I didnt want to be heard, I didnt want to live. I wanted to be the invisible person I was treated as.
I'd love to say that once I realized all of this, I bounced right up and said ok forget it, now on to bigger and better things, but that's not what happened. I feel Ill get there eventually, but I have taken some time to mourn for all I've rejected, all I did not fight for and allowed to pass me by, all I've been too scared to offer, and all I've scolded myself for being and not being, simply because of how poorly I felt about my body and myself. I needed that time for the reality of it to sink in.
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