Thursday, February 25, 2010
I was not aware there was more to the Optimists Creed than I posted. One of my dear Spark friends shared the rest with me. It is actually a quote by Christian D Larson. Here are the last two lines
To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.
Thank you TSISQUAUSDI for sharing the rest of the quote
Hope y'all enjoy.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I think it’s often over looked in our precise calculations on life, love and a journey towards happiness. For some strange reason we discount it as being too easy. If life isn’t a struggle at every corner and at every turn, then I guess we aren’t investing enough of our self. Too some, if we embrace it we are considered weak and without direction. It’s called simplicity and simplicity gets a very bad rap.
I have found it to be a really good antidote for stress. The less encumbered my life becomes the less I have to worry about. The less I worry the more room for joy, peace and that vision of the REAL me.
The real me is not the person created by everyone else’s expectations. That’s the me that turned to food as a solution, became obese, complicated my life even more and was in borderline despair mode for awhile. It’s the me that takes the time on a Saturday morning to sit down with some soothing background music and explore the things that make me so very unique. There are thirty two of them and they are never far from me. I read them aloud, I laugh a bit and I go on my way. It takes maybe 10 minutes. No need to climb the mountain and visit the Swami. I have all I need inside. The simpler I make it the easier it gets. The harder I make it the harder it gets.
I am a simple person. I ask to be loved and I want to give that love in return. I want to be acknowledged for what I do but if I don’t show you what I am capable of doing, how can you acknowledge me?
I am a simple person. I can tell you with confidence that I am funny, I am intelligent and I can get you to buy an igloo in Alaska with the twinkle in my eye.
Being simple doesn’t require a lot of work. It requires honesty. Yes, I have made a ton of mistakes but a quick review of everything I have written above shows that none of it has changed because I’ve admitted to being weak, or thrown a temper tantrum or changed a computer over to Windows 7 all by myself and messed it up after my wife told me to wait for one of sons who is an IT specialist.
The further I travel and the more I am “honestly honest” with myself the more I see that losing the bad weight I put on, adjusting my meal plan and working out has little or nothing to do with food and everything to do with how I see and value myself. We believe it hurts to be “honestly honest” Come close and I’ll tell you a little secret. Once I faced me, I simply saw what everyone else saw and it wasn’t bad. Once I was honest with me I found out I was a really cool dude, or “sir” to those of you under thirty. The only thing that stopped me from being me was me.
There is no bravado here, no false courage. I’ll fail more today then I’ll succeed. At the end of the day I’ll write down one million things I wish I would have done differently. The difference is when I look at it tonight I’ll smile a bit instead of a painful grimace
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday. I had planned on staying in my flannels and my Chicago Cubs tee shirt all day and giving myself permission to be lazy because I was sick. This means you can watch television all day and not feel guilty, or read for three hours and not have that nagging feeling you should be doing something more “productive.” Isn’t it amazing we have to get sick sometimes to feel good about ourselves and what we do?
But I digress.
The phone rang around eleven or so. The party on the other line “needed” to talk to me. He “needed” to have lunch with me. I told him I was not feeling well but I might as well have told him I was fourteen feet tall with a rotating head. I wouldn’t categorize this person as a friend, because a friend would have told me, “Let’s do it tomorrow! It can wait.” He is not really a client. He is just a child of God, which means guilt forced me into the shower and down the road to the one place I have avoided for over two months, a local pizza parlor which has killer food ---- literally and figuratively.
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the very same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I knew two things before I even got out of the car. One, no matter what was “ailing him” he would discount the advice I gave him and get really defensive. This would be followed by a litany of my short comings. Since he doesn’t really know me that well I am not really sure how he knows all of them. Two, I would pay for lunch. His reasoning and logic is that he works for a not for profit company and doesn’t have any money, etc, etc. I wouldn’t mind so much if we alternated but I never invite him to lunch, he always invites me. As I am walking into the restaurant I am holding a conversation with myself that is questioning why I am there. Me and my box of Puff’s sit down and wait. There is a third thing I know about these encounters, he is at least fifteen minutes late, always!
Everything went according to script. He complained and moaned about his life, his wife and the people who worked for him. Thank goodness for him or the entire galaxy would collapse upon itself………..
There are “toxic people” in this world. I believe that they are like hazardous material. You need to stay away from them and not involve yourself with them or you will become toxic also. I don’t believe anyone is born toxic, I believe that after a period of time they make the choice to live that way, and……………….. If we are who we hang around with, well you complete the sentence.
We are as dependant on these toxic people as they are dependent upon spewing their poison. They might be an aunt, an uncle, a parent, a child or a spouse. And after all aren’t we called to love?? Mostly what we see ourselves being called to do is avoiding any situation that is uncomfortable to us.
Now I’m not sure if it was because I felt just plain crummy or if I had a moment of enlightenment, but after we had finished eating I stood up, looked at him and said:
“Joe, I have really come to value the relationship I have created with myself. I am healthier and happier than I have been in years. But here’s the deal: I should have not eaten with you today because I felt really sick but you didn’t seem to care, you never seem to care. So I am really angry right now, mostly with me. When you want to have a relationship that is based on honesty and give and take call me and we can start over. Till then I think way too much of me.”
I picked up the check and walked to the counter, told the owner to split it in half and told him Joe would be paying for his half. Then I left.
Honestly? I felt bad all the way home. But after sitting in the living room for an hour and just reflecting on the whole situation I believe I did something very healthy for me. I took care of me.
See, we just don’t have toxic relationships with people; we can have them with food. I mean haven’t my cookies, cakes and pies always been there for me? And now you want me to abandon them and become a healthy and happy John. The nerve of you!!! They have always been there. Can’t you here my arteries closing as we speak?
Health is a choice and sometimes the choice isn’t always filled with sunshine and tulips. Sometimes it’s making that first step towards sanity that takes you down a new road. It’s pitfalls and setbacks and some days lots and lots of tears.
But let’s wrap this up on a positive note.
Remember when I told you I avoided this pizza joint because of its very own toxicity? Well for lunch today I had a large salad with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, some hardboiled egg and 2 tablespoons of bleu cheese dressing. I had ONE piece of pizza that mostly veggies. I am pleased.
I love me. I love me a lot and I believe I would do anything to make sure that love stays healthy and grows healthy. In a very healthy way, I hope you love you too.
Monday, February 22, 2010
The more positive you think, feel and believe, the more positive your life becomes.
I am sick.
Not just a few sniffles and a runny nose but the fever, achy, “I wanna die” sort of sick. In a word I feel miserable. There is another part of me that is at peace with all of this. Don’t get me wrong I do not enjoy being ill. I am not sweating the details. I am not stressing. I am letting go.
I will not work out today. That would be suicide and its okay that I don’t, work out that is. Maybe tomorrow I will feel better and I will pick up where I left off Saturday morning. We got home last night and I started feeling bad. My plan was to go to the gym, instead I went to bed.
I have been doing too much, working at a pace quicker than my resources could supply and I got sick. As the saying goes ‘It is what it is.” I am letting go.
Letting go, to me, means that all the junk that clouds my mind gets put on hold and I simply exist for a day or so. I am starting to see that I am not what I accomplish, I am not how many friends I have or don’t have. It’s not about what I look like or the size of clothes I wear. It is about respecting me. It is about being present to myself and mostly its about trusting God, whatever you perceive Him or Her to be.
My favorite book in the Bible is Jonah. Jonah keeps running away and God keeps pulling him back. Jonah wants to go to New York and God wants him in San Diego.
Letting go. There is a real freedom in not knowing, in trusting and in waiting with real joy for the next chapter. It’s about the journey and the people we meet who fortify us. People like you.
Get An Email Alert Each Time JOHNTJ1 Posts