Friday, February 26, 2010
A great deal of my work involves traveling. I love traveling, especially when I am sitting in the cozy warmth of my office and talking about it. Catch me in the middle of a three hour flight delay on the last flight leaving Chicago for San Diego or Los Angeles and I might give you a different opinion. It’s a matter of perspective.
I was in Los Angeles a few years ago and I was making a purchase with one of my bank cards. The clerk asked for ID when I gave her my driver’s license she said “Oh Kentucky!” By the look on her face I began looking around to see if I was standing beside some week old garbage.Long ago I learned to use humor as weapon. Not a Kill you, beat you up weapon” but a weapon to diffuse a tense situation or two.
I leaned across the counter and said,” Ma’m I have worn shoes all my life, had indoor plumbing ever since I can remember and I promise you I am not married to any immediate family members.” She chuckled a bit.
“Wanna know something?” I asked her
“Do you know I spend a lot of time defending people who live in Southern California?”She straightened up and gave me one of those “What the heck do you mean looks.”
“Everyone knows,” I went on. “You are all pot smoking hippies who have sex in the middle of the street whenever you choose. And that’s just the everyday people. Don’t get me started on movie stars.”
She smiled and said something like “Okay, you got me.” It’s a matter of perspective.
We are so quick to evaluate and even quicker to judge and dispose of thoughts, ideas and other people. I believe most of those actions come from a very deep rooted insecurity we all have about ourselves. The next time you have a free moment get yourself comfortable, close your eyes and conjure up a picture of yourself. Take a really good look at that picture. Pay close attention to what you see. That is the image you and I project to the rest of the world. If it’s a smiling confident, up right posture then that’s what the world sees.
Most of us vacillate somewhere between feeling so-so about ourselves and downright unhappy. That’s why diets don’t work. They deal only with the shell, or the exterior. The next time you are in a book store notice what two sections contain the most titles---- Dieting and Self Help. Now don’t you think if there was one regimen for health there would be one book? And we all would walk around with grins on our faces? It’s a matter of perspective.
We often tell ourselves that the external self doesn’t matter, that’s it’s the inner person or the inner beauty that should shine. Oh yeah? Tally up how much money you have spent on exercise equipment, workout clothes and gym memberships in the past five years and compare it to what you spend on your “inner self.” It’s a matter of perspective.
Imagine you purchased an old beat up car that barely ran and the only investment you made in it was to get an expensive pain job. The car wouldn’t run any better. My perspective needs to change from the inside out. Once the inner image I have of me begins to change, the exterior will match it. It’s all about my perspective!
When I see me as being a person of value, a person who loves and is loved, a person who has really cool things to share, all of a sudden those cookies, cakes and pies aren’t so important to me any longer and I start looking for ways to match my inner picture.
Stop and think for a moment: Why is Sparkpeople.com so successful? In close to three months I have yet to read or see any magic or secret formulas. No rigid diet that forces me to deny myself. No snarling trainer telling me I won’t be healthy until I die from a stroke on the tread mill. Just a lot nurturing by a lot of fantastic folks. Just a lot of support and encouragement by all of you. If I am a reasonable and rationale person, I believe that I am part of a very unique group of people called humanity and suddenly those bad habits aren’t my priorities any longer.
Take a good hard look at yourself and start seeing the wonderful creature God created. You see, I am really selfish. I want you to see the marvelous you, so I can see you too.
It’s a matter of perspective.
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.
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