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A Moment of Faith

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I decided to change my workout music yesterday. I was getting tired of listening to the same stuff. It’s not that the music is bad but when you have 1,256 songs on your IPod you can choose from a wide selection. So as I am walking around the track I decided to go old school --- Kansas. I had always liked their music and it has a good beat. Maybe it was where I was emotionally yesterday but the words to the first song, The Wall, caused me to literally stop in my tracks. It went something like this:

“I'm woven in a fantasy, I can't believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day I feel a little more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me, a dark and silent barrier between
All I am and all that I would ever want to be”

Okay, so I am not your average run of the mill, sweating to the oldies sort of guy. I’ll bet I have heard that song a hundred times and never really listened to it. And please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about gloom and doom. Quite the contrary. As I finished my exercise here is what I came up with, and it caused me to smile.

If you had told me a year ago that a forty five pound weight loss would be number four or five on the list of things I was proudest of I would have suggested you go get drug screened. I am very happy with my progress, so far. I am happier about the person I am becoming. I am becoming John. I am slowly, but surely getting rid of those things that are keeping me from being and doing all the great things I want to do. I believe my self awareness is what is driving my healthier life style. I have always believed in this but I never knew how to put it all together. But as I listened to the song a few times I realized that there was this wall between” All I am and all that I ever want to be.”

No blame. That’s hard not to do. I have to let go of the blame and I have to realize that things were as they were just as they are now as they are. No one is too blame for being unhealthy other than me. No ones to blame for poor habits
other than me. No one is too blame for all the excuses, except me. There is a wall.

I went to church last night and I thanked God, for that minor revelation. I saw, as I prayed “What I needed to do.” Or so I think.

Just about that time my inner voice spoke four words: “A Moment of Faith.” Between me and you I hate it when that happens.

The wall comes down during that one moment of faith when I made the choice to just have faith just let go. It was God saying “Give it all to me John. You can’t handle all of it anyway.’

Inside of me there was this uncomfortable silence. I had always thought an entire host of angels, saints and assorted holy people would show up at this moment and cheer. Instead it sat before me, a decision. I heard this voice tell me I was loved no matter what.

“All I am and all that I would ever want to be”

So I let go. It is really hard for me to explain the next few minutes. I felt this tremendous sense of release along with this awesome feeling of awe. I just sat there and it was like everything was okay. Then I got scared to death. Then I started crying. Joan is used to me crying so she just patted my arm. The lady on the other side of me probably finished Mass in the next county.

I am not the rose colored glasses type of person. I am not trying to make this all sweet and surgery. It was inside of me another moment of awareness and peace. Without being disrespectful it was a holy moment.

I offer this to you not as a “Look at me aren’t I wonderful sort of moment.” I offer it as a sign that no matter what happens, no matter how often we stumble fall or fail, that one moment of faith can sustain us for a long time. I was faced with a decision. I want to be healthy and happy and I want to help other people do the same. I will never be perfect but as I learn to use my gifts and talents, I can become a ray of hope to others

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAT573 3/8/2010 9:22PM

    JOHN: I decided that since you wrote this on my birthday, I should read it after coming in here via a link from Amabile75's blog and reading the newer one;

I cannot begin to tell you how similar what I am going through this Lenten season is with what you are describing; It is not new; I have always known that the barriers I have are the ones I inherited when I was dependent on others and had nothing to compare it to, for better or worse; once I became independent, so to speak, is when my journey to me began, and that is how it is with us all; the degree to which we claim ownership for our part in where we are at, is the degree to which that wall begins to be dismantled.
Keep on keeping ON! emoticon

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MARCYNA 3/8/2010 9:40AM

    I just can't believe it. It's such a wonderful moment.
It's when you touch 'the hem of His garment' and you're healed.
Keep this feeling, John. It's total beauty, heaven on heart.
Thank you for sharing.
God bless you!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon
PS Have you ever heard 'One Touch' by Nicole Cullen????

Comment edited on: 3/8/2010 9:44:07 AM

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PINETREEGIRL 3/7/2010 9:00PM

    Faith, hope, continue
(thank you!)

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TNTEACHER2 3/7/2010 7:35PM

    good for you, John!

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CRYSELLE 3/7/2010 3:35PM

    what an awesome thing. It's great to be aware when the universe, God, the Angels have a message for you, and the be open to receiving it, and to really take it in and understand it. I'm glad you had this moment. What a meaningful time for you, and something to aspire to for us all. You are truly an inspiration, John.

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DOLLBABE56 3/7/2010 1:50PM

    A magical moment indeed.

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STORMTMB 3/7/2010 1:08PM

    Awesome. You were listening when God had something to tell you.

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/7/2010 12:53PM

    Fantastic insight, John. I am so happy for you!

It is wonderful that you are so open to change and willing to do the hard work involved.

Annie

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KATIEGLEN012 3/7/2010 11:23AM

    Yes, indeed.

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URSULA125 3/7/2010 10:29AM

    God is awesome! I am so thankful He can and wants to carry us.
God continue to bless you.

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AMABILE75 3/7/2010 10:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LEEANNE1980 3/7/2010 10:15AM

    Wow.

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Healing Part 2

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Before I write this morning post I want to stop and thank those of you who posted responses to my blog on healing yesterday. It is my normal practice to respond individually to each person with a short note. However, lol, I did not get home from my trip last night until close to 8pm and I was tired. So please accept this universal thanks for all of your support, your comments and especially your love.


Sometimes I think I would rather feel just plain old miserable as opposed to feeling “off.” As I said yesterday I hadn’t been with Karen for awhile and while I wasn’t really anxious, I wasn’t my usual confident self. You might say I loathed what I thought might happen. At any rate, things got worse before they got better. When I walked into the office yesterday, Karen’s secretary commented on how good I looked, wanted to know what I was doing to lose weight. I told her how much weight I had lost and she did a sort of fist pump and said “Go John.”
Karen was standing in her office door and made a scowling motion with her face. Her secretary looked at me and whispered, “Sorry!!!” I took a bit of consolation in the fact that I am not the only person Karen has a hard time getting along with.

I am not sure what I was expecting to happen yesterday. My goal was to get through the day civilly. I had this nagging feeling inside of me that there was something here I was supposed to learn. I was just missing it.

I had lunch with one of Karen’s coworkers. He and I hadn’t talked in a long time. He lost a family member recently and is going through some serious health issues. He told me once that outside of his family I know more about him than anyone else. So as we sat and ate our lunch, he just let everything spill out. As I listened to him I began to think. “How damn selfish you are, John.”

I mean, I am worried about some very small and petty ongoing argument I have with someone and this guy is stuck in a well of despair. It made me recall exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

My motto has become “Helping Good People Become Better” I do that by bringing hope to people in situations where they may not see the hope. That’s my “gift.” I gave up trying to figure it out a long time ago. I just do it.

I took my eye off of the ball. I was so worried about Karen and what she’d say or what she’d do that I’d miss that I may have missed a lot of opportunities to be present to other people who’s need to heal was just as great as mine.

I went back to our afternoon interview session and I wasn’t worried about anything other than the six people I was charged with interviewing, and yes they took a little longer than normal because I made a very conscious effort to be present to those people who were sitting across the table from me and not worry about what Karen thought. I felt whole. I felt like I had done the right thing.
On the way home it struck me that I will never change the way Karen thinks or feels, all I can do is be present. All I can do is in the truest sense of the word, love.
While there is a lot of water under the bridge and while I don’t think we will ever be best buddies I think I can look at her as the child of God she is and begin to heal that hurt inside of me.

The humor God presented to me is that the real healing here has to come from inside of me. Then I am more capable of being present to other people.

"Just love and let God worry about the rest."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINKERBELL200 3/9/2010 8:28PM

    emoticon John!!! As I deal with the some of the same issues on my job!!! I can relate! I think what we need to get as a bigger picture , is these people don't know Jesus like we do! All we can do is love them into the kingdom! Have the confidence in ourselves that we are children of God! We can do ALL Things through CHRIST who strengthens us!!!! People in the world need to see Jesus' love shine through us. Just listening to people ministers to them! And also it should bring us to reality as to our problems really aren't that big compared to others! We have so much to be thankful for!! Keep being yourself and showing the love of Jesus! It's beaming out of you!!!
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Lynne

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MARCYNA 3/7/2010 8:40AM

    It's wonderful!!!! God turns our wounds into healing, as in Cana water was turned into wine.
I'm so happy this healing process has started in you and I'm amazed how this involves all the people you're meeting.
May the Lord bless you now and forever emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 3/7/2010 8:39AM

    Sometime, somewhere, I read that we are to express thanks for all trials that come our way...for it is they that will be leading us to growth. No one yet has said that the journey was supposed to be easy. It can be difficult for me to practice this...but always when I can it is fruitful.
We do the best that we can...and you, John, do an amazing job of reaching out to others.

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CMBELISLE 3/7/2010 8:34AM

    I'm glad that you could see beyond Karen and understand that there are more people that need your unique wisdom and abilities, even when Karen is around. You are also fortunate that Karen is only a part-time situation in your life.

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WALKNLOVE 3/6/2010 9:29PM

    Great blog! There is so much more to people than what we see on the surface.Loving people, in spite of themselves, is what we are called to do! Thanks for being real! emoticon

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YOYONOMORE1 3/6/2010 3:11PM

    A pleasant word is a bright ray of sunshine on a saddened heart. Therefore, give others the sunshine, and tell Jesus the rest. L.B. Cowman/Streams in the Desert

I think you gave your friend at lunch the sunshine yesterday, it's sad to think of all the sunshine Karen is missing out on. Well done John.

Hugs,
Shirl

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FREDIA2 3/6/2010 1:34PM

    John, you are awesome ! When you continue to look at people the way you are then things only improve. Remember that you can't change other people only yourself. You appear to be on the right path. emoticon

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FREDIA2 3/6/2010 1:34PM

    John, you are awesome ! When you continue to look at people the way you are then things only improve. Remember that you can't change other people only yourself. You appear to be on the right path. emoticon

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FREDIA2 3/6/2010 1:34PM

    John, you are awesome ! When you continue to look at people the way you are then things only improve. Remember that you can't change other people only yourself. You appear to be on the right path. emoticon

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/6/2010 1:06PM

    John, you are such an amazing person!

You've got to feel sorry for all the "karens" in the world because seriously, what kind of life does she have? She can only see the worst in people, her main goal in life seems to torment others. My guess is, her personal life is nonexistent.

You on the other hand, are there to encourage, uplift and help others grow, blossom, and become the best they can be.

Fantastic!

If nothing else, keep smiling at her. It will make her wonder what you're up to.

And the answer is, absolutely NOTHING!

Keep blogging, keep living, keep hoping.

You are WONDERFUL!

Thanks so much for giving me such a wonderful start to my day.

Annie

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OHYESITSME1 3/6/2010 12:47PM

    It is amazing how alive we feel when we stay/live in just the present moment! Namaste! emoticon

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NJMATTICE 3/6/2010 12:33PM

    I call Karen"esque" types, prickly people. It has helped me to see those people as "gifts for growth". Without her, you would not have had the pleasure of the self-discoveries that you received. Loving people who make themselves so unlovable makes you feel like SUPERMAN when you have a victory. That is a good feeling! So have a great day SUPERMAN and say a little prayer for your prickly friend! I will say one for both of you :-)
Love,
Nancy

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STORMTMB 3/6/2010 11:53AM

    What struck me is that you know your gift and you use it. Clearly you were blessed by using it yesterday and the man you shared lunch with was blessed as well. I'd call that a Fabulous Friday!

Tina

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DOLLBABE56 3/6/2010 10:48AM

    Well John, I hadn't read yesterday's blog so I went back and did. I remember people like her. Most of us probably do. It is very hard to let go of those feelings. I'm very proud that you had yesterdays's epiphany.

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CRANBERRYKITTY 3/6/2010 8:58AM

    Woohoo John!!! That's a really good outcome and it sounds like you handled it all in a very dignified way.

It's too bad someone can't reach out and help these people like Karen, but when people don't want help or are in denial, there's no way they would ever change.

But, in reality, there will always be a Karen out there... and it's really (as you said) how we react to it that matters the most. Thanks for sharing your story and setting an example here.
Congrats,
Sydney

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AMABILE75 3/6/2010 8:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

I'm so glad that things worked out for you in this situation. It feels like you really did get something out of it, your eyes were opened and you didn't let her win.

GOOD FOR YOU!!!

Thank you so much for sharing with us.

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Healing

Friday, March 05, 2010

I am all for fresh beginnings, out with the old, in with the new. A lot of us get ready to do that this time of year. We call it spring cleaning. Time to shake all the musty, stale things out and open the windows to let in fresh air; air that not only invigorates us but gives us a new perspective on life.

Sometimes we have to go in the basement, crawl under the stairs and dig out an old box or bin that has been there awhile. Mostly we have forgotten about it. We haven’t been in the basement for awhile so we haven’t planned on adding it to the spring cleaning agenda. Another issue sends us to the basement, maybe it’s a hammer or a screw driver and we see that old box sitting in the corner and we sigh, and maybe screw up our face a bit and curse the fates.

“I forgot that was there.” We think about it all day, pretty vexed that we have to add it to the list and we lay in bed at night and toss and turn a bit because we have to deal with it. It wasn’t part of our plan.

I met Karen about four years ago. A client promoted her and hired me to train her in her new job. Karen is capable, competent and very bright. She has a grasp of technical issues that is amazing. She doesn’t like people. She doesn’t like me.
I spent a year training Karen. It was the worst year of my life. I found that when we were in a group or a meeting with other people Karen went out of her way to make me look bad. She would mimic the way I spoke or my mannerisms. When she would make a mistake she would tell her boss it was because I hadn’t taught her something properly which in most cases was a lie, plain and simple. Fortunately I had a huge bank of credibility with this client and Karen’s attempts to discredit me back fired on her. We finished our year together. I said all the right things but as I walked to my car I prayed Karen never walked in front of me while I was driving.

I could be all politically correct here and say that Karen “got on my nerves.” I’ll just be honest. I hated her. But after awhile I forgot about her, until yesterday afternoon. The client asked me to sit on some interviews yesterday afternoon and all day today as a favor to him. He is hiring a new executive administrative coordinator and he wanted my opinion on the candidates. I hadn’t seen Karen in about eighteen months.

Lest you think I am a total beast I understand why Karen reacts the way she does. It doesn’t make it feel any better but I understand. Karen is very insecure and has no reason to be. She masks her insecurity by making other people look bad.

Very subtly, she threw little darts at me yesterday. Thankfully I was only with her for about an hour. Today I will be with her for over eight hours. I tossed and turned last night. Around three am I had one of those moments. It wasn’t Karen who had the problem, it was me. I wouldn’t let go. I wouldn’t allow myself to be healed because it was way to much fun licking my wounds and looking for pity.
Allowing ourselves to be healed is tough. As much as we say we may want it, it’s tough to let go. It’s like that box in our basement we forgot about. We don’t like it but we wont let go of it.

How do I accomplish all this? That’s even scarier. To me it is simply sitting back and not controlling the situation. It’s allowing the Divine healing power to work. That means I have to relinquish control and even though I know that the outcome will be amazing, I know I’m not ready for that to occur. I still want my pound of flesh.

It’s a matter of integrity. If I am all that I say I am. If I believe the truths I believe, then I will let go and let the healing begin. In a larger sense I owe Karen a debt of gratitude. She helped me see that dark corner of my basement I’d been afraid to look at.

Time for spring cleaning.

I’ll keep you posted

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLEONIKI 3/9/2010 9:05AM

    This "let go" thing....
So update with my situation that moment...!
It is i believe a matter of taking pleasure..
Sometimes we find ourselves grown accustomed to taking pleasure from the risky, not always convenient position of PAIN, or ANGER..Anger is contagious

I say to myself :when i feel stuck as a response to one's negative behavior it means there are some hidden desires that lie in my "basement" as you have wisely mentioned.
It is then a matter of realizing whether this old pattern is the only one that may cause you pleasure and let yourself fly free..towards NEW LANDS!


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SPARKENISTA 3/6/2010 8:29PM

    John--There are people in this world who are insensitive and downright mean. In many ways it doesn't matter why. I don't think it is necessary to be politically correct here. She tried to embarrass and demean you. There is no excuse for that.

Your angry feelings are 100% justified. You don't have to bend over backward to find excuses for her. In the end she will be the loser--for one thing she lost the valuable treasure of your support and friendship. Don't stress over it.

She is the victim of her history. Don't allow yourself to be the victim of her angst. It's perfectly okay to be angry. It's normal. Accept it. Be angry and vent as long you feel it's necessary. Then forget her for good and move on.

Anyway, that's how I feel about it. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/6/2010 8:31:29 PM

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/5/2010 11:01PM

    Dear John,

It's sad to have to deal with people who can only build themselves up by tearing others down.

My prayers are with you. I know you'll come through this even stronger.

You are terrific!

Annie

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TINKERBELL200 3/5/2010 6:27PM

    John.
How true this is...If we just let go and let God take care of it! I have been struggling with a similar situation at work and like you said, am I who I say I am! More importantly, who does God say I am. I have favor, His favor! Poor Karen, to be that insecure. She needs prayer, and an open door to a loving Father. Maybe God is using you to open that door, for her. His ultimate plan is that we all arrive with Him someday, and make an impact on people and bring them with us!
God bless, and have success!!!

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WALKNLOVE 3/5/2010 3:10PM

    I appreciated your honesty. I forgive because God's word says to forgive so that my your sins may be forgiven.I want to be forgiven.The main person we hurt when we choose not to forgive, is ourselves.I compare forgiveness to love in this way:We choose to love someone even though sometimes they don't act very lovable.Forgiveness is kind of the same.It's a choice.We can choose to forgive whether we feel like it or not.It's a decision.The feelings will follow....Best wishes to you with Karen. I know you will do the right thing for your healing. Thanks for sharing!

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CRANBERRYKITTY 3/5/2010 2:26PM

    John,

Wow... this sounds so much like what I'm dealing with right now. I am working with a person who is very critical and, since I am so self-aware and self-critical, her comments really tear me to the core. It frustrates me that, because of her position and that my boss gives her this power, I am forced to do things her way.

The most difficult thing is just "faking it". It takes so much effort to fake it, but if I didn't, I would only be subject to her remarks even more. It's such a difficult situation.

I have no power in this situation and the only thing I can do is just remind myself that I'm not alone and that there will be an end to this. I look forward to the day when I no longer have her in my life... but until then, reading your blog the comments has made me feel so much less alone in this battle.

Best of luck to you today. Keep your chin up :)

Thanks,
Sydney

Comment edited on: 3/5/2010 2:32:55 PM

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/5/2010 1:08PM

    I'm wishing you strength as you get through this day.

Please share your insight about the lesson learned from Karen. This is an area where I need help, myself, at times.

My thoughts are with you.

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GIRANIMAL 3/5/2010 12:28PM

    Caroline Myss calls it "woundology." She says we cling to our wounds because we find power in them. We feel that suffering grants us to entitlement.

I think you nailed it by seeing that Karen had a lesson to teach you -- and her lesson just might lie in witnessing you be the "bigger person" and letting it go.

I love your blogs! They are just so darn insightful and bring up for me things that I have allowed myself to cloud over or forget altogether.

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PINETREEGIRL 3/5/2010 12:05PM

    John, I read your blog this morning and for some reason these two paragraphs:
"I wouldn’t allow myself to be healed because it was way to much fun licking my wounds.... I have to relinquish control and even though I know that the outcome will be amazing, I know I’m not ready for that to occur. "
made me think of you saying that you quit smoking five years ago. I smoked for many years, and overcame. I can't think of any other time in my life that I've had to work so hard, and I came out of that experience a very different person in unexpected ways--I thought the change would be only physical. Perhaps you can relate to that statement. That is a huge and terrifying box in the corner of the basement, and once taking that on....there is probably very little that you can't do!
I picture you as strong and determined, predominantly because you come across in your writing as being so very self-aware. I'm sorry that your co-worker is so unpleasant. One bad person can really ruin a work day. But I have faith that her subtitles and insecurities are no match for your inner resource.


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Comment edited on: 3/5/2010 12:10:05 PM

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CMBELISLE 3/5/2010 11:25AM

    It's not just people at work - sometimes they are people in our lives that have done everything in their power to tear us down. It can be quite difficult to let go, but I try EVERY day. The hard part is when they start doing it to other people in your life and you see their pain as they struggle through the situation. I can't change the person, but I can do my best to let go and be there for the others.

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STORMTMB 3/5/2010 9:44AM

    Your strength and ability to rise above amazes me. I learn something from you every day. I just hope you don't start charging us a consulting fee! lol.

Good luck today. With your resolve, I'm sure you'll come out of it feeling better.

Tina

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MARCYNA 3/5/2010 9:38AM

    John, I can understand you perfectly.
I met my 'Karen' at my previous job at Uni and I'm still trying to get over her.
She did everything she could to throw a negative light on me , using all she could invent.
She was not prepared for the job, therefore insecure, and she used lies, slandering, open offenses (...) against me.
It still hurts.
I'll pray for you , anyway you attitude's just amazing.
There are so many Karen in this world...not so many like you John, you're unique.
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Comment edited on: 3/5/2010 10:20:40 AM

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YOYONOMORE1 3/5/2010 9:10AM

    I think God puts impossible people in our lives to teach us something about ourselves. I don't have to deal with this in a work environment anymore, thank goodness, but those people pop up in our lives working or not working. I guess we need to keep in mind that saying, "till you've walked a mile in their shoes" we usually have no idea what the other person has had to deal with or is dealing with in their life. You have such good insight into situations you have to deal with, enjoyed reading your blog this morning, very much. Have a fabulous Friday.

Hugs,
Shirl

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AMABILE75 3/5/2010 9:06AM

    What a difficult situation!! I work with a few people like that and often struggle to let go and not let them get the best of me.

You have the right attitude though!! You have to evaluate who you are and who you want to be then take the steps to be that person. You cannot know who you are until you know who you are not. You might see yourself as a kind and loving person, but unless you actually do someone a kindness or show somebody love, all you have is an IDEA of yourself. Often it takes these kind of people to make us truly understand who we want to be and gives us the opportunity to be that person instead of simply holding an idea. :)

Here are two quotes I thought you might like... :) I hope you have a wonderful day!!! emoticon


The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out Who You Are, seek to determine Who You Want to Be.

The way to reduce the pain which you associate with earthly experiences and events—both yours and those of others—is to change the way you behold them.

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TAZZAT2003 3/5/2010 8:54AM

    Your perspective is always makes me go "Huh never thought of it that way." Perhaps you are cleaning out the cobwebs of my mind and allowing it to think differently...thanks.

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WANDAH3 3/5/2010 8:18AM

    I missed being able to read your blog yesterday, so this morning first thing at work ...guess where I headed. You have such a wonderful way of looking at the work and inspiring me...thank you. I will not have access for the next couple of days and am really looking forward to Monday morning at work.
Have an awesome weekend.

Hugs,
Wanda

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LOLEMA 3/5/2010 7:57AM

  nice post, thanks for sharing.

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I Can't Get No Satisfaction

Thursday, March 04, 2010

For the most part I believe I have been happy all my life. I have a strong belief the reason we all walk this earth is to find the definition of happiness in our lives. As we look for that happiness there are days we feel that we “just aren’t getting it!” As I wrote yesterday we sit in silence and scream “What’s wrong with me????” It becomes more apparent to us when we “count our blessings.” We start to review everything we have, the folks who love us, the experiences we have , things like that. There is this nagging voice in the back of our heads saying, “You know, John, you should be happy.” We screw up our face, we shake our heads and then we start to doubt ourselves, our motives, and our values. Quite the dilemma, isn’t it?

That very dilemma was posed to me yesterday by my good spark friend TAZZAT2003. She wrote in response to my posting “What’s Wrong With Me?” She said life was pretty good; she was close to her weight goal and had people who loved her. Things were going well “How come,” she asked?” I’m not happy with myself?” At first I didn’t have an answer.

Then it came to me, my friend wasn’t unhappy, she was dissatisfied. There is a big difference. If you would like me to talk about the areas of my life in which I am happy there are many. I love my wife; she is a good friend, a good lover, a good partner. I can close my eyes and smile when I think about her. I get a warm fuzzy.

I am not satisfied with our relationship. I never will be. If I decided enough was enough, it’s as good as it gets, I don’t think we would have the level of relationship we have. Don’t get me wrong, life is not a Hallmark card. We have disagreed, we have argued and I suspect we have hurt each other from time to time. I am very happy but I will never be satisfied. I think she and I can always learn from each other and be better.

I am thrilled and ecstatic that I am close to reaching half my weight loss goal. When I get to feeling a bit down it keeps me going. I go up in the closet and try on clothes that get closer and closer to fitting every week. It makes me happy. I am not satisfied. I won’t be until I reach my goal. If I started “settling” in my quest for health I would start compromising. When that happens, my goal falls apart.

Contrary to popular belief, the one that says “Let’s make it easy for everyone so I don’t have to look at the tough side if things,” being dissatisfied with life is usually a very good thing. It keeps me motivated and it keeps me on my toes.

No one has ever reached a goal in their life without a degree of conflict. If they have it’s not much of a goal. Imagine that where you are right now is represented by a circle and your goal is represented by a square. They are different in form and different in behavior. A circle doesn’t always know how a square should act. The journey is filled with conflict as we change how we behave and that is a good thing!!! What causes us to make that change is our dissatisfaction with of current state of affairs.

I fall victim to this trap so often in my life. And it wasn’t until my friend raised the whole dilemma did I start to see things a bit clearer. Yes, there are times in our lives when we are unhappy. What I’m saying is don’t confuse the two. Don’t mistake that desire to do more, be more and live a healthier life with unhappiness. If there’s a little bit of discomfort, it’s usually a good thing.

Satisfied?

I am.

For the moment

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKENISTA 3/4/2010 7:04PM

    John--What your saying really strikes a chord for me. I am working hard to build my business. I see my colleagues doing the same. Am I happy with its status right now? No, I'm dissatisfied. But am I happy? I am ecstatic! I am challenged. I am learning. I am climbing new mountains (or at least hills) every day. There are times I feel like I'm struggling. But would I change it for anything else? No way!

I'm working hard to balance my work time with my fitness/weight goals. Huge challenge. But I am using every corpuscle of my brain. I would like to be at my destination. But, I'm loving the journey. When I get there, what will I do next? Can't wait to find out! emoticon

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BECCALYNN75 3/4/2010 4:21PM

    Well said John! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 3/4/2010 4:12PM

    Wow. I really needed to hear this. emoticonfor your continued insight!

I have been battling some anxiety and likely depression since my mom died more than four years ago. But I have an AMAZING boyfriend who's been with me through it all. A really old dog (18!) who I am incredibly grateful for. A job that I don't really like but treats me well.

So I often have wondered how I could feel so unhappy deep down.

But you are right. I am happy, I just have a lot of dissatisfaction! It's because I am never content to just sit back. I am always trying and wondering and examining and searching and on and on. So this makes so much sense!

And this year I have added to my list of things to be grateful for the incredible support and insight of SparkFriends like you!

emoticon emoticon

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WEEZIE1122 3/4/2010 3:48PM

    Wow. Thanks for putting into words those thoughts we all have and don't know how to express. Post such as your last two are what make Spark People so great. Not the nutrition, fitness, and goal trackers. Yeah they help. But its your words, struggles, and successes that inspire this community. I've always felt like an outsider everywhere for so many different reasons. Here I don't. Here there is a sense of home for all that wish to participate.

Thanks John


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TNTEACHER2 3/4/2010 12:02PM

    Nice post, John

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MARCYNA 3/4/2010 11:50AM

    Ok it's easier for me to say I'm happy when I can do something positive for the others ...which doesn't unfortunately happen very often, but I' growing and baby-stepping at it!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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YOYONOMORE1 3/4/2010 10:10AM

    I CORINTHIANS 13:13

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

PROVERBS 15:15a

But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.

I believe happiness comes from within and it's a choice we get to make. On the other hand if we are satisfied why would we want to make any changes that would make us a better person, you make some really good points. Another good blog John. You make us stop and think. Have a wonderful Thursday.

Hugs,
Shirl

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TAZZAT2003 3/4/2010 9:37AM

    Thanks for the post, John. I guess with all the hustle and bustle in life it is easy to get confused. I see a little bit clearer. Oddly enough as poorly as things are going right now, I am okay. I have a job, a roof over my head, people who love me and I have Spark. I have always agreed that life is full of choices but, I never really considered that happiness was one of those choices. Amabile, you are absolutely right! Stuff does not make you happy. They only give you a temporary high. I will tell you this much I do think the words and actions of people can encourage happiness. Thank you both for your wonderful comments. Today I choose to be happy. Satisfied...that will always be a work in progress. God bless you all and good luck on your journey to happiness and satisfaction.

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STORMTMB 3/4/2010 9:34AM

    I think that we each have a purpose in life and that is why we are here. Happiness is a choice and comes from within, but I think it gets easier when we have figured out what the purpose is, accept it and are actively pursuing it.


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AMABILE75 3/4/2010 8:56AM

    I think we may have a few similar ideas about life. :-)

While I've never had the belief that we're here to find the definition of happiness in our lives, I think that theory goes along with many of the things I have always believed and therefore I wouldn't argue that point for a second. :)

I've always felt we have things all wrong. We focus on the wrong things, things that ultimately really do not matter. I think the most important thing in life is LOVE. If we all focused on LOVE this world would be such a better place. I also believe very strongly, there are only 2 real emotions and everything else can be tracked back to one or the other. Everything we say, do or think is either out of LOVE or FEAR! The opposite of love is not hate, it is fear. I didn't agree with this for the longest time but after about a year of really thinking about it I had that AH-HA moment and "I got it!"

I have also always said that I feel happiness is a choice. We can't possibly wait for something to happen that will magically make us happy!! When I pay off this bill, I'm not going to be happy... there will always be another. When I get my dream car, I will not be happy... because then I will want something bigger and better. STUFF can't make you happy... sure, you can get some short term happiness, and lots of pleasure.. but in the end these things can't make you happy. Yet if you wake up in the morning and make that choice to be happy, be content with where you are today... then absolutely everything else you do in that day is so much better. Even the bad things are easier to tolerate because you are happy and realize that those obstacles do not define you. You suddenly have more motivation and want to do more, to do good, to make things even better than they are now... I believe you can be content with your life each day while you continue to strive to be better. Does that make sense???

Sorry to write a novel in response... it just kind of came pouring out. :)

Thank you so much for being my friend!

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Tara

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OHYESITSME1 3/4/2010 8:28AM

    Great post! Enjoyed it.

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MAGENTA1234 3/4/2010 8:22AM

  Great blog!

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GRAMSIECAKES2 3/4/2010 8:21AM

    I enjoyed reading you post. Sometimes life just isn't fair is it?

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"What's Wrong With Me?"

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

What’s wrong with me?

How many times have you and I sat in front of mirror and looked at ourselves and said that? How often have we sat in our favorite chair staring out the window and wondering what the heck was wrong with us? Hadn’t everything been going along so well? Hadn’t I been reaching my goals and objectives on a regular basis? Hadn’t my confidence been growing by leaps and bounds?

What’s wrong with me? Nothing, nothing at all.

You should be happy when you feel like this. Order the brass band, the reviewing stand and the blue ribbon. You my wonderful and delightful Sparkie are making progress. And sometimes, (I know this from personal experience) progress feels like it sucks. Oh yes indeed.

The less I have to deal with, the more time I have to spend on it. As I reach my daily, weekly or monthly goals I am actually removing obstacles from my path on my journey towards health.

While we analyze calories and workout regimens someone forgot to remind us of the fun factor. Losing the fun factor is why traditional behavioral modification programs as they relate to food (DIETS) do not work . They are all about denial. “Don’t do this, don’t eat that, watch out for this.” All good advice, but pretty soon you are wondering if you are ever going to get to your goal and you give up.

“John, I’ll be happy when that dress I have always dreamed of fits, or when I can run around on the front lawn with my kids.”

Really? You believe that?

If we don’t start being happy about ourselves right now in the present, just as we are, when we reach our goals we aren’t going to recognize happy. We will have that momentary rush of excitement, but still……

We don’t have to do anything. We don’t have to exercise or eat right. We choose to and because we make that choice, each and every night before we go to bed we should put a big old gold star next to our name because we accomplished something today. It may not mean squat to the rest of the world but to me, its super, duper.

Case in point: My daughters came home with pizza last night around seven thirty. Joan and I had already eaten supper. They offered us some pizza. It was the good kind, from a local pizza joint. I could have eaten a piece; I still had some calories left for the day. I knew if I did it just might start yet another bad habit. (Trust me I’ve got enough of them) I said no thanks.
In the ideal world I can tell you I felt noble and honorable and patted myself on the back. Actually I sat on the couch trying to tell myself it was okay to eat that pizza. After all it had veggies on it!! But I didn’t. I went downstairs and finished a book I’d been reading and when I looked at the clock it was bedtime. I went to my closet where I keep my chart with gold stars and put one next to my name.

I could sit here all morning and tell you about all kinds of inspirational people with fantastic stories. I know enough of them. But let me leave you with this:

In the three months I have been on this journey I have met seventy three (That’s the number of Spark friends I have as I write.) wonderful and inspirational friends. I talk about you guys all the time. I talk about what you mean to me and the wisdom and encouragement you share with me. I quote you. I share your stories

Yeah, you!!!

So while you are sitting at your computer wondering why the whole world dances the hokey pokey and you seem to be shuffling along remember that it may be you are making progress. Stop for a minute, smile and realize that you mean a lot to me and my progress.
Yeah, you!!!!



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRANBERRYKITTY 3/5/2010 9:17AM

    I love your blog. I particularly liked this:

" “John, I’ll be happy when that dress I have always dreamed of fits, or when I can run around on the front lawn with my kids.” Really? You believe that? "

You're so right. That's what we all do! I'm currently dreaming about being able to go to the beach with my honey and wear a bikini! ...but the thing I want more is to live a happy life, everyday. I've been unhappy and want to take control of my life and although I can't change jobs, I can choose to be happy. Everyday, I have to remind myself to be happy.

You also mentioned that you keep a post of gold stars. I vividly remember when I was a child that my mom would give my sister and me gold stars for every chore we did. Wow... it's amazing how much power that little gold star has!!

Believe it or not, your gold star has motivated me to start the same thing today and earn my own gold star. In fact, today my student group has an ice cream social and pizza event. Ahh!! I've been trying to decide what to do... and because of your commitment... I'm going to pass on the pizza and ice cream too.

Thanks for sharing your story. :)
Sydney

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HUNNYTHISTLE 3/5/2010 4:02AM

    Great blog post! Sometimes it's tough to remember to cherish the present moment. Thanks for the reminder.

I love that you give yourself gold stars. I mentally do, but haven't physically done that. Maybe I should! I seem to stay more motivated when I have little boxes to check off. Maybe my mother & kindergarten teachers trained me too well. LOL

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KATIEGLEN012 3/4/2010 7:39AM

    This was so worth the wait! Well said...thanks for the upbeat message. And...WOW...that pizza was tempting, loved your decision making process.

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DOLLBABE56 3/4/2010 7:20AM

    Thanks John. Sometimes we all need to re-tune our thinking. I know I have this week.

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WANDAH3 3/3/2010 5:04PM

    emoticon Okay, it's not quite "gold" and it might in fact be a star fish... but regardless, here's a "gold star" for always being such a great inspiration.

Hugs,
Wanda

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/3/2010 4:09PM

    emoticon

They didn't have an emoticon for a gold star -- so, this is the closest thing that I can give you.

Great job on respecting your limits and putting your health first.

You inspire me in so many ways.

Thank you!

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AMYTATH 3/3/2010 3:11PM

    You always have such a great perspective on life and word them all beautifuly!! Thanks!!!

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SPARKENISTA 3/3/2010 1:59PM

    John--Good for you. I know how you felt about that pizza. If I had started with one slice there's no way to know where I would end.

I read a lot about gratitude shares, affirmations and spirituality. One of the affirmations I like most is: The quality of getting there is the same as the quality of being there. In other words, if you don't have fun reaching your goal you won't have fun once you reach it. And if there's no fun, what's the point?

Thanks for highlighting these points. When you focus on them, it helps me focus on them in the craziness of my day.

emoticon

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PINETREEGIRL 3/3/2010 12:48PM

    Excellent perspective! You have a lot of power in your words--keep them coming! They keep me going!
emoticon

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STORMTMB 3/3/2010 11:11AM

    "If we don’t start being happy about ourselves right now in the present, just as we are, when we reach our goals we aren’t going to recognize happy." Yep, once again, you nailed it. This is the hard part, but the one, at least for me, that is most important. Still a work in progress.

Thanks for sharing and have a great day, dude.

Tina

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MARCYNA 3/3/2010 10:36AM

    Oh My!!!!I 've been wondering so many times what was wrong with me, that I forgot all the gifts I've been given since I was born...
Btw I guess leaving the fun aside ends up in ending friendships, breaking marriages and maybe - I'm not an expert - bankrupcy.
I've read somewhere that God has a strong sense of humor and I agree!!!!!
Thanks for making me reflect & improve several points of my [ otherwise extremely flawed ] personality. But flawed means real!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/3/2010 10:41:42 AM

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TAZZAT2003 3/3/2010 10:00AM

    John, I think I am an exception to your blog this time. Well, the being a motivation part. I am one of the people on SP who is reading everyone's blogs and finding motivation and optimism in theirs. There is hardly ever anything motivational or inspiring in my blogs. Just whining, and thanks...occasionally a brag or two.

However, I can relate to the majority of your blog...about being happy. I look at myself in the mirror and see someone 40lbs lighter then when I first started my journey what seems like forever ago. I am 5lbs away from my FINAL goal and I am still so unhappy. No matter how many people tell me how beautiful I am I cannot see it. That is why I stand in front of the mirror and ask "what is wrong with you?" "Why can't you love yourself...."

In all honesty, I struggle more with that then losing the weight. That is why I am here on SP and that is why I try to take informative classes. I do not want to take weight loss too far. You are right, again. I am one of those people who knows how to make everyone happy. Love and get along with anyone. But for the life of me cannot figure out how to love me.

::Sigh::



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MOTHERLORI 3/3/2010 9:31AM

    It's all about perspective ~ thanks for the reminder! Lori

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MR_UNDER_300 3/3/2010 9:27AM

    John that was very insightful. Great job on the pizza, I had to do a similar thing last night with my weakness, a cheese burger. Everyday I put on my calendar what I have done, weight going to the gym, what ever. I have a gold star chart to.

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CMBELISLE 3/3/2010 8:33AM

    Thank you John! Your daily blogs and wisdom mean so much to me - you really have no idea, especially when I read one and am left with absolutely nothing to say. You say it all and you say it so well.

Thanks for being my friend.

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CAROLYN0107 3/3/2010 8:32AM

    I love the ideas of giving your self gold starts for success!
Way to Go!

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AMABILE75 3/3/2010 8:08AM

    emoticon John. emoticon

Once again, I really needed this today. Your blogs are always so moving. I am so glad to be your SparkFriend!!!

We can make it through this journey together!!! Thank you for all of your support emoticon.

emoticon
Tara

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KATIEGLEN012 3/3/2010 7:59AM

    I so want to read this...but work is waiting. Don't ya just hate how it sometimes interferes with life??? It'll have to wait till tonight!!!
Have a good day!

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