Sunday, February 03, 2013
Long before he became a country music legend, Kenny Rogers played in a rock band called The First Edition. One of their songs, “Tell It All Brother,” has a line within it that’s always haunted me. Simply put it says “And in the dungeons of your mind, who do you have chained to the wall?” We could tour my mind if you’d like but we might be here all day. If you want to learn how to hold grudges, I’m your guy. Hurt me, wound me, or offend me and I have a spot for you on that wall. It doesn’t have to be anything major either. It can be a slight or a mistaken offense and it will be a long time before I forgive you if ever. Thank goodness there aren’t too many people like me out here, huh? So as I’m sitting in church early this morning I had no trouble understanding the message that was written on my heart. “You won’t begin to heal until you learn to forgive.” Again, simply put, when there is so much judgment, animosity, prejudice and grudge holding going on inside of me is there really any room for goodness or healing?
I sat back in the pew and sighed. I’m not really sure where to begin. I get PO’d on a regular basis and it’s become a matter of practice to stay that way. A friend on Facebook posted a long rant yesterday on road rage and how she felt justified in its practice. That’s not what scared me. I found myself nodding right along with the ten people who added comments supporting the practice. We get mad and stay mad and with each successive slight or offense a small part of our hearts are partitioned off and we become more alienated.
Seriously friends, how many of you have tried every diet known in the cosmos, bought enough exercise DVD’s to have a healthy and profitable yard sale, and still never seen the scale move significantly and more importantly stay in a healthy range. With sincere apologies to the experts, carrot sticks, and celery served with Greek yogurts a bit more of a punishment than an opportunity. It’s like trying to cure cancer with ibuprofen. I often see myself standing in front of a door that’s padlocked and I’m holding this massive ring of keys. I keep trying to find the one that fits.
“You won’t begin to heal until you learn to forgive.”
As I tour my mind, looking at all those people I’ve nailed firmly to the wall I turn a corner and I see a large room and on that rooms wall is me, chained and unforgiving of myself. All my accumulated sins, transgressions and faults are there for all to see and I won’t forgive myself. Until I do I won’t ever even approach that elusive thing called health and happiness. Forgiveness creates a space inside of us that allows healing and once we embark on the road to health we can plant healthy behavior.
We have to believe in something. I call that something God and you may call that something other names but I’ll tell you unequivocally that unless that something is there to heal you your efforts are futile. There’s a passage in one of the Gospels where Jesus says he stands outside the door knocking, patiently waiting for us to let in the healing love. My poor eating habits, my reluctance to exercise are only symptoms of my unwillingness to forgive not only those around me, but to forgive myself.
“You won’t begin to heal until you learn to forgive.”
Saturday, January 26, 2013
I learned a lesson at Wal-Mart this morning and it humbled me.
I go grocery shopping with Joan and we have an understanding: I stay out of her way and she lets me go grocery shopping with her. Usually I wander the electronics aisle or sporting goods or DVD’s or something to just occupy my time. Joan phones me when it’s time to check out. I think it’s a win-win. I’m not really concerned with what paper towels we use and she has no desire to compare hack and slash movies.
After she called this morning I got stuck in the slow lane, lol In front of me was a lady with a cart and you could tell from her posture and pace she was on a mission. Blue tooth firmly planted in her ear she was talking to someone as she quickly advanced on two people side by side, with carts that were moving at a leisurely pace. She’d edge close to them and back off, edge close and back off. I decided to make an illegal pass and use the adjacent aisle usually reserved for cart traffic going the other direction. It was then I’d heard the crash. Shopper on a mission ran into shopper out to brose. Ever been hit from behind by a shopping cart? It usually runs up the back of your ankles and to use a scientific term sends you skittering- catty -wampus in an unknown direction. The offending party turned bright red and began offering all sorts of apologies. Her daughter was here, her son was there, she had to pick up her hubby and they had a movie to go to and dinner with friends and she needed fabric softener and don’t you know” I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME.” By the way, I’m sorry I hit you.
Who does, have enough time that is? Isn’t this our eternal excuse?” I’d love to exercise, but I don’t have the time, family and work comes first.” Who the he** argues with that logic?” “Quiet time is nice John but are you kidding? With everything I have going on……” Oh, I forgot, stress is a natural part of our lives, no?
The impact of what happened didn’t hit me until I arrived home later this morning. I’m that shopper with a purpose. I’m in such a hurry to get………….? “Where am I in a hurry to get to?” I put 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound sack. I claim to be mindful but I let circumstances dictate how I use my time. What kind of stuff can I live without but choose not to because it rubs against social norms and dictates, so I convince myself I “need” it? Smart phones, IPads, social media all make it easier to cram more stuff in and then I wonder how come I over eat emotionally at times.
For those of you over 50 you might recall a really great Broadway play called “Stop the World I Want to Get Off.” When I reach the point in my life, where I physically or emotionally run over other shoppers it’s time to take inventory.
So I was humbled my dearest reader. Humbled that I too hop on the treadmill and often judge my worth by how busy I truly am. I didn’t see it coming Life isn’t worth that, is it?
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