Thursday, November 03, 2011
Right about the time I feel as if I’ve hit a stone wall, am walking around in a bit of a fog and generally clueless, God, His angels and His saints provide a clearing, a brief moment of insight that resembles a ray of sun piercing the darkness. Suddenly all is clear………….. At least for a little while.
God, The Universe, karma, the luck of the Polish, call it what you will, has brought a most amazing and wise friend into my life to act not only as a good friend but as a guide of sorts. I am honor bound to share their wisdom. We were talking on the phone the other day, both lamenting our current state in life when it dawned on me that this dear friend has continued to be a success in many areas of their life despite some very real and very challenging setbacks. I’ll have to admit that as much as I admire them I do get just a tad bit jealous of their ability to just keep plugging ahead. During the course of our conversation I figured out the difference in how we looked at things.
My friend accepts life as it is. They don’t sugar coat it, don’t make excuses. When they are angry, frustrated, tired, fed up, etc. They own it and show it. They suffer a weight gain, they admit it accept it and move on. Vehicle breaks down, cash flow dries up relationships get strained, all the other stuff that plagues us they accept it as the day-du-jour if you will and move on.
Me? I resign myself to my fate. Woe is me and all that other melodrama. No one has ever had it as bad, no one ever will and BTW I am fatter and more out of shape than any person I know because it’s in my genes, my ethnicity. It’s certainly not my life style. I have difficulty walking, so now I am limited to what I can do. Woe is me.
It is there I found the wisdom. My dearest friend accepts a condition not its limitation. I on the other hand get thrown a curve ball and resign myself to a life of gloom and doom. Yes I am grateful and thankful for all the wonders God provides me but I also sabotage myself on a regular basis by building walls higher and thicker than they really are and mutter something about finally getting my reward in heaven. When I resign myself to s situation I am giving up. And……….. I have a built in excuse
I have made a list of my limitations. They are very real and I am in the process of accepting them. I have come to realize they represent less than one third of who I am and what I am capable of accomplishing in my life. Until now I resigned myself to a certain fate. Oh, I had room to grow but the boundaries were clearly defined. Like anything new it feels awkward, odd and scary. There is this part of me that has been largely unexplored for fifty eight years. I wonder what I am capable of?
It is subtle at best and as my friend is teaching me difficult to discern between the two. There is a story in one of the Gospels that I never really grasped until now. A blind man stopped Jesus and begged for a cure. Jesus touched his eyes and the film that had distorted the man’s vision was removed. The man could see clearly. My vision is just not the external process of seeing, it is the internal process of identifying, discerning, accepting and moving forward.
Acceptance versus Resignation…………… A project for a lifetime.
Monday, October 24, 2011
I woke up this morning and it dawned on me that I have been part of Spark People for almost two years. I came here to lose weight. I'd tried everything else, I figured what the heck......... This WAS FREE!!! I lost a ton of weight, I hurt my legs and my back, regained a lot of the weight I lost, got depressed, ate a ton of ice cream, got re inspired and hopefully am back on track. What I've learned here in two years could fill a book, so I'll make an effort to be succinct.
I have learned most importantly that I am a community of one, and so are you. There is no other body type, like yours. There is no mental and emotional way of processing life, its events and its twists and turns like yours. When we look at a picture we may both see a cow but yours is a solid color while mine may be mottled. I learned that reading all these amazing success stories people write about can be motivating and then they can be deflating at the same time. Each of those people found a key and a voice inside of me yelled "Hey wait for me," only to find out an exercise program or a particular food or lack of it, didn't fit my life style, body type or age. I experienced set backs and wondered if I was equal to Mr or Ms "I lost 150 pounds."
As obese people we are often self conscious about how we look. We find a community of people who have shared our pain and difficulties and we rejoice. We see their success and we so want to be loved and accepted that we will damn near kill ourselves in the process of getting there. Our need to finally be accepted and integrated is so strong that we would defy our otherwise reasonable mind to do so.
I have learned that I forgot to stand straight and tall all by myself. I learned I am a community of one. There is no one like me and no one should be. I learned acceptance from many of you. Many of you reached out and extended your hand in friendship and while I was worried and concerned and all those attributes us people pleasers have I learned to take that hand and squeeze it in return.
I learned vulnerability can be a really scary thing and each of us guards ourselves so tightly as not for the world to see the true self we fight to hide.
As I won ,then lost, then became relatively mundane I lost friends here. Apparently I was not inspiring enough. and please John quit writing about your setbacks. I guess it means John I'd have to face my own. Send me a happy face goodie and life will be great.
If I began to name the people who loved me, stuck with me, became real friends, even though we may never meet, I'd leave someone out.
I have learned that I am a community of one, special, unique and deserving of health. I've learned its a long journey and that journey never ends. I've learned health is a process.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
The average salary in the National Basketball Association last year was 5.5 million dollars. Many made less, but many made more. Of the four major sports, baseball, basketball, football and hockey, basket all players are paid the most on average. They currently are in the midst of a labor dispute to improve their station in life. The people that own professional basketball teams are claiming they are going to go broke. It’s turned into a “he said, she said” sort of issue. The end result is no basketball. Enter Bryant Gumble.
Gumbel is a sports and news anchor. His credentials are impressive. He began his career hosting NFL Live on NBC and graduated to being a host of the Today show. From there he went to HBO where he now hosts a show called Real Sports. I have always found Gumbel to be thoughtful, intelligent and provoking. Until yesterday. Yesterday Gumbel compared NBA commissioner David Stern to a “plantation overseer.” The inference is obvious. A majority of NBA players’ are African American as is Gumbel. I can’t get my hands around multi-millionaires being compared to slaves. If that is slavery I know a lot of folks that would gladly take their jobs.
I can get my hands around real and true discrimination. It indeed exists. Many people are denied housing, jobs and education because of the color of their skin, their gender, their nationality, their religion, their sexual orientation or a disability. Our world’s cities are crowded with people who are denied basic civil rights and adequate medical care. The color of your skin still goes a long way in determining what people thing about you. Many people fall in love with each other and aren’t allowed to marry or enjoy benefits married couples enjoy because they don’t fit someone’s notion of what marriage is or should be. Women are still treated as if they are second class citizens in what we tout as the most enlightened nation in the world. We live in a world where many people will go to bed hungry, without jobs and without homes tonight and someone has the nerve to tell me the highest paid sports group in America is being treated like slaves? Do we stereotype, of course we do. Most basketball players are perceived as dope smoking, gun toting gang members. I don’t think that’s right either. The average American made 27,000 dollars last year. Many Americans exist below the poverty level.
We don’t want to look at any of those things. We’d rather buy our NFL Sunday ticket, our NBA League Pass and sit in front of our televisions and grow numb to what’s going on in our own neighborhoods. We look to the talking heads, on the right, left or in the middle to define life for us as a society. They know best or so we seem to think. I am as guilty of this group think as anyone else. I’d rather push the growing reality that we are living on a sinking ship somewhere into the back of mind and blame someone else’s misfortune on a racial, ethnic or gender stereotype. I can take consolation that as a friend once said “I’m 18, free and white.” I excuse away another’s suffering and misery because they don’t fit the profile.
Racism and discrimination in this global community is alive and well but not in the NBA. While Gumbel’s assertions were ludicrous I owe him a debt of thanks. It made me realize just how long I’d dozed off from the real issues in our communities and world, the equality of EVERYONE, not a pampered few. This blog may cost me a few friends. It may create a bit of backlash. I can’t seem to find a way to care about any of that. We live in a politically correct; don’t offend anyone world and we have become so scared of what’s right and what’s wrong that we simply shut up.
5.5 million dollar a year in wages and your being treated like a slave…………… Really?
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