Wednesday, April 21, 2010
“Okay John, if you are so gosh awfully smart why are you so fat? Isn’t that a lack of discipline, intelligence and any other character flaw you might like to throw in there? I mean, isn’t it? How can you teach the stuff you teach, and say the things you say and still be as one tiny little child called you “El Gordo!”
That’s a good question, one I have asked myself for awhile now. This morning as I lie in bed the answer came to me. It was there all the time; I just hadn’t bothered to look for it in the right place.
I began to become healthier and happier when I stopped thinking and started living. I threw away the surveys, the charts and the graphs and embarked upon a journey to reclaim John. I started believing from my heart. I began to become authentic, in other words, the real John. I became vulnerable.
This journey was accelerated, clarified, use whatever word you like to use by a Spark friend who sent me a link to another web site last week. The gist of what the website said is incorporated in the quote on my Spark Page.
"I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."
It was a much needed slap in the face. It says if you are gonna talk the talk you better walk the walk and yeah John I led you here for a reason and its not as a dear priest friend of mine once said to “Play patty-cake in the holy water.”
I knew exactly what it meant when I read it. It didn’t scare me, it challenged me. It means I have to be authentic. I have to be John. The three hundred twenty six pound person who began this journey a little over four months ago was as close to being John as the sun was to the moon. He was fat, he was miserable and he had a lifetime supply of tee shirts that read “Denial Is Not Just a River In Egypt.” He refused to acknowledge a number of things in his life. He couldn’t talk about them because he wouldn’t think about them. He was running from himself. Other people had health issues but not John. He stood above all.
I got tired of being fat and in that misery I was led to the journey I am on now. It led me to health but that health came only when I stopped thinking with my head and living with my heart. My resistance was broken down by my misery.
It meant not being afraid to tell people I need them and their wisdom. It meant opening myself up to new ideas and to ideas that came from other people as well as myself. It meant reconnecting with the me I left sitting on a park bench so many years ago who patiently waited for my return.
It means smiling and being proud of what I do. It means being awesomely blown away some mornings that people look at me as a positive example and realizing I have an awesome obligation to live up to. Realizing I have that obligation and actually look forward to fortifying it on a daily basis.
It means opening up to you. It means sharing things and then really worrying all day that I am going to have a ton of people think poorly of because I opened up and then laughing at myself because some days I truly am “a real piece of work.”
You, sitting at your PC, in your office, on your blackberry reading this, are what gives me momentum. I need you. I am not afraid to tell you that. That’s what is written on my heart.
I need to hear about the fifteen pound weight loss and the 5k run and the awesome aerobics class and how you made a new friend. I stand in front of you jumping up and down waving and yelling “me too, me too.”
You make me feel a part of something. I need to read about your triumphs and your adversities because the competitive part of me then joins in and kicks it up a notch.
That’s what you do for me, along with your gentle, loving words.
A Spark friend wrote me last night and said “I am not sure how you can love someone you never met, but I do. I have so many Spark friends I may never meet but love dearly.”
It’s easy my dear friend. It took me fifty seven years to find the answer. You love those people you may never, ever meet because you allow them to love you. If you believe you serve no other purpose in life, believe that you are here to love someone and encourage someone by the beautiful and simple fact that you were created.
Okay, so why are you sitting there?
Let yourself be loved. It’s not as hard as you think.
Just ask me