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    JOHNTJ1   72,428
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Keeping Myself Positive

Thursday, June 23, 2011

When we were very young, around the ages of four or five, my mom and her sisters would visit my grandmother every Friday morning. They would sit around the kitchen table and talk while my cousins and I sat on the kitchen floor and played, or fought, depending on the day and our mood. Inevitably my mother or my aunts would lead the conversation towards some topic of woe. (I spent a long time wondering what a gall bladder really was.) My grandmother would either be cooking or sewing and without missing a stich or a beat she would always have the same comment regardless. ďThis too shall pass.Ē Iím sure my mom and my aunts didnít like hearing it any more than I like my reminding myself of it today.

I consider myself to be about ninety percent positive all the time. I can usually handle what life throws at me and deal with or at least put a positive spin on it. Itís what keeps me moving forward. I mostly act like one of the twin brothers who rushed downstairs on Christmas morning only to find a large pile of horse manure. One brother slumped down dejectedly. The other raced towards the pile of manure and began throwing it up in the air. He was heard to say, ďThere has to be a pony under here somewhere.Ē

In the past eight months I have injured myself more creatively than anyone human being can quite imagine. From my wrist, to my knee to my IT Band to my quads, I have slowed down so much and have so much pain that there are days you really donít want to be around me. Iím angry and frustrated that I canít run right now. My quads are so tight that I can hardly walk. I feel like a failure, total and complete.

Most of it comes from the stress of now knowing that FEMA wonít reimburse me for any of the five grand I dropped on my lower level because my flood wasnít more than two acres. The rest of it comes from worrying about two of the kids being out of work right now. I still have minor night mares about the three flood events in April and May. Itís all created quite a perfect storm in my life.

I donít write this to vent or to garner sympathy or support. I write because this morning, when I was at my lowest, when I went to sit in the whirlpool at my gym and eased into seventy degree water, got out weighed myself and found Iíve gained ten pounds in the past three weeks, I was ready to throw in the towel. I was going to find a mountain top someplace and just spend the rest of my days cursing my fate.

So here I am sitting in front of my locker, tight as a piano wire feeling like I have let down everyone Iíve ever known, feeling like I donít have a friend in this world to talk with and I begin to cry. And with those tears comes a small beak in the clouds. I hear my grandma saying ďThis too shall pass.Ē I sit a bit longer and hear a much more reassuring voice speak to my heart. It says; ďBe still and know that I am God.Ē
Staying positive can be a bit^&. Retaining your faith often sucks really badly. It causes us to feel like we are on a roller coaster and when we look in the mirror we donít recognize ourselves at all. We feel disconnected and in a fog. Itís suddenly so silent and we canít find the map and we feel so bad inside and so frustrated that we canít find our way out. Then we hear those voices, like beacons and we pick our stuff up and move forward because deep down we do know:

This too shall pass.

Hold my hand. Iíll hold yours and somehow weíll get through all of this. I promise.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SPARKLISE 6/24/2011 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BTINTERNET 6/24/2011 7:24AM

    Thank you for sharing this. (And these days, I can tell you all about the gall bladder...)


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MIZZSB 6/24/2011 2:20AM

    Dear friend!

Your blog really touched me! You are definatly NO FAILURE! You ARE a true inspiration to me. And you hit a sensitive chord with this blog. I lost myself the last week orso..

Just to let you know i am thinking of you emoticon

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 6/23/2011 11:57PM

    John, you always strike a chord with your blogs. I, too, have been lamenting my constant pain and inability to do the things I have always done, and my inability to lose weight at a quicker pace due to that pain. Yesterday my 3-year-old granddaughter sat on my lap and said, "Grandma, why is your tummy getting bigger?" It hit me between the eyes. I so wanted to exercise today, but instead took care of a sick 2-year-old grandson that wanted to cuddle. I use to walk 4-5 miles a day, now I struggle to make one, and that is at a much slower pace because of my constant limp. I use to love to dance, but can't do that anymore. Even though the weight goes up 2-3 pounds and down only 1 at a time, if I am lucky, I keep trying to the best of my ability. I am not at all happy with myself at this weight. It is too difficult to work around my weight, and I know that the weight is contributing to the pain of my bad ankle, as well as causing my knees to ache, especially when climbing stairs. But I can't give up - where will that get me? Staying at this place that I dislike! My mom always told me that God gave us challenges to test our faith and build character. She also told me that she feels I have had enough character building in my life and knows that I have a strong faith in order to get through everything I have dealt with already. My mom, who is the strongest woman I know, told me that she admired ME for my strength, tenacity, character, and faith! Like you and many others, we have been through a lot, but we don't give up. We may get knocked down occasionally, but we always get back up, are stronger in our resolve, and keep moving towards our goals, helping others along the way, because that is who we are! We find God deep within us to help get us through those challenges we face, then with His help, we get up, dust ourselves off, and start over again, and again, and again. I have the Serenity Prayer as a magnet on my fridge because it helped get me through a marriage to an abusive alcoholic (my family never thought I would make it out alive, and neither did I). We are here for you, John, to listen to you, provide a shoulder to cry on as well as to offer words of encouragement and support, and also our love. We are in this together - and we understand. emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 6/23/2011 9:47PM

    Doesn't a good cry feel good? Consider you hand being held. I'm here for you.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/23/2011 7:52PM

    Life is a rollercoaster at times but like your Grandma saig....this will pass....
And....Be still and know that i am God.....perfect reassurance for you to keep going forward ...God is right there with you and will not leave you....
The toughest times in my journey and my life have been the times that have set me up for life.....

Praying for you

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    Through the toughest times in my life I have always lived by "What does not kill us makes us stronger"...many times I said "But God am I not strong enough already?" and then I realized that he really was the only one who knew how much I could handle.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 6/23/2011 5:25PM

    My mom and grandma both said that same thing, along with "Everything will look better in the morning." And you know what? They were right. Hang in have the kind of faith that will get you through...let God carry you right now. Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way.

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BETTY925 6/23/2011 5:14PM

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing from your heart. I completely understand...been there, done that! But because you have chosen to share, you have enriched others beyond measure, me being one of them. I, too, was about ready to "throw in the towel" but you have convinced me that, "I am worth it!!!" Thank you!

Keep it up! You CAN do it!

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GRACIE4ONE 6/23/2011 4:59PM

    My friend, thank you for reminding me that THIS TOO SHALL PASS! Just what I needed to hear!

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JUNEAU2010 6/23/2011 4:43PM

    Thanks for sharing. I was feeling blue about my own current physical challenges and this gave me hope.

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JENNY888 6/23/2011 4:36PM

    Together we can do this if we keep up the fight. I often have heard the saying "This too shall pass" and I love to hear "Be still and know that I am God". Another favorite saying of mine that was told to me by a very old lady with many afflictions who always seemed to remain positive. I asked her how she was that day and she told me, "only talk about the things that you can change and ignore the things that you can't." I think all three of these saying are related and some of the wisest sayings I know. Stay in there John and know how far you have come. Slowing down a little might be wise, but giving up is not.

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BRENDABUNNY 6/23/2011 3:35PM

    That is my all time favorite and reassuring saying"This too shall pass"..You are only human John and you always seem to pick yourself up and find that positive attitude that is inside you you are a wise man I can tell by your many blogs.
I sometimes too wonder what I do all this for becaus ethe scale seems to move soooo slow for me but I trudge along anyway and please know I'm by your side too emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LORSI2000 6/23/2011 3:17PM

    My mother says the same thing, followed with, "Keep your pretty chin up!" emoticon

...There may be a bald spot on my back hairline from having my chin up so dang high! :)

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NASFKAB 6/23/2011 3:10PM

  Your Grandma was right 100%

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KKINNEA 6/23/2011 2:45PM

    You've got it!

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    Bless you grandma. She was 100% right, John, and it all passes and isn't worth getting out of shape over. Good times, bad times, they will all come and you can't control it. Relax and ride the waves. Let it happen.

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MIRACLELOVE77 6/23/2011 2:16PM

    WONDERFUL blog. I loved your horse manure story too :) But know that you're not alone, know that you are in NO WAY a failure. The fact that you want to work out is great, and right now you just need to take it easy, stretch, and heal up. And God NEVER calls you a failure, he never thinks of you as anything less than his beautiful, wonderful child that brings him great joy. The fact that you are hanging in there and turning to HIM for comfort--can you imagine what a blessing that is to God? Remember that he never leaves you either, and his love never fails. I'm sure when you look back on this in a year, you'll see God's hand growing and carrying you through it all. Sending up a prayer for you.

Here's a song, maybe you know it, but it's a real encouragement in the hard times (her husband had cancer when she wrote it):

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GIRANIMAL 6/23/2011 1:58PM

    Whether you want the sympathy or not, you've got it, dearest friend, because boy, oh boy, do I know "disconnected and in a fog." And pain. It is just the worst.

My mother loved the phrase "this too shall pass." Funny, because she always sounded more like your mom and aunts in her complaints about money and ailments, etc. But then she would always sort of correct herself -- "but this too shall pass" -- and you could see the shift in her energy. It most often works for me now too.

As for those 10 pounds, could it be inflammation from your injuries and/or overall stress? Cortisol is a real bit^& too.

Hang in there. Here, take my hand! emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 6/23/2011 1:45PM

    You touch so many people on here, and elsewhere, because I've shared a few of your blogs with my kids. I still call them kids even if my youngest is 25. Kids is easier to write than children.

Your grandmother had learned firsthand that things on this earth DO pass, she had the wisdom of her years of watching it happen. I'm glad you hear those voices when you need them.

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KENDRACARROLL 6/23/2011 1:23PM

    John, "this too shall pass" is the only thing that keeps me going right now as well.
I'll hold your hand, and together we'll soldier on...

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TIME4AFITME 6/23/2011 12:54PM

    emoticon Thx for the positive attitude so many times your blogs make me keep trying!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/23/2011 12:48PM

    My Dear Friend John, Although we don't know each other that well I hear you. I feel your sadness, rage, joy and faith. As I read your blog again I am left with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and my thoughts are this ... You are blessed and a blessing! If I were standing toe to toe with you I'd huge you till your soul felt it. You are blessed and a blessing ...

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PUGLOVER1999 6/23/2011 12:16PM

    PS: I love your writing! You are talente!

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PUGLOVER1999 6/23/2011 12:15PM

    John, your blog brought tears to my eyes. I am so discouraged and full of feelings of failure and self-loathing this morning. I have been struggling with losing my last 5 pounds ... Oops --now it's my last 8 pounds -- and I have not had anything like the stress you described! I do not even have an excuse / a reason for overeating. I'm just self-indulgent, the very thing I want to die to!

I remind myself that Jesus took my sins (all of them, but I'm thinking particularly about self-indulgence) to the cross that I can live righteously (I'm thinking about self-discipline, an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit) ... and I'm STILL SELF-INDULGENT!

I've been thinking about being willing to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES and find my mind is willing but the body is weak. Or maybe it's actually the other way around ... my body is stronger (been exercising) and my mind is weak! Either way, I'm not feeling good about me today.

Isn't it wonderful that GOD IS FAITHFUL, even when we are not! He will never leave us or forsake us. I think I will spend some time counting my blessings ...starting with your blog that reminded me I'm not the only one who is struggling with mind and spirit wars. If we never struggled, we wouldn't build up those muscles ... physical and spiritual ones!

I'm rooting for you! I will pray for you (and me) too! emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/23/2011 12:15PM

    Your grandma was very wise, John, but you're right--staying positive and retaining your faith often feels absolutely rotten when life is conspiring against us. Some days throwing in the towel and giving up seems like the only reasonable option. Listen to your grandma, and most of all listen to God; He hasn't given up, so until He does, we can't either. I'll hold your hand if you will hold mine, too. Ask God what He wants to be to you right now, you might be surprised at the answer.


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GOOFIERNU 6/23/2011 12:09PM

    emoticon for your words and your positive attitude!

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HEALTHY4ME 6/23/2011 12:00PM

    Thanks John I will take your hand and you mine. I am off work right now cos of sciatica and the likes. I have been hurt so much in past 5years that hubby and I are thinking is it worth getting the dr on board to me taking early disability pension. We would have to sell the house ect. but do I want to work and continue hurting myself.
Then I get the woe is me, mainly cos I just don't know what would be best, it isn't cut and dried and easy even if we don't have enough $. there is also hubbys depression and all that has stopped his work early also. Then my dad who is becoming more needy as he ages and my mum passed 2 years ago this june. so not just a acase of take care of me only......
had a mini meltdown last night on spark, then did a bit of thinking and I too after a kick in the butt for a great spark friend realised yea I am not the only one, and as your wise grandma said this too shall pass. just wish I knew what to do in long term. lol

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SNOOKUMS19 6/23/2011 12:00PM

    My friend I understand your stress and disappointment. I had lost all my weight last year and maintained for 6 months. More time than I ever had at maintenance. In October I found myself in a stressful situation. I found the right resources, including Spark :). But by January I had gained every pound back. Through the crying and counciling I'm in an amazing place today. Friends here had told me that this will pass and I felt I would never be here. My faith as well carried me here and I did have moments that God showed himself to me and I knew I wasn't alone. Use your friends here to guide you. We are here. Take a breathe.

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