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The Journey Is Not Just about Feeling Positive

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When I was a kid I used to wear out my red crayon out first. As the months of school wore on it became harder to find in the box…the paper peeled back from the waxy color, the point gone after the first use. Why I wondered were there not two reds in every box? But alas there were not two reds and in time I reluctantly tried others. Blue, green, yellow…black. I learned to live with them.

I also used to be the kind of person who tried to put a sunny hue on life all the time. I would have described myself as “positive” and while of course no one is always positive, I did achieve a certain reputation as someone who could make “small pox seem healthy.” But the truth was more complicated. I did have all kinds of other, not so shiny feelings: frustration, sadness, fear, confusion. Others, wiser than I know that it is nigh high to impossible to get through life without experiencing these. But instead of acknowledging all my feelings, inviting them in as Rumi says in the wonderful poem, The Guest House, I, in all my “positivity” tried to slap them down as though they were minor irritations interfering with the jaunty journey I wanted my life to be about.

It’s hard to get through life this way--wanting your life with just one color. To do so requires stuffing our feelings down, and in my case, doing it with food.

Over time I’ve learned to recognize all my feelings, hard ones and easy. It makes for a richer life, not to mention a more honest one. And along the way I’ve lost 30 lbs.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMYPLEGER62 1/24/2013 8:26AM

    Good message! I like the way that you wrote it because it has a way of being able to "insert your own issue" and relate. Thank you nice Morning start! emoticon

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WILLOWBROOK5 1/17/2013 9:35PM

    Thanks for the great blog and also for mentioning the Rumi poem, which I immediately looked up. It is wonderful. Hope you are having a good week and that your weekend will be fun!

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JUMP4LIFE 1/16/2013 9:25PM

  As someone who can dwell perhaps a bit too much on the "not so shiny feelings'' I appreciated your post from a different perspective. As I recommit to living a healthier life I have begun to feel satisfaction, determination, and even pride as I rediscover what I am capable of. Encouraging myself to recognize these feelings and "invite them in'' is helping me enjoy the journey just for itself -- rather than thinking that the only reward comes at some far distant endpoint.

Thanks for your posts- I find them very thought provoking and uplifting!

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OKBACK2ME 1/15/2013 10:30PM

    Love the blog!

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CAT-IN-CJ 1/15/2013 8:22PM

    Great perspective on life!
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COCK-ROBIN 1/15/2013 7:43PM

    Awesome!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/15/2013 7:43PM

    Awesome!

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MPERCAL 1/15/2013 12:01PM

    Well written and keenly observant. As they say, denial isn't just a river in Egypt...

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NOE1234 1/15/2013 10:41AM

    Thanks for sharing, well written! emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/15/2013 9:09AM

    Very well written. Just what I needed this morning.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/15/2013 8:39AM

    Fabulous blog. I'm voting for it.

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CELIAMINER 1/15/2013 8:28AM

    I'm glad you didn't waste time with pessimism, as I did most of my life and still feel challenged by. Beyond that, I like the way you acknowledge all emotions. I recall being in a group once and getting an assignment to "color" emotions. I found the hardest one was sadness, since in my house, we weren't "allowed" to be sad or acknowledge sadness.

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VEG_GIRL04 1/15/2013 7:47AM

    Love the thoughts behind this post - congratulations on figuring out something so big in your life - and the weight it helped you shed!

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ROCKYCPA 1/15/2013 7:42AM

    Love your post - good for you!

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NANNABLACK 1/15/2013 7:35AM

    Great post! emoticon

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