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    LDRICHEL   47,525
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Do the Work, But First Things First

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Yesterday, I had lunch with my brother, who was visiting from California. I haven't actually seen him in 5 years. I practically raised this kid and I can't get over the odd feeling that I'm talking to my baby brother, whose head is attached to a grown man's body.

I am not sure how he does this, but he has an uncanny way of staying silent and making eye contact, to where you feel like he is looking all the way into your soul. It's not that he's anti-social or intense...he's just calm and he SEES people. He greeted me when we met at the restaurant, told me I looked pretty, asked me how I was and then looked me in the eyes to hear my answer. Something about his gaze just unnerved me. I heard a quiet voice inside whisper, "He sees your sadness." I had to break his gaze and I couldn't look him in the eye again for the entire meal.

This whole split-second interaction was so perplexing. What in the world do I have to be sad about? I have everything a girl could ask for and I've been working on every area of my life these past few months. I can SEE the results of that in so many ways!

I have three gorgeous, precious children. I am not a perfect mom at all...but I really have been working at my relationship with them, my patience and my disciplinary strategy. I frequently blow up, but my kids ALWAYS get a heartfelt apology when I owe it to them and, by God, they KNOW they are loved unconditionally. So, I've been working on this.

I have two amazing jobs that I am passionate about and that I love! One is full-time and it has been stressful as heck...but I am managing to keep my head above water and, with the help of an excellent administrative assistant, things are OK there. My other job is my home-based, free time job and I am succeeding there as well. I am hitting goals that I didn't actually expect to hit this early. I love this. It's not easy and it's not free money. I work HARD. And I see the rewards in my paychecks and in the people whose lives I touch.

I have the most amazing man and we are head over heels in love. While it doesn't seem like "work", no relationship will last without careful, deliberate focus and attention. To have a healthy and loving relationship, you've gotta put in the time. It's not always easy to really listen deeply, to talk issues out when it would be easier to hide or shut down, to face conflicts and work through them together, to expose your weaknesses in front of someone you so desperately want to impress, to put the other person's needs above your own (especially if you don't understand those needs at all). And, not to be crass, but there is a physical side that needs to be tended to if both people are to feel fully satisfied. And sometimes we are tired. But it's a HUGE and extremely important part because it creates closeness and intimacy, which are the motivation for all of the above. So, while it is sometimes FUN, it is work nonetheless.

I've been working on my spirit. I've been meditating and it's been doing wonders for me, in terms of peace and happiness. I have finally found a church that actually feels like it FITS who I am. These are all very good things!

Why am I sad in the depths? What is missing?

Today, I was sitting here at my desk working and I thought, "I'm so tired of feeling disgusting. I'm tired of being unhealthy and not caring for myself. I just can't do this anymore. I'm going for a run NOW."

During my 1.7 mile walk (yes, decided to take it easy to avoid some overzealous injury), I felt energy returning to me. Simply moving my body a little bit did wonders for me. It also made me crave healthy stuff...like veggies.

The truth is, I haven't been putting any work into my physical body. I haven't been eating right and I haven't been exercising. And, as a result, I have seen the light in my eyes begin to dim and felt my life force dwindle. THAT is what my brother saw when he looked at me. This is the place from which the whisper originated.

Even after taking care of and working on ALL the other areas of my life...Depression still managed to get its tendrils around my heart.

It seems like such a simple solution, but it has colossal consequences. If you want to feel better, GET UP AND MOVE YOUR BODY. Take care of it. Feed it right. And the fruits from all your other work will multiply.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCIEVW 9/3/2013 9:08PM

    Keep up the good work, Leah. You are so lucky you can do this. Others only dream of it. emoticon

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HOLLYM48 9/1/2013 8:40AM

    I am glad you found the source of your sadness and are working hard to correct it!
Exercise does become addictive to your body and soul and we need to feed both to be happy!
You can do it!

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KIPPER15 8/31/2013 3:55PM

    Great job of recognizing your need. Brothers have a way of seeing what we miss. Hope you don't have to wait 5 more years before you see him again. emoticon

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BESSHAILE 8/31/2013 7:15AM

    I'm sure the meditation helped you hear your body ask for some exercise. Good for you for saying "yes"

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GEORGE815 8/30/2013 4:53PM

    Great advice. Glad you have a meaningful relationship with your brother.

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CRES765 8/30/2013 10:11AM

    I do appreciate your blog very interesting blog. Your brother is very caring person because he cares for your health. You have to be thankful to him he open your eyes and mind.

Keep going, you can do it.

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SLIMLEAF 8/30/2013 9:04AM

    Sounds like you've got a great brother there, Leah!

Best wishes with the healthy living.

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COLETTEISGREAT 8/30/2013 8:18AM

    Absolutely brilliant words! How wonderful that with one look at you, your brother managed to get you to look at yourself, and ask yourself the important questions. Keep pushing, and keep exercising, even when you don't feel like it!

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CHANGELIFE2016 8/29/2013 9:40PM

    maybe it's the endorphins from running and exercise you are missing?? I've read stories of people that sturggled with depression and emotional issues that got a great release from running or other exercise. But especially running. ;)

You are busy with a lot of new beginnings in your life. You definitely had a love for working out, it showed last year. you will find that again!

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PATTISTAMPS 8/29/2013 10:41AM

    Yes, it is the whole of us that needs sustenance - a release for our creativity, for our passions, for our love, for our spirits, and for our healthy bodies! Food feeds us, but healthy food and exercise nourish us in so many ways. Holy cow! did I just write that?? See how you make me think?

If you ever come to Orlando, I really really want to meet you! You are such a deep and eloquent person.

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SENIORSWIMMER 8/29/2013 8:30AM

    Housework and exercise....It's so easy to put them off, but both are essential for me to feel good about myself. Everything and everybody make demands on my time. Sometimes I just have to say, "No. Not now." I have to have very clear boundaries, or I fall apart. I need the endorphins exercise provides. I need to see a clean house when I walk through it, or my self esteem suffers.

I enjoy your blogs. They are so honest and heartfelt. They are always encouraging - even the ones that bore bad news.

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IMAGINE46 8/29/2013 8:18AM

  emoticon

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HEALTHY4HIM 8/29/2013 7:28AM

    Leah... you. are. fabulous.
Enjoy the journey, my friend... you have a wealth of wisdom and love to share!
So happy for you!

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OPTIMIST1948 8/29/2013 7:04AM

    Well done. And try not to let 5 years go before seeing your brother again. Phone conversations are nice and all but....

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SATCHMO99 8/29/2013 4:01AM

    Thank you digging deep until you found the reason why you were sad, and sharing that with us. Well done on getting out and walking. I hope you get the chance to say thank you to your brother for spurring you on to questioning the small sad voice.

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GOING-STRONG 8/29/2013 12:57AM

    Agree totally. Your physical body needs to be strong, healthy and cared for. Having your eating and fitness in a healthy zone is the FOUNDATION I believe of mental health and happiness. Build a strong foundation and the World is your oyster!

emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 8/28/2013 8:50PM

    Deeply profound writing!

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LINDAK25 8/28/2013 8:29PM

    Love this! You always manage to make me feel better.

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REGILIEH 8/28/2013 8:16PM

    emoticon

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MOM-MOM8 8/28/2013 7:55PM

    Well stated! Keep moving. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINDHOLM 8/28/2013 6:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 8/28/2013 5:35PM

    Keep exercising and eating healthy--the rest will fall into place. It sounds like you have an amazing life!-----And stay close to that little brother!--Go girl!-Lynda emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 8/28/2013 5:31PM

    emoticon Very insightful.

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TIGER_LILY_613 8/28/2013 5:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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