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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 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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