Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 396: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

"This I will not give"

I remember in another self help group there was this discussion about character defects. Now, don't go off the deep end with thinking that someone is bashing themselves when using the term "character defects". We all got em...and Lord knows I do,  and I have had them in droves at some points more than others.

But the discussion was about being willing to take stock of one's good and bad, take responsibility and then to become willing to let them those defects, discovered in an honest and thorough examination, go. Note the term "willing". Nothing was said about removing the defects, just being willing. A higher power was involved in the removing part.

At that time the "deadly sins" where used as examples as a starting point to look at what character defects were..."sloth", "greed" etc. It was a good exercise and as I became more aware of those things that impeded my spiritul, mental, and or physical growth or development, the list or awareness could be added to and I could become willing...

The point of all this? Well, there were times when I faced something I was not sure I was willing to let go of. For instance, I had a wicked sarcasm that I thought was really funny. It was pointed out that that sarcasm could be a mask for anger or real barbs masked as humor and that i might think about becoming willing to let go of it.  I was open to hearing what was said, but at the time I was not willing to let it go". The response was from a dear mentor, "why don't you say that you are not willing to give this keep listening...maybe one day, that will change."

Sure enough, I did just that and at somepoint down the road, I did come to realize that I was indeed masking an awful lot of anger and, well, meanness behind sarcasm and that was not who or what I wanted to be and became willing to have that removed. Today, my sarcasm is more in check and part of my daily inventory...but it is something, that by being "willing" to have removed, was.

So, now I am a year into changing my health practices and I have found some real similarities in what i am willing to give up and somethings that I have not been willing to give up...and I realized that I have had to create  a "not today" list. 

See, like the sarcasm, which, when it was pointed out to me might be negative, I knew in my heart they were right, but I was not ready to let go of something that had been part of my protection for a long time. I was not ready to let go a release valve for some not so pleasant stuff in me...but I was willing to listen and take the risk later when I was in a firmer place and I could handle more change.

Well, the same has and is happending as I have changed my eating habits and my working out. At first I was willing to do so much..a dying man grasping for a life preserver. But I was not going to give up soda, I was not going to let go of steak, I was not going to give up potatoes, etc etc. And all of that was just fine at that time, because I ended a 40 year relationship with fast food, I ended eating candy of ANYKIND, I ended eating chips and fatty snacks, I ended eating pizza (and remember we were eating pizza two or three times a month..sometimes a week), I ended eating little debbies, cakes, and cookies, I ended eating hunks of cheese and cheese toast, I ended eating pasta by the buckets with every meal, I stopped using butter everytime I cooked....these are just a few changes in my eating that I made and they were HUGE changes! So..If I held on to diet coke, if my portion sizes were still to large at times, if i had triscuits and sourdough pretzels, if I had some things that were healthier but not on target, it was OK...because I have to make changes so that the changes are sustainable!

But here is the sarcasm, i know that portion sizes are not good if too large, diet sodas are not good for me, water is somehing I need to do better with, and a whole list of others..and these things are on my "this i will not give list".

I know myself and if I load myself with the expectation that i have to do it "all" will become "all or nothing' and you can guess what will happen. That is not going to happen here. There will be no setting myself up for failure by overloading myself. This journey has been successful because in each step of the way I have said I am willing more often that not, but have had the foresight to give myself a break and put somethings in perspective until I am able to handle it.

I guess I marvel at the "cold turkey" folks who can just stop it all, change and it is all ok. That is not me. I have made changes that I am very proud of, but I have to acknowledge those changes and see them for the big deal they are...and truly be grateful for them...and the changes that I know will come, because my head is on straight about wanting to be as healthy as I can be, will come on the day and time that they are supposed to..again because I am willing....

That is a lot of typing and I know get circuitous in my explanations sometimes, but I think I have said it pretty least for me...I am on a journey of progress not perfection (this is not mine and I am so grateful to have been given this one) and today, I am willing....
I pray tomorrow I will be willing to

cause i gotta tell you...what i have seen so far..this life is amazing!
thanks be to God!

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