I have caused suffering. We all have. We try so hard to not harm. But it’s impossible. For example, my thoughts on being vegan or vegetarian were to be innocent of shedding blood. To not stop another’s life. It sounds noble. It sounds wise. And one day we may all be able to live without causing harm to other beings just to survive. There is another side to the “plants only” diet. Agriculture. Whether we farm thousands of acres or raise herds of cattle, we still do harm. To the environment, to the habitat, and to the creatures who live there.
It is a baby’s nature to be born. That baby that was born didn’t think of the pain she caused. She didn’t try to be gentle. She herself wasn’t in control, but the timing of nature was propelling her to be born. The child in the act of being born is surviving and thriving and asserting, but at the same time she is also at the mercy of the environment around her. In the same way, we, the people of Earth, are propelled by nature and the forces that came before us. Here we stand with the blood of those we have harmed, but we are still as innocent as the baby that is freshly born. We didn’t ask for this. We didn’t cause the destructions that came before our time. We can only adapt to where we are now.
Today, I drop my guilt and walk away. Just like the newborn baby innocent but yet guilty. I’ll live my life the best I can. I will take what I need and give to others as well. Each day, I will take the steps that are in front of me and I will use whatever tool I have in my hand, for myself and for those around me. What more can any of us do? What does the lord require of us, but to love mercy, to do justly and to live humbly before our god.
Earlier I was eating an apple and enjoying it. I was just eating the apple, nothing else, and it was delicious. The crunch. The juice. It was a very good apple. So much of my eating has become duty. Just enjoying good food is difficult because we are all so uptight about eating healthy and not overeating. I’m right there in the mix of it also. Sitting down to eat a whole gallon of ice cream isn’t enjoying it though. That’s a compulsion.
Documenting my food intake is absolutely not my style. Of course like everything I do, I volley between a strict watch to eating whatever I want. Until I get in sync with my body though I feel I need to be aware of what I am doing. My main problem is when I start to watch, I also start to grade. I judge.
Surely there’s a better way of staying healthy. A relaxed way. Somehow to respect ourselves and respect our food. With honor. I know that sounds goofy and all new age, but there is some truth in there. The current way is to tighten and clench. Try harder. Work out more. And that goes against everything I feel. It is what is wrong with society. Tougher rules and stricter laws. I’m not an anarchist by any means, but there is just only so much that another rule can do. What happens if you beat a dead horse? Your arm gets tired. Only that. He can’t go any faster. He’s dead.
To me, when I get in those situations where I’ve buckled down and tightened up and can’t discipline myself any more, I know that I’m needing a new approach. Something isn’t right about the current one. If it’s not working, try something else.
So I want to try something else in regards to being healthy, but what? Counting calories? Exercise? Well here’s an original, accepting myself as I am. Hmmm, I’m not a big fan of that. Actually that one scares me the most. I read somewhere that the thing that scares you the most is the thing that needs to be done. I wonder if that is true? Somewhere in all of my efforts I need to know when enough is enough. But I’m not sure if it is yet. I have another hoorah! left in me.
Earlier I was feeling a bit morose. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Actually, it has been for the last several days. Janet had private a pity party. I didn’t stay in that state because I know that it doesn’t help. I prefer to find the reason for my mood and do something about it. Most of the time, my moods come and go without lingering. This time my emotions and I seemed to be playing peek-a-boo. That’s why I realized that this could be important.
I stopped swiping them to the side and just looked. Yes, I missed seeing my children since they’ve grown up. I missed reading their cute little books to them and watching the cartoons they enjoyed. Their squirmy bodies would curl up next to me on the couch while we watched The Lion King or 101 Dalmatians for the thousandth time. Memories and grief are normal and usually don’t last. This time I realized it wasn’t just those instances that were absent. I needed to wake up and notice what was lacking in my life.
Cravings that linger
It reminds me of food cravings. Most foods that I crave are an impulse. I read about brownies and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with a craving for brownies. The same happens with coffee or popcorn or any other food. But other times a food craving lingers and I realize I’m craving something my body needs at that moment.
Using the same logic for my emotions, I must need something that I was getting during the time I was spending time with my kiddos. I’m sure that you’ve analyzed this and you are shouting at your screen how obvious it is. Sometimes I am a little slow when it comes to my emotional needs.
It happens most often when I am trying to fill an idealized version of myself. Much like looking at a picture in a magazine of a living room. It’s decorated so perfectly. All of the books stacked and the table is free of clutter. Shoes are out of sight and obviously, no one has a throw pillow on the floor or a blanket nailed over a window to block the sunlight. My living space is real and as much as I want it impressively decorated and ingeniously designed, it isn’t. My house fits me with its galley kitchen and old refrigerator. The place is close to the highways I use and the cost of maintaining my place is minimal. No fuss and that’s how I like it.
This is where I live
This body of mine is a real body. It is my living space. I have to treat it in the way that helps it work the best. If I over stress it with high expectations or overwhelm it with too many activities, it will start throwing alarm switches until I listen. This last week my body has started with reminding me that frugality is admirable but stinginess is cruel. My washing machine quit working a few weeks back so I had been “making do” until I could save enough to buy a new washer. While that sounds wonderful, I realize I was not being frugal for a purely financial reason. There was a huge chunk of ego that wanted to boast how worthy I am! Quite a laughable thing once I realize what a tricky thing our psyche is. After taking a step back and looking at the situation I went to a local home improvement store and financed a washing machine. True, I could have waited, but it was stressing me unnecessarily.
Have you ever tried to push a shopping cart with a twisted wheel? That’s how it felt. I kept going, kept trying, because that’s what I do. I keep pushing because I know I can. I’m strong and capable, right? When I took care of my needs I realized how tiring my enduring had made me. When I stopped trying to push the broken cart down the aisle I could release the burden I was carrying.
What was I talking about? Pity party?
So, back to my pity party. What is your estimation of my mood? Was it because I really missed my children? Or maybe I missed the moments that seemed carefree? To me there were no better moments in my life than those when I could just sit and be there with my boys. Them and their little boy TV shows filled with whimsical characters and superhero outfits. I feel better now. Revived and refreshed. Somehow just taking the time for myself to remember that part of my life, the joy of it, has brought a smile to my face. I am no longer sad that I can’t have those little guys as a part of my life anymore. They are a little big for Power Rangers. I can now come back to my present moment and I can spread a bit of the whimsy to today. I realize I had unrealistic expectations of myself and I wasn’t allowing myself to live in the moment.
I choose not to kill my soul with harsh criticism and unrealistic expectations.
I choose to let joy and life flow through me, so that when the time comes I can also bring joy to others.
I choose to be a part of life in the now and not above it. The future is sometimes frightening and I don’t want to face it but there is always a way. There is always a simple step. It’s not always the boastful, shiny, impressive way, but there is a solution.
I choose to glean the joys of yesterday and like seeds in the garden, I will sprinkle them with honor and watch them blossom.
I choose to honor myself, as I am, even all the jiggly parts.
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