I know people can get a little turned off when I mention the word “church”, but I was in church last week and we had a visiting priest from Africa. The Central African Republic to be precise.. anyway, he said that he was very interested to do the homily that week, because it was about Jesus’s (trigger word… bare with you) speech about being judged by those you know.
There is a part of the Bible in which Jesus speaks and everyone questions his authority, as he was just the son of a carpenter… and they knew of his humble beginnings.. and how could HE possibly be important. The Father went on to say how he knows how it feels. He came to this new church on the other side of the world and he was welcomed and respected, and though he loved his home there were always those that would never take him seriously because he was the kid that did…. what have you, 20 years ago.
When starting something new in life this is often a problem that people have. We are already set in our ways and it is difficult enough to start a new course and reprogram our own minds, but it is all the more difficult with the naysayers in our ears. I can remember when I was starting my health journey and I was cutting bad foods and trying to exercise more, and the hardest people to be around were the ones that were closest to me. The ones who were like, “oh… another diet” or “yeah, we can go out next week when you’re over your kick” or “it’s just a piece of cake” .. or pizza or what have you.. “It’s not a big deal. You’ve always eaten it before.”
There is something about human nature that people almost take it as a personal insult if you decide to change.. as if you’re trying to be better than the other person or that your change means that they should change as well.
As I have mentioned before people are very determined to stay the image that they have assigned for themselves. They like their habits. They know their identity. Anything outside of that makes them very uncomfortable. So if identity is permanent than you shouldn’t be able to change yours either. This is an extremely hard battle to wage when you’re already fighting your own mind.
A lot of people will tell you not to share your process or your plans with others. I’m not sure that I agree with that or not. I think it depends on your own resilience at that time (which can change from day to day and minute to minute), and also your opinion of the other person.. as well as a million other things. I do think that it is important to have a support system.. and that there are always those in your life that you KNOW you can’t depend on for support. Them, you avoid like the plague.
I believe this is why support groups like AA and weight watchers and the like are so important. Humans are, at our core, social beings. We need to connect with others. We need support, whether we like to admit it or not, but we can’t always get that at home with the people who are happy in the status quo or feel more comfortable holding our pasts against us. When it’s time for a change.. sometimes we have to make bold sweeping changes. We need to turn away from getting comfort in what’s familiar and move on to a new tribe if you like. The most important thing is not letting other’s define your identity.
Imagine if people put as much energy into creating the life that they want as they did into putting down and destroying others? Everywhere we look today we see posts and videos and commentary about how bad someone else is and about how if not for someone else the world would be great. People spend hours and days and lifetimes finding reasons and people to blame for all that ails them.
Imagine, though, if instead of concentrating on the things that irritate, or corrode the life that we want we actually spent time and energy on the things that we do want. This can be used in any context. I don’t care if you’re complaining about our president, your ex, or the latest diet that didn’t work for you. Wasting our energy on things that we don’t want in our world only keeps us for using that same energy on the things that we do.
Take politics for example. The news and in turn everyday people spend so much time complaining and arguing about the horrible things that Trump and or his people are doing and how to get him out…but I have yet to see anyone put energy into a viable person or persons who they can put up next year to oust him.
I see post upon post.. meme upon meme, about the ex who didn’t respect me and how I deserve respect and how you’re going to regret losing me because I’m so good and your so great and how could anyone like me ever care about anyone like you and you’re going to see just how amazing I am.. and .. and ..and… time to move on honey. I’m not talking to the ex who’ll see it.. I’m talking to you.. who can’t let it go. Don’t think about the one that screwed up, think about who you want next. Think about the person that you want to become to attract the person that you deserve.
We hate our jobs, we hate our bodies, we hate people… and all we do is talk about these things…. BITCH about these things. If we put half of our energy into creating things that we adore instead of complaining about the things we abhor we may actually have a happy thoughts, that may lead to happy moods, that lead to happy lives.
I get that things can be bad. I get that there is a lot to fight in this world, but the point is to fight for, not fight against. I don’t want to spend my life fighting against one man. I want to spend my life fighting for ideas, and causes, and people. I want to spend my life talking about things that I love and why they are so wonderful and why they deserve to be respected and cherished.
I think about my son. He is 4 years old. He hates bedtime and broccoli.. you know what he never talks about? Bedtime and broccoli. Even when it’s what I’m trying to make him do these things. He doesn’t cry about how he hates bedtime. He cries and sometimes negotiates something that he does want. When I say that it’s time for bed his response isn’t “I hate bed and I never want to go to bed” his response is, “I want to play a game/watch TV/read a book” and because he concentrates on things that he wants and not what he doesn’t want a lot of times there is compromise. A lot of times I will say, “Ok, if you brush your teeth, potty, and get on your pjs without a fight and you can get one more book” it works. Just yelling “I hate bed!” doesn’t accomplish anything. There is no alternative to getting what he does want.
So you hate Trump, all men cheat, and you don’t want to give up yummy food to be thin.. great… but what do you want instead. Where is the focus? Who are you going to vote FOR in 2020? Do all men really cheat and if so are you wanting to switch teams or are you ok staying single until you meet someone who doesn’t… while letting go of the ones that do? What are you willing to do to reach your health goal? Maybe you want to be able to eat that piece of chocolate but that means extra minutes at the gym or joining a sport or hiking that peak. Don’t tell me what you don’t want.. tell me what you do.
I don’t get the whole taboo way of thought about mental health. I grew up with a mother who was schizophrenic. I had no problem telling people this, and people always are shocked by my openness. My son’s father has mental health and addiction issues and when I mention this people hush me. I have an aunt who is actually educated as a therapist and the thought of me telling anyone that my ex is a drug addict makes her cringe.
I don’t get it. These are illnesses. If my son’s father had cancer should I keep that hushed? My father had diabetes, and there was no problem with me talking about that. Most mental illness can be, at least helped, by medication and or different cognitive therapies… don’t we want this?
Healthcare is a huge topic of discussion right now. Gun violence is a huge topic of discussion right now… two rich celebrities within a week of one another lost their battles with mental illness and killed themselves, and yet, no one actually wants to talk about mental illness. I mean, people will wear colors or post memes and pictures to commemorate the fallen, but no one wants to actually talk about what’s going on in this world… with themselves or their loved ones.
No one wants to understand how someone can loose all hope. No one wants to acknowledge the reality that is illness. They want to point fingers. They want to call the fallen weak and selfish and pathetic. They want to pretend that they are just so much stronger and would never be that desperate, but the truth is mental illness is everywhere and can affect anyone. The only way we can do anything to prevent any suicides and mass killings is to talk about mental health and to make it a safe and open environment for everyone to seek help.
If I break my leg I’m considered an idiot if I don’t go to a doctor.. but if something in me is broken. If I’m feeling just too sad, or too angry, or too fearful then I’m just a miserable person that needs to get over it and it’s my problem. If I try to seek help for my health them I’m labeled crazy. If I reach my breaking point and I do something desperate I’m the villain, even in the case of self hurting (suicide and/or drugs).. I’m not a victim… I’m out to hurt my loved ones.
I’m on social media a lot. There are all kinds of jokes, and memes about being miserable, hating other people, and feeling overly insecure, anxious, or stressed. This is completely normal and laughable. It’s become a staple in our society to be miserable. Relationships are designed to break our hearts, jobs are designed to break our spirits, and friends are only there to commiserate with. Anyone who talks about good things in life or wanting more are laughed at as if they’re delusional.
We have become a society of miserable, overly self medicated, unhealthy carbon sacks… and when anyone among us expresses that we have a real problem we are told that it’s all “in our heads” and that everyone is hopeless and not to feel special. WHAT?!?!?!?
Why would anyone want to be despondent? Maybe if we all had to get evaluated regularly with our mental health like we do with our physical health.. maybe just maybe… we wouldn’t be as sick, on all ends.
We have all heard of Dante’s Infernal and the 7 deadly sins, it’s been used in countless movies and TV shows including “Seven”, “Charmed”, and “Supernatural”, just to name a few, but I always used to wonder why they were so horrible in the eyes of the after world (whichever after world you choose is fine). The more that I thought about it the more that I realized they had nothing to do with what happens next. They are all about this world… hence, deadly. These are the things that kill us and our spirit, our drive in this world.
We are all aware of addiction as a horrible disease. People who suffer from it destroy not only their own lives but cause serious damage to those around them. When a person is so consumed with something outside of them-self they can’t manage to do or think about anything else.. they put other things on the back burner.. they lose them-self to that addiction that is a deadly sin.
Now think about what those 7 deadly sins are:
Gluttony: which could be seen as food, or drink, or drug. The way it was used in Charmed was even shopping.. it’s obsessing over something. Some people use the expression “A glutton for punishment” because they always seem to go back to those that hurt them.
Sloth: The act of giving up on life.. seriously. You have no motivation to do anything. We all have those days, mine are usually on Sunday, when we just want to stay in our pjs and pretend the world away, and occasionally that is fine. But if you become the person who doesn’t want to get the new job, doesn’t want to go out with their friends, doesn’t want the new relationship.. out of fear, or anger, or just laziness, then you can watch years go by without actually doing anything. That’s just a slow death.
Lust: This one is a bit tricky. There of course is the sex addict, but I feel with a glutton definition that kind of falls under that category, but what about those people that will do anything to be in a relationship. It doesn’t matter what. They will change themselves, give up their own rights, their own principles. There are people who just don’t feel complete without the status of relationship on their facebook profile.
Then there’s the flip side. Those who are in perfectly great relationships, but need can’t be satisfied. They need to chase the high of “catching” a new romantic prospect. I have met a few people like this. They are the ones that have the affairs, not because they have fallen out of love with their spouse, but because they have an innate need to be wanted. This is very similar to the person who always needs the relationship. These people always need to prove that they are good enough to get the next one, and more often than not they lose the good thing that they already have.
Envy: This one is just a relationship killer. Any relationship, not just the romantic one. This is the one that makes you fight with your spouse over a smile at the wrong person, we get that, but it’s also the one that makes you shy away from interacting with those that you deem better for some reason. Whether you feel the other is better looking, smarter, or more successful, you either put them in a category of stuck up and therefore not someone that you would want to associate with, or you put them into a category of someone out of your league in which case you couldn’t possibly be someone they would want to know.
On top of personal relationships it’s what stops you from going for the job, the promotion, the bigger and the better, because you feel that there is no way that “I could possibly be the best candidate when there are so many more out there that are… smarter, more educated, have more experience” or whichever “truth” you decide fits your explanation. The only thing this does for us is keep us scared and incapable of moving forward.
Greed: Now this seems like it should go the opposite of envy and sloth and should be a great motivator to help someone be successful, but I guess that depends on your definition of success. Greed is not to be confused with ambition. It is great to have goals and be ready and willing to work and fight for those goals. It is a deadly sin when you start crossing lines and stealing, manipulating, and using others just to get what you want. When you start to realize that you have elevated the money or the prestige to be more important than the people around you you start to realize how much you have really lost.
Pride: This is another one that seems like it should be good, until you see it blown out of proportion. How many times have you heard of a family falling apart over pride. It could be a marriage or parents and children who don’t speak for years or even decades over something.. that half the time they can’t remember, or can’t admit wasn’t a big deal. Pride is a dangerous animal. It keeps you from giving up your principles and makes us all stronger for it, but it can be a huge stumbling block once it’s been damaged. There are many out there that hold so tightly to their pride they can’t even give the next person a chance for fear they may be made a fool again.
Wrath: This one is huge. This one is one that we see crippling nations and destroying civilizations. This is the one that needs an enemy. This is the one that needs to place blame on anyone else. This is the one that creates wars. Usually this one is a combination of the rest. This is the one that comes about when someone who is being greedy, and prideful feels envious and they obsess over who they can blame for their apathy. This is when we look for problems to to criticize others over instead of solutions to bring about peace and resolution. We are too angry to see anyone else’s perspective. We are too angry to see our part. The only thing we can do is accuse, and hurt back… and that’s never solved anything.
So as important as the afterlife is to most of us, the only life we actually have control over right now is the one that we are currently living. How do you want to spend your days? Do you want to do, see, and accomplish as much as you can? Do you want to love, learn, and experience all of the wonders that this life has? Or do you want to blame, ridicule, and waste the little time that you do have to be the person you always dreamed you could be?
I have spoken before about the misinformation about the right to bear arms and how it’s been skewed to fit certain individuals and/or groups needs, but the misinformation of healthcare absolutely takes the cake. “Why should I have to pay for other people’s healthcare?” is the biggest argument made. Well, guess what? You already are… and more.
The way private healthcare is set up one pays a premium to have health insurance whether they use it or not. All of the money goes to the health insurance company which puts it into a fund and pays out everyone’s healthcare bills… OK, so at least your money is only paying for those who have also paid into healthcare, so that’s OK. Guess again. Hospitals know that the chances of them being paid by individuals that don’t have insurance is extremely low so they jack up the prices of everything they do so that those who have insurance will pay a high enough bill that it will cover those that aren’t covered. That’s how hospitals stay open. Ever wonder about that $15 Tylenol tablet you took?
So that’s just the costs that actually go to the hospital, doctors, Ambulances, and so forth. Now.. here’s a big secret that I know most people haven’t discovered. Insurance companies are NOT non-profit. In fact they make huge profits. The CEO’s make millions for their salaries, never mind the bonuses they get for “saving” the company money… in other words comes up with reasons they shouldn’t give their customers the coverage that they pay for.
Then there are all of the other people who work for these giant companies. The executives, the marketing, advertising, financial services, sales… customer service…. even down to the buildings they are housed in and those paid to clean them are all paid.. with your policies. Now obviously with universal healthcare there would still be people in charge of making sure that bills are paid, and taking care of customers, but there wouldn’t be billions going to executives and sales.
Then there is the fact that, yes, there are some poor people who, because they don’t make enough money, would get free healthcare. That’s kind of a given, but as we established earlier, they’re not paying those bills anyway, and the price gauging is covering that. Then there are all those who are just choosing to not pay. All those who make a decent wage, but feel that they’re healthy enough to not have to worry about it. They don’t think about the accidents that can cripple them, or the unexpected flu that can put them in the hospital. They just expected to be taken care of, and maybe they pay, maybe they don’t. Maybe, even after all the doctor’s do they can’t be saved.. or they are left disabled and unable to work anymore. Guess who eats their bills. With Universal Healthcare everyone making enough money will be paying their fair share.
Finally there’s all the things that most Private Insurance carriers aren’t guaranteed to even cover. Dental, nope, mental health, nope, specialists, nope. So you pay 100s and 1000s on health insurance only to have deductibles, co-pays.. and denials.
People and politicians complain about it not being their problem to take care of others… yet it kind of is. The population at large is definitely the politicians problem. It’s their job to keep us alive. It’s their job to keep the economy running. Part of keeping us alive, aside from making bigger and bigger guns, is making sure that we have access to doctors and medicine and.. even better.. preventative care. Part of keeping the economy running is making sure that people are healthy enough to work, and not losing their jobs over long term illnesses or injuries or losing their houses to overwhelming dept due to both.
Their most important job is making sure that the future generations are alive, or the US stops here. Two of the biggest concerns to youth today are being killed in school and the opioid epidemic (but that’s for another day) both of which could truly be helped by a good mental health system. The first thing politicians that oppose gun control say is that it’s not guns that kill people, it’s the people that kill people. And since they’ve made it very clear that they’re not willing to keep guns away from those people, why not create a health reform that gets ALL individuals the mental health support that they need. I know many people who are unable to see therapists or psychiatrists because, even with the private insurance that they have it’s either not covered or the deductible is so high they can’t afford to start treatment.. especially paying it every year.
I agree, the people who commit these horrendous crimes are mentally unstable. I personally thinks that means they shouldn’t be allowed access to guns, but aside from that, why can no one in power now see that means that they do require help BEFORE they shoot up 17 people in a school?
The last shooter was a classic case. He bounced from home to home. Lost 2 sets of parents. He had a really crappy life and many people could see that he was a threat to himself and others, yet nothing stopped him. No one helped him. People who shoot babies, and church goers, and movie theater attendees aren’t right in the head. That’s an absolute fact that everyone seems to agree on. These shootings occur way too often, another fact that no one questions. So why is there a debate about making sure every American has the right to stay alive? Why can’t these people get the help they need so they don’t kill 100s of people a year? This is the whole country’s problem, and only one of when it comes to the health of this nation.
We’ve all heard the expression that we are what we eat, but never have I experienced such an obvious example of this as I did this past weekend. I admit, during the holiday season my eating was way off track and I was feeling like a lazy, lumpy sloth. So, a few weeks ago I got myself back on track, no more leftover pie for breakfast. It only took a couple of days and I my energy level was back; my heartburn was gone and I was feeling good. I had the actual desire to exercise not just forcing my way through it.
Then this last weekend I went on a little getaway. I stayed at my brother’s place in the mountains that I have been to at least once a year for almost two decades. Usually it’s a great chance to me to reset my brain. I get out into the fresh air. I see the gorgeous view. I have very few distractions. I usually get so much accomplished.
This time on the drive up the fog was horrible. I could barely see three feet in front of me. I had to crank the heat to keep the windshield clear, and I was getting very drowse. After about 1.5 hours my son had to pee so we stopped at a gas station/convenient store and we grabbed snacks. It was one of those things that I talked myself into being ok. I had to do something to keep me awake and munching on snacks and coffee always does the trick. I was right. We got to the house with no incident and things seemed good… till I laid down. Suddenly I felt like I was going to be sick. I had severe heartburn and even the next day I had very little energy. I ate the left-over donuts we had and I felt even worse.
The weekend of fun, adventure, and even a little work, turned into my son watching TV while I crashed out on the couch. Thankfully after all the time I’ve spent with my food diary I recognized the signs. Later in the day I ran to the store and stocked up on fruits, veggies, and organic soups… it’s really cold here and it hit the spot… and my energy levels were back up the next day.
We always think that it takes years for crap food to do any real damage, but the truth is the garbage we put in our body is poison. It starts hurting us the moment it hits our lips and it doesn’t stop till we clean it from our lives. Don’t get me wrong, an occasional “treat” is one thing… a lifestyle of trash is something else. Everything in moderation… but our bodies are vehicles and need the proper fuel to make it work smoothly.
The season of giving is over. Thanksgiving is long forgotten, except by our pants. Christmas is a lovely memory. We are all in the process of throwing dead trees and left over wrapping away. We are ready for our New Year/New Me. We are planning all of the things that we want to do to make our lives better.
We’re going to lose weight, quit smoking, go back to school, get a new job, get a better relationship… we are going to make our lives perfect!
But what about all of those who are just hoping to get through the bitterly cold nights? The food pantries and soup kitchens don’t just have “guests for the holiday”. We all talk about the things we want to get and achieve, but what about the things that we want to give.
At the time of Holy Days we all talk about how “it’s better to give than to receive” and how “giving is its own reward”, then the new year starts and we suddenly forget that there are poor people. We have battles online with strangers about all of the people leaching off the system.. as if anyone is choosing to be poor and/or starving and homeless.
I understand more than most that people make their own reality… but this doesn’t mean that they do it by choice. Some aren’t strong enough to make better choices. Some have mental illnesses that prevent them… not everyone has a well-built support system in place to deal with things like childcare, or even a place to shower and get mail so they may apply for a job.
Most of all I think of the children. In the past I have volunteered for a program called “Horizon’s for Homeless Children” a program in which adults volunteer to hang out with children in homeless shelters. This gives parents a chance to work, and children a larger support system in which to depend. I have also been a Big Sister through the Big Brother/Big Sister program, and have given many a present to a giving tree or tows for tots. This past winter I found myself taking tags for boys my son’s age because the thought of him waking up on Christmas with nothing was heart breaking.
I’m amazed when I read comments online about how poor people shouldn’t have children… yet, those are the same people opposed to birth control being covered by insurance… or insurance being covered at all. I’m amazed when I read that everyone who’s on food stamps are just lazy. I’m amazed when I read from the same people about “Pro-Life!”… it seems to me that you’re just pro-rich-life.
Now this is not an abortion debate. I, myself, have issues with abortion and it has nothing to do with my religion and more to do with the science that has come about and the understanding of when babies can feel and think and so on.. This is a humanity rant (for lack of a better word). I am completely PRO LIVING. I am pro helping those who need help. I am Pro feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, healing and hopefully preventing sickness. I am not only for this depending on which job you have had in the past, or what color or country that you are born. I am for LIFE.
The season for giving is every season.
SO… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
We have officially started our new lives. We all have our resolutions stated, our diets, our business plans, our ideas for what ever our dreams may be. I have heard a lot of talk on radio stations, and of course the memes are in full swing, but you know what I mostly noticed. It’s all negative, self deprecating, designed to fail talk.
I don’t know what it is about the human ego, but we seem to be fundamentally designed to accept failure. Most people are much more comfortable with self deprecation than we are accepting a compliment. If someone says, “wow, you look great, have you lost weight?”. The receiver automatically feels uncomfortable and makes up some excuse about being sick, or “maybe a little”, or brushes it off as if it’s no big deal. But it is a big deal. Anything that you work hard at is.
For some reason, especially with Americans, there is something innately in us to underachieve. It’s actually the opposite of what the American Dream is all about so I don’t really get it. People are proud of how little they do and/or accomplish. As if being sick and broke is a mark of freedom. They are free from the rat race, or free from the socialized ideals of what’s important. They’re not going to be one of those people who eat healthy, or God forbid RUN. They aren’t going to be one of those people who works to get the promotion or start their own companies.. those people clearly have an ego problem.
I don’t know if it’s all the old 80s-90s movies that made the bad guy the person with an unhealthy need to win the poster-person for ambition so now anyone that wants to make themselves better must clearly be the jerk who thinks they’re better than everyone else.
And there’s a certain amount of outside sabotage that goes along with it. Those who are trying to “better themselves” are being told that it’s OK to be fat… it’s OK to be you… no being fat will kill you. It doesn’t make you less of a person, but it’s not OK. Or it’s OK to be minimum wage worker.. if you try for that promotion then you’re trying to somehow leave other’s behind.
Even those who are successful in whatever aspect of their lives still feel the need to put down anyone who wants start. Slim, healthy people make fun of overweight people who are beginning to exercise. As if “who does that person think they’re fooling?”. Why do they have to be fooling anyone? Why does their life choices to try to be better at something automatically put others on the defensive.
I saw an article about a woman who spent 100 days facing her fears. She later did a TEDtalk about it. I was amazed when I saw the comments how many people put her down because they didn’t agree that her fears were important enough. That her doing things that others do all the time shouldn’t make her important. Why not? Why can’t she be important just by being important? To quote The Doctor (Who) “In 900 year of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important”.
Why is life more about keeping other’s down than helping each other up? Perhaps everyone resolution should be to be more inviting and supportive of others, bringing up the status quo instead of bringing everyone down. Just a thought.
I have a friend who has been stuck in a rut for some time now. He took some advice from another life coach that he talked to. (It’s not good to coach your own friends…. they’ll get mad at you for calling them on their crap) This person gave him a list of different things to do for two weeks to “cleanse his bad luck” or karma or what have you.
This person uses modes that I don’t use myself, things like lighting certain colored candles and pouring salt, it’s all very pagan traditions… which is fine, just not my cup ‘a. Anyway… the whole point is to get the person to try new things and to spend more time in their own head. There is a lot of sitting in silence and meditating.. which I do believe in.
One of the days he had to eat as a vegan. No animal products. No meats, no cheese, no butter. He had no idea what was left. He was at my house for the evening, kind enough to watch my son while I had to go out for a bit. I told him that I had some pasta that he could have. His response… “Sauce has meat”…. um… not all sauce. Not my tomato and basil sauce… and “Why is the spaghetti different colors?”. It’s a tri-colored, veggie based pasta….. Nope… he wasn’t going to try it.
Now the whole point of this exercise is to try new things. To get out of your own head. To believe that things can be done differently. Not eating animal products for one day is not going to change your health or do anything for you except… get you to think outside the box and try something new. That’s how we change.
Now I love my friend, and this is not written to knock him.. as I said, never coach a friend, they will take criticism as an insult, but it is to point out that you only get out of coaching what you put into it. You can only change your life as much as you’re willing to change yourself. I have had this problem myself for years. I had spent over a decade denying my habits and my weight issues. I spent many years in crappy relationships hoping the other person would change. I am in no way perfect, but since losing my father I have learned that you get from life what you put into it. I want my son to learn the good habits and the best self thoughts.
If you want to be healthy.. you have to BE HEALTHY. If you want to be rich, you have to do the work.. you have to find your niche, you have to take a chance. If you want a fabulous relationship.. you have to let go of the old ones. You can’t change other people.. and you can’t change your life without… CHANGING YOUR LIFE.