Archive for July, 2008

Confidence

Yesterday I spent the day with a little piece of paper folded up and stuck in my pocket. The word “able” was written on it. In the evening, I received some forms per email that needed to be filled out for the new job. I hate filling out forms. I generally feel overwhelmed and that I’ll surely do it wrong. Some of you may laugh, but “able” came to mind, and I decided to just go ahead. I attached a note when I sent them back, saying if something was wrong or weird, she could contact me this morning. I haven’t heard from her, so they must be fine.

Late evening my husband came home and came in my room to talk. He said what he wanted to say (including accusations), then turned on his heel and left. That is fairly normal behavior. But the little piece of paper whispered right away (not ten minutes later): “You are able to respond to that!” So I said we’d never be able to talk if he just delivers his speech and leaves. He didn’t come back, but at least I’d said it. Then I stayed up and wrote four pages of what I want to tell him. I will give them to him to read tomorrow. I suggested we sit down and talk tomorrow. (I don’t have time today.)

Before going to bed, I took “able” out of my pocket, but felt like I’d internalized it. This morning I got out of bed, then remembered I needed a word. So I lay down again and reflected. “Confident” jumped into my mind. That’s a good word. I wrote it down and underlined it, then put it in my pocket. I’m going to the recording studio to sing today, and I am confident that I will sing well and that I will have fun.

If anyone read yesterday’s post about “Determination” but hesitated to try it, maybe today’s words will inspire you. I can’t believe how good I feel today!

Never underestimate the power of a word!

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July 31, 2008 at 9:44 am 2 comments

I don’t deserve it

This little affirmation is not to be taken lightly. It is extremely powerful. For quite some time, it has been lurking in the shadows. The other night before going to bed, I checked my emails, and my trusted spiritual ally zapped me with an invitation to chat.

Once again we set off into the realm of exchanging news and spiritual discovery and insight. I mentioned that job I’d been hoping for. Last week I’d turned it down, explaining that I won’t be ready to work until September, and that I fully understand that they need to fill the position now.

Just that afternoon, I’d wondered if I’d hear from them again. That same afternoon I’d also come to the conclusion that the universe must have more than one job opportunity for me in this lifetime. (I worked as a young woman, but spent the past 18 years going to school and raising children.) In the evening, the director called to tell me that they still want me.

I told her that I’m still very interested. She asked me why I hadn’t been more persistent. I explained that I didn’t expect special treatment and thought I’d lost the chance because of my infirmity.

My spiritual friend said I was despondent after the accident. She’s right. My hopes had been high, and then they were dashed. In the hospital I gave up and asked for a mood-improving medication, which I received and used for a few days.

Why did I give up? What’s the title of this post? Deep down, I’m still carrying that affirmation: “I don’t deserve it.” Rather than fighting, begging them to wait for me, I consoled myself with thoughts like: “Oh, I probably wouldn’t have done a good job anyway. They’ll find someone better. It just wasn’t meant to be.” I even thought: “They’ll find someone who deserves it more.”

The funny thing is, this job literally fell into my lap and I really want it. It doesn’t pay a lot, but it’s very interesting and would give me work experience. Still, I did have to write a curriculum vitae and letter of application. I wrote both in my own style, rather than consult “how to apply for a job” – figuring, if they wanted me after reading the letter, then that was good. If not, then I didn’t belong there. I wasn’t going to write a letter to try and present myself in a better light. The director thanked me for the personal letter.

Oh, but there is hope! I actually wrote and sent the application after the accident! But I gave up when I realized how long it would take to recover.

“I don’t deserve it” is devastating and harmful. Rather than go into more detail, suffice it to say that I would have lived differently without it. Rather than explain what I messed up, allow me to offer some affirmations.

I deserve the job.

I deserve to go to college.

I deserve to live alone.

I deserve to say No.

I deserve to be loved for who I am.

I deserve to relax.

I deserve to take the time to do a good job.

I deserve to feel good about myself.

I deserve to express my opinion.

I deserve to be happy.

Maybe I’ve touched on a nerve? Or maybe you have other ideas about what you deserve? Think about it!

P.S. Some of you might have noticed, there is also an underlying aspect of letting go here, which I just cannot resist pointing out. I did what I could and then I let go. In the past, I might have accepted the job and gone to work too soon, risking further injury. This time I decided I had to look out for myself and my health, as it wouldn’t really help anyone for me to knock myself out. (But boy did I feel guilty making such a big deal out of my needs and limitations!) And what happened? The universe was there for me!

So in retrospect I see the lesson: Do what I can. Let go. Trust in the universe. What is meant to be, will be. That is beyond my control. There is plenty of space to actively make an effort, but letting go and acceptance are also important.

July 31, 2008 at 9:32 am 4 comments

Determination

This will be just a quick note, but I’m so impressed by the results that I had to share it. Yet another late-night chat with my precious spiritual connection (who happens to be in the same time zone though on a different continent) sparked more insight. I’ll skip the preliminary explanatory stuff, as I plan to write about that later. I’ll skip right to the next paragraph.

She said: Write a word to describe yourself every day. Put that piece of paper in your pocket. Keep it with you all day. I needed to clarify: Characteristic or feeling? She said I could do both, but feelings can change in the course of the day. I decided to just write the characteristic and put it in my pocket, but think of a feeling and observe how it changes during the day.

Before parting, she said: Tell me a word to describe yourself right now. Then she started counting backwards when I hesitated: 5, 4, 3… I said: Determined! And I feel excited!

Strangely enough, I woke up this morning feeling determined. And tired. But now that I’ve been up for a couple of hours, that sense of excited anticipation about what the day will bring is spreading itself over the tiredness. Wow! I don’t even need a whole sentence of affirmation. Just a single word can be effective!

Neverthessless, today is a new day, so I just picked a new word. Able. I am able to accomplish whatever I set out to do. 

Think about it. Try it. It only takes a minute. You may be surprised.

Have a great day! 🙂

July 30, 2008 at 8:25 am 7 comments

On finding myself

Once upon a time I never would have believed that I can simply be the way I am. It took an incredibly long time to recognize and accept the person I’ve always been. Now, in retrospect, it seems absurd that I would have tried to change myself, and yet I was convinced of the necessity – because I wasn’t good enough.

A while ago, I found an old love letter. I thought I’d gotten rid of them all, but this one had hidden in a book – saving itself, only willing to reveal itself when I was ready.

Last year I found the letter – my unattainable true love told me that he loved me, and that if it helped to send me positive thoughts, I would feel better, because he sent them all the time – “today and forever”. He asked me to come visit him – for selfish reasons, as he put it, and said he wanted to show me things. He also said that he didn’t have a lot of free time, but we would be able to do things.

What did I interpret? He loves me, but in a generous, humane kind of way – like we love our fellow men. You know, that basic compassion. I did not believe that he could love me as a woman. And anyway, he didn’t have time for me. (Now I assume that meant that he wouldn’t be able to take much time off from work.)

It was a real eye-opener to find this ancient letter, to read and understand it now, and to know how I read and interpreted it back then. Amazing.

Amazing how distorted our perception can be when we don’t believe we are loveable or that we deserve to be happy. I couldn’t believe in love, because I hated myself. To this day, I cannot believe the insanity.

July 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm 4 comments

Faith in the future

I have this memory from my youth of going to the movies and seeing good films about peace, justice and freedom. My mother was great about taking us to the movies. Often, as in the film from which this song comes (Billy Jack), we saw violence and injustice. Yet I left the film theater with the belief that everyone would see the movie, feel upset about the injustice, and then peace, justice and freedom would prevail. I know, I know, that is a rather naive approach. Oh, well, that’s still me. I’ve just gotten a tiny bit more realistic in my grown-up days. I think. I still hope and believe that peace and justice will prevail. Eventually.

I loved the movie and I loved this song — so much that I wrote an essay about it for creative writing class in seventh grade. Our assignment was to interpret a song or poem. It was a labor of love. Back in those days, you couldn’t just google the lyrics. I had to sit and listen to the song over and over again, until I had the words all written down. Today I want to share it with you. No, not the essay! I don’t have that anymore. Just the song. 🙂

 

One Tin Soldier

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago
‘Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley folk below
On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath a stone
And the valley people swore
They’d have it for their very own

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of Heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away

So, the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they’d kill
Came an answer from the kingdom,
“With our brothers, we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there”

Now, the valley cried with anger,
“Mount your horses, draw your sword!”
And they killed the mountain people
So, they won their just reward
Now, they stood beside the treasure
On the mountain dark and red
Turned the stone and looked beneath it
“Peace on Earth” was all it said

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of Heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away

July 26, 2008 at 5:05 pm 2 comments

Wonderful day

It astonishes me that it has taken this long to figure something out, but it did, and today I figured it out. It didn’t look at all like it was intended to be a wonderful day. Yesterday I sang my heart out in the afternoon, and in the evening I suddenly had no voice. Just a whisper. I felt terribly guilty, but had to cancel today’s session at the recording studio. I guess the universe is telling me to take it easy or something.

After a few cold and rainy days, today turned out to be quite nice. Since I had a bit of a voice this morning, I suggested to the boys that we do something this afternoon. My son has his best friend visiting this week. They have been friends since they were three years old, and their friendship has not suffered since we moved to the country four years ago. They will both turn 14 this year.

We decided to take the train to the capitol of this province, about an hour away. After we arrived, we went out for lunch. Feeling strengthened, we walked to the mini-golf place and there I watched them play a round of mini-golf. This city borders on a huge lake. Since the weather was so nice, after we ate ice cream on the restaurant terrace overlooking the lake, we decided to rent a pedal-boat and go out ourselves. It was nice to watch the sailboats and other boats, but we wanted more action.

The boys pedalled, and I made myself comfortable in the back, enjoying the sun, waves, scenery and the breeze. Then I leaned back, closed my eyes, and trusted in their ability. It occurred to me that I was relaxed and enjoying myself. It was fun to listen to their silly jokes and conversation. When my son stood up and the boat rocked a bit back and forth, it was fun to giggle as I told him to sit down again. I was not overly concerned, as they are both good swimmers. The hour seemed to last forever, because we weren’t doing anything else. Nearly every 5 minutes someone checked their watch, not believing so little time had passed. It was wonderful.

Since we are not going on a real vacation this year, my idea was to “play” vacation while his friend is here and do special things. For some reason, I just didn’t expect to have so much fun. We’d gone bowling the other day with my husband, but that was different.

Then I realized: This is what it’s like to relax and have fun with your family! (Even if one of them is borrowed from someone else’s family.) This is what I have been missing. And after so many years, I’d kind of gotten used to it, stopped hoping, and just shut down. Actually, I shut down a long time ago. Or when we did do fun things, I felt nervous, pressured or tense, and generally was exhausted when it was over. Or I tried not to enjoy it too much, because the happiness would leave an aching gap when I returned to regular life.

Today as I lay in the sun on the boat, I thought to myself: This is how I want to feel more often. True, I can’t run to the lake every day and rent a boat, but a few moments to be here now in the sun aren’t so hard to find. I also recognized the impact that it has made on me to be with someone who is so lacking in humor and lightness. Although I knew that a long time ago, I still tried to make the best of things. Now I see that it wasn’t the best. On the contrary, I ran myself ragged trying to accept a life and attitude that has nothing to do with me. Or maybe it has something to do with my family of origin or the bulimia. Right now I’m not really interested in the reason why. Now my main concern is making the change. I really do like to laugh and feel happy! You know, I think I could get used to that!

July 26, 2008 at 1:48 pm 2 comments

Slight weight gain

It has been exactly four weeks since the bicycle accident. For four weeks my activity has been severely reduced. Not only was I excused from doing housework (oh, what a shame!!), but I also didn’t go to the gym or do much else. I’ve just taken it easy. And wore skirts a lot, since they’re much easier to manage with one hand.

So today I put on a pair of jeans and noticed that they are tighter than they used to be! To be honest, I’m not too thrilled about that. Even though I’ve practiced it on a fairly regular basis, self-pity just does not burn enough calories! Today I got on the bicycle (don’t worry — I mean the stationary one in the cellar), put on the Red Hot Chili Peppers and pedaled for a while. Now I feel much better.

This situation does not have to mean devastation. Nor does it mean I have to go on a diet. It is the normal process that happens when food intake remains the same and one’s level of activity decreases over a long period of time. It seemed worth mentioning for a few reasons. First, four weeks have passed and I am in no way fat. In the midst of bulimia, I used to eat one big meal and think I was fat. This kind of puts it into some kind of relation.

Of course, if I had upped my calories with comfort food, I would certainly have put on more, but I didn’t. I don’t do comfort food, because no food can give me comfort. I think that’s almost an oxymoron. How can food make you feel better — especially if you’re feeling guilty while eating it? Sitting down hungry to a good hot meal can be very nice, but that is not my understanding of comfort food.

Another reason it’s worth mentioning is for clarity. With my eating disorder history, there is no way I would not notice a weight gain. Even though I don’t own a scale, I can feel the difference. Body awareness remains with recovery. Thus there is no danger that one will suddenly stop noticing her body and get fat. The difference is, the priorities change. Other things are simply more important.

Yet another reason is the simple fact that I, like everyone else, can certainly gain weight under opportune circumstances. So, now you all know that I am not perfect (not that anyone thought I was, but sometimes I still expect that of myself) and I do not have a unique metabolism that burns everything up regardless.

How will I deal with this weight gain? Well, I’m stuck with the jeans because it’s gotten chilly, but once it gets warmer, I’ll put the skirts back on. Meanwhile, I’m going to up my activity. I’ll walk more. And I think I’ll go to the gym and see if the trainer can’t figure out something for me to do. After all, there’s no point losing all of my muscles! One arm is enough! I’m gradually starting to do more around the house as well. Unfortunately, someone else got the job I wanted, because I’m out of commission. But perhaps that’s just as well. Now I can recuperate fully and then look for a new one. I trust the universe that I will have another job opportunity in this lifetime, despite my age!

It is kind of a bummer. Just before the accident happened, I was finally getting to the gym fairly regularly. I’m still a rather sedentary person. There are just so many other things to do that exercise is often last on my list, even though I know it makes me feel so much better and I’m so glad when I do it.

Well, for now I’ll just trust that my old self is still in there and will soon be back. Meanwhile, there is a trick to losing weight, which I discovered at some point. I think it was after my pregnancies. The trick is: I won’t think about it! That is the absolute best way to lose weight: Occupy myself with other things. Yeah, yeah — and get more exercise! 🙂

July 22, 2008 at 8:24 pm 2 comments

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