Finding courage.

Wanted to talk about something other than food today....*went to the gym..streak is intact*
I have been making these connections lately.
connections of overlapping themes.
It seemed like I was trying to really grasp something.
Part of me has been trying to understand something....
and in the process of all these thoughts I have been reading blogs.
And I noticed a theme there as well.

But let's start with the threads.
Thread 1
I feel 'pretty' lately.
And I am enjoying feeling that way.
For many years I hid any sort of 'prettiness' under a layer of fat.
Because someone at one point had used it against me.
To hurt me.
When I was little.
Being small, or pretty, was something that would get me hurt..
that was what my prior experience had taught me.
That being a 'pretty, petite princess' will cause you pain.

Thread 2
Children dying of horrible, incurable diseases.
I have been reading the blogs of mothers of dying children.
Trying to grasp what it was that I was seeing, what it was about the people that I felt drawn to.
Besides my prayer list being a day long type of thing now....
I think I have nailed it down.

Thread 3
I have been having dizzy spells and heart palpitations and was getting very concerned till I spotted the bruises on my legs. I have had problems with anemia since I was little. I had cut my calories back to 1400 and upped my exercise and screwed myself up...again
(Did this a few months ago too if you recall)
But until I figured it out...I had a little spell of what you might call 'fear'...lol.
I had a time where I thought about how little time we really have here...and how one day POOF
we are gone.

Thread 4
Then my daughter talked to a friend about whether or not to trust people.
Our family motto (much like the kgb)...is"'trust but verify."
My daughter wrote this up on her blog much better than I can type it here.
Let's just say our views correspond.
Trust is earned.
Because, while I would love to believe that everyone can be trusted...I have learned through hard earned experience that THAT is not the case.

Then last night I re-read Elie Wiesel's book Night.
It is an honest account of his time at Auschwitz...and how at one point he prayed he would have the strength to NOT abandon his father....because he knew that everyone was capable.
If you haven't read it, you should.....He defines my main theme word.
Although he wouldn't think so....real heroes never think they are heroes.

So Now to the threads

There is one theme that has been trying to speak to me...and I just got it.

Life takes courage...great big fat amounts.
Courage can not be given or granted...It has to be pulled from within...
Through faith, through thoughts and sometimes through actions..through sheer force of will..
Courage is a choice.
Just like quitting is a choice.
Just like fear, while natural, is a choice.

There is the way we wish things were....
And the way that they are.
For instance....
My daughter's friend said she has to trust people....
My daughter says she trusts God...because people are imperfect.
When we put our faith in other people...it is inevitable, at some point they will let us down.
And we will let them down.

All we can do or be....is be the kind of friend we would like to have or be.
In the space between the way we wish things are and the way they actually are...
we have the space to choose.
choose our reaction
choose our thoughts..
Choose our approach.
We can't control the world...only how we deal with it.

Fear. I had to step out behind that wall I had built and be noticed again...even though it scared me and sometimes it still scares me. In the blogs I read where weight loss has stalled...fear is the prime culprit.
Fear of commitment, fear of failure, fear of change.

There are mother's who get up daily, knowing that their child is dying and still go on...they live life...do dishes, laundry...talk to people. Fear must stalk them...but they keep going.
That is courage.

I am dying...Just not RIGHT NOW....But someday I will be dead. and when I die I will die alone. Alone with my conscience.
I need to remember that so I don't waste time in fear or in pointless tasks, or pointless anger, or in holding on to bitterness.

Don't waste your time wishing for an ideal world. There is no such thing.
And I have come to the conclusion that it makes life that much sweeter.
It's the imperfections that make the perfect moments so beautiful.
It is the ugly that defines the beautiful...the coward defines the hero and vice versa...
It's a taoist thought...the void defining the object...the tao of courage.
People are imperfect...and that is what makes acts of courage, or of self sacrifice beautiful..because we live in a world that rewards the coward, the self serving, the cynical, the greedy.
When you exhibit courage...you are generally swimming up stream.
You must persist to overcome your obstacles...and the more obstacles, the sweeter the victory.

Love- It makes life worth living...and death doesn't destroy it.
As my daughter so eloquently pointed out....Jesus loved us...enough to die...and in his moment of greatest agony, he cried "why have you forsaken me"...God allowed him to feel alone in his suffering so that we know, that HE knows what it is like to feel forsaken and alone...to feel as if you have been crucified and left for dead.

To crawl back...not just from even ground...but to crawl up out of the pit to GET to even ground...to then begin your journey to your personal mountain top.

That is love. To go to where another is in their suffering and to suffer with them.
Just like those mothers and their children...like Jesus and us.

Beauty....To see the beauty in the mundane.
To not take anything for granted.
To be grateful to have lost my weight, for healthy children, to take a walk and see the beauty in a sunset...I have seen thousands of sunsets. Some people never get the chance.
So I try to see each sunset like it's my first, and my last.
In the end, I suppose what my soul has been trying to teach me is courage.
Courage to accept that I will die.
Courage to live my life fully without fear.
Courage to accept life's inherent imperfections and to see the beauty in spite of the pain and suffering.
Or perhaps just see beauty more clearly because of it.
Those are my thoughts.
I will be back tomorrow with my perfect 10 checklist.
It will help me be accountable.
Hugs to you all.
oh and then a girl sang this song last sunday...before stump spoke.

Chris out.


Lanie said...

What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Much love :)

Anonymous said...

It IS a beautiful post. Rich and full.

I've been reading the first chapter of John this week (It's short; I just keep rereading it.) I've always loved that chapter--the beauty and rhythm of the words draw me.

But today as I read it, the poignancy of Jesus, being the one thru whom we were created, coming to earth--to His own and being rejected by us caught my heart.

We loved the darkness... Yet, He completed His purpose. He rescued us despite us. Courage and love.

Anyway, this post reminded me of the feelings I had as I read that chapter.

Thank you for that.


Amber said...

Great post Chirs!

Retta said...

I agree, it is a very beautiful post. And thought-provoking. And emotion provoking.

Especially the part about the way we wish things were, and the way they really are...

So much here... I need to come back tomorrow after I've slept some and re-read it.

Thank you Chris, for this.

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I like the Trust, but verify. I needed that one. I do trust way too easily. Your daughter sounds like one smart cookie.

PS - I like the way the stump appears at the end - lol.

Tammy said...

Excellent post. Just what I needed to read this morning. Guess what else? I'm on Day 5 of quitting smoking...*smile*

InWeighOverMyHead said...

Chris - what an awesome post. Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

"That being a 'pretty, petite princess' will cause you pain."

It's very validating to hear someone else say this when no one in the world seems to want to understand it. Being pretty gets you hated, victimized, resented, and attacked. Look at all the most beautiful animals on Earth -- they're all on the endangered list because people love to murder what's beautiful.

I didn't hide it under fat, though -- I just hide it under clothing. The only time I ever dress nicely is when I'm with my mom and feel safe. Otherwise, I'm bundled up. I get cold easily, so it's nice to stay warm, but if it makes men leave me alone and women not hate me, so much the better.

I also have to say I'm atheist so I may not be the person to judge, but you seem to me to be someone who really does take your religion seriously and uses it to be a better person, which I admire. You seem like a very level-headed and insightful woman. Maybe you should be giving some sermons yourself.

paulawannacracker said...

BEAUTIFUL POST.... Chris, I don't know how mothers with dying children do it but they do. We never know what we're made of until things happen.

I thank God every evening for all that he has given me... yes, even the trials. This has been a new gratitude. It dawned on me that I should thank him for the obstacles as well. There is something there HE wants me to learn.

I could go on... but I won't because you've so eloquently said so much of what we readers are thinking.

Glod bless

Putz said...

beautiful sentiments .,,.,,.i think you could inspire our president of the mormon church with your beauty<><><<><><>you could do so good in weight loss that you would just disappear<><><>my sis is gone and so sudden and so young, but she didn't diet like you but she was lovely like you and i miss her so

Christine said...

@ Mr. Putz, I am sorry about your sister....God is glad to have her I bet.