Truth Over Wine

I made a new friend recently whom I liked very much.  She made a judgement about my views based on a lot of misinformation about something I’m part of,  and didn’t want to talk to me anymore.  As a result, I was very bitter.  I hang out with people who are different than me quite a bit, yet I hadn’t experienced this before.

I tried to get over it. I prayed. I prayed for her. I talked to friends. Still, it was there.  When one looses something one cares about based on injustice, one has a right to be angry. But this felt darker.

After a CL meeting, I was sitting at a table with friends and I told one of them about the accusation of holding certain views.  She had a look of surprise on her face. “But you don’t live your life that way,” she said. I shared that I was angry and my friend said, “Of course you are. If she thinks that she doesn’t know you.” And she shared that if someone did that she’d be angry too. My friend also didn’t think it was unreasonable that I blocked that person.  I was hurt and protective.

Right away, I felt peaceful and was able to forgive.  Why? Had my new friend apologized? Had I gotten through with logic?  Had anything externally changed? No. The only thing that changed was that my feelings had been validated with sound reason.

Though I knew the accusation wasn’t true, part of me believed it. Though I knew I was protecting myself, I felt like blocking someone wasn’t being a good person.  When my friend said those things, that shame was released.

I have never seen a certain principle illustrated so clearly as this, and it got me thinking. How much pain is because of shame? Guilt is, of course, feeling bad for doing something wrong, and it leads us to change. But shame says, “There is something wrong with me.”   When I can’t find anyone to go to the movies with, it hurts, but it isn’t just because I’m lonely. It is because there is a little voice, whether audible or not, saying, “No one likes you all that much. You don’t have friends.”  If I let that go, the experience lightens tremendously.  When we read internet memes insulting a group we happen to belong to,  we might take it personally.  But the meme doesn’t know us.  It was written by someone who categorizes people, and we can begin to let go of what that stranger thinks.  One of the reasons so many people have drama around those who are  hurting in various ways is because they feel expected to fix it and worthless when they can’t.  There is shame there. What happens when we let go of being expected to do any particular thing and just be with that person?  Things become easier and we can enjoy the other for who they are too.

What shame thoughts are attached to your experiences? If you can realize it and release them, with help if need be, how much more wonderful might life be?  Perhaps the external world can lose some of it’s negative power over you and more freedom can enter in.

May God bless your Day.


Restarting: A Gift

For a long time now,  I had been having increasing trouble walking. It is like my leg muscles did not want to work. I walked, purposefully willing each and every step.  I didn’t know what was wrong, and was working too much to make an appointment to find out.  There were days that it was better, but most of the time, if I sat down, I didn’t know how long it would take me to stand up again. I would slowly unbend as though I were very old.

Right after Easter I either got the flu or my body reacted to the Easter food. Every muscle hurt in a very strange way, like that science fiction plot where Kevlar unites with one’s muscles from a freak accident. Breathing hurt. My muscles didn’t want to stretch. I had a fever and severe stomach flu symptoms. It scared me. Someone said I looked yellow. I would have gone to the emergency room if my temperature didn’t go down.  For three days I hardly ate anything but, concerned about being hydrated, I drank quite a bit of hibiscus tea.

When the “flu” was over, the elasticity in my muscles was back! It had been months upon months, but now  I could easily stand up again and walk and still can with the occasional problem after I’ve eaten the wrong thing, but it is so much better.   The other day I couldn’t find my car because I’d walked farther than I thought I could. Whatever it was that had been making my muscles act like old fiber was cleaned out of my system.

Sharing this with a friend, she said that she’d been on the Whole 30 diet and had the same result. It’s amazing how what we eat does to us, even if it doesn’t seem that unhealthy.  I used to be on a food combining diet which was mostly low carb. When I was on it I was the happiest and healthiest I’d ever been in my life. My moodiness was gone. My focus was stronger.  It has taken me years to get back to this because of temptation… but through no effort of my own, my addiction to carbs was gone. My body re-set from sugar addiction and I did nothing.  It was a gift. Did it hurt?  It hurt badly.  But it also healed. And after that my body has been craving what it needs, not what it is addicted to.

There are so many things to take from this, and you can take whichever way it speaks to you or find a meaning I never thought of. If you do, please share that with me.  1) Some problems are easily helped with nutrition. The answer to feeling better may be so much easier than you think. 2) Experiences that seem absolutely horrible can be blessings. Being cleaned out is painful. But it is worth it. This goes for, not just the physical, but all aspects of who we are. 3) We don’t have to work hard for everything. Some things are gift. I had tried ten years for the discipline to reset my body off of carb addiction. Now and then I’d do it.  This time, it was done for me. And I am so grateful.  Some things are gift. I don’t recommend not eating for three days, but that was given to me.  4) If we fail at something, and we try again, we are farther ahead than we would be if we didn’t try. So many people treat things like New Year’s resolutions. If we break it, we’ve broken it. No. If I eat healthy and then don’t, I’m still ahead of where I would have been. The same works for virtue development.  So many people just give up. No. Keep trying and asking for help too.  It isn’t a fail and you’re done type of  life.  Any little bit of a good thing helps us.

The main takeaway for me was number three. Some things are gift. Years of trying, and it was given to me.  No detox, no elimination diet, just reset.  It doesn’t mean I don’t need to learn more discipline. It doesn’t mean I don’t fail. It just means that I can walk.

May your day be blessed and full of amazing gifts you don’t expect. Right hear and now, I am praying for you.

May God bless your day.