Friday, August 23, 2013

The Five Hardest Things About Believing

“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
Anne Lamott

I am starting this off with a quote by the brilliant Anne Lamott.  I feel like I should re-read her book on having a baby, now that I've had one.  But just for now, here's something on my mind this week.  I have read recently that being on facebook is bad for your mental health--and I understand that. For me, I can only enjoy that cesspool if I keep certain rules for myself.  I don't take anything personally, I never argue with people I don't know, and I assume people's lives are worse than they look on facebook.  It works pretty well actually.   Mostly, I like the pictures anyway.  I'm not a cat person, but I'd rather look at cat pictures then read yet another post insulting or judging an entire group of people ANY DAY.

And I don't really find any group of people exempt.

So here are the five hardest things about believing.

Thing one:  When you truly believe something, you are held responsible for EVERYONE else who says they believe it.  And in every group of people who believe something, there are people who are really annoying.  This reminds me of going (years and yyyyears ago) to hear Gloria Steinem speak.  She said some good things, some awful things, some in between things.  But when she asked people to stand up with questions (and most questions were just compliments) one guy stood up and suggested (no sense of humor, no tongue in cheek, really suggested) that we all live in a utopian environment where men were beaten for misbehavior and women ruled, and children were all ruled by the group.   See?  Every belief, someone who's kinda crazy.

Thing two:  There is suddenly a standard you don't control.  You cannot change the standard on your own once you believe it.  You can't say, "uhhhh, I know I said that I was going to follow this plan but I've decided to morph the plan so that what I did yesterday was not failing so much as the NEW plan"  No.  This is not believing.  This is playing by the seat of your pants.

Thing three:  When you really believe, it grows without your control.  One day you believe, you take steps to move forward, you commit to the plan, and then ten years later, your belief is either gone or it's wayyyy bigger than when you started.  And you have to love that, or I guess...leave.

Thing four:  Not everyone you love will believe what you believe.  And if everyone you love does, than you probably are kind of narrow-minded.  Because we are meant to be challenged.  If you can't think of anyone you love who votes differently than you, seriously, you need to look at that.  We are meant to love beyond what's comfortable.  At least, that's what I believe.  HAHA

Ok, that leads me to thing five:  What you say matters when you believe.  This is the worst thing.  If you don't claim to believe anything, your words can be quicksand.  They aren't always your heart.  And truthfully, I think we all say things we regret, we don't mean, we hate that we said.  Some things I have said (and have been said to me) haunt me terribly.  But what's worse is knowing that everything I've said has to be heard as something real.  And I don't take that lightly.

It has always bothered me that the Westboro Baptist Church gets to use the word "Baptist".  I mean, I'm not Baptist, but man I have known so many wonderful people who live loving lives, and are.  As someone who believes, and therefore knows the feeling of being held responsible for what another group says, I feel the pain of seeing that tag on so much hate.  I ask my husband, 'can't they sue for their name back?' but probably not.  You just have to trust in the justice at the end.  Trust, that might be thing number six.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Inventory

It's Saturday, and I have nothing to do.  I had to get up early (after going to the movies with my husband, crazy) and workout today.  After that the crashing began.  Baby's been asleep, and the blessed part of my 3 year old being in Michigan is that I can spend a whole Saturday sleeping.

Not that I don't feel guilty.   It's a beautiful day, the house is a mess.  I should be doing anything but resting.  That's my inner voice.

Every so often, my schedule of teaching, getting up every few hours at night to feed a baby and waking up early to kickbox for an hour catches up to me.  I am so exhausted I think there might be something medically wrong.  I guess lack of sleep is medical....with a fairly easy fix.

In addiction recovery, one of the main practices is "taking inventory".  It's a fantastic way to deal with your day.  Things aren't going well?  Stressed?  Pissed off?  Want to eat a whole cake?  Take inventory.

Who am I resenting?  Who am I REALLY resenting?
Have I been trading good snacks for bad?  Am I playing with what is good for me, replacing it with what's bad for me?
Do I have unrealistic expectations?  Am I seeking approval? 

All that kind of fun stuff.  It makes your bad day your choice, I guess.  And that's the opposite of addiction, where everything happens TO you, and the only thing you can do is run to that thing you're addicted to to make you feel better.

I am obsessed with the scale, and it hasn't budged in almost 10 days.  I am not supposed to be weighing myself.  All my clothes are looser, I did 20 sit ups, by myself, for the first time in my whole adult life!  All the way up!  Nobody holding my feet.  I am grateful and confident in that moment, and in the very next, freaked out that I haven't lost weight.

When I was 15 or so, I wrote a paper for school about how the bathroom scale was the God of my house growing up.  Here is my challenge....put the real God in its place.  There is true good, true forgiveness, love, hope, and change.  There is something better for me than the judgment of a scale.  But it is so hard to un-learn the things that were already cemented in my head at age 15.

Ok, now I'm realizing I need more of a nap.  Tomorrow is my day of rest from working out.  From thinking about food.  I can't wait.