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To Live and not Just Exist

Choosing life, happiness, peace and joy. Oh and weight loss too

Month

May 2015

I saw Grace today.

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I have learnt to Mission when I am walking through Town. Head down, don’t look around, don’t look like a tourist.

The faces I pass very much a blur. Then again they are meant to be. I try my utmost to miss the long desperate stares of the homeless, the destitute, the beggars and the hopeless. This is not something I do with any kind of conscious thought. It is just the reality involved with moving around a city or town in the age and time we live.

Many of them with an out of control drug problem. Most of them with some serious mental illness issues. Too few of them completely harmless.

Today I passed a homeless soul early in the cold sunlight, wrapped in a blanket rocking back and forth.

I didn’t really register him. Or her. I don’t know. I Missioned.

Today I passed a vaguely homeless looking man, older, face lined.

Today, for some reason, I Missioned and then I stopped and turned around.

I registered the pipe, the satchel, the old but clean clothing. I realized that the older man was probably one of the many low income workers making their way to work. Or perhaps he was one of those folk that travel to Town and pass their day watching and walking before heading home.

Today, I saw something that profoundly touched me on a level that I don’t quite understand. Or perhaps I do. It reminded me of what it is to be Human.

It was the oddest thing that I have seen in so long that for a moment sound faded away into nothing and time slowed just a little.

Reaching out and in, this clearly poor but gentle gentleman laid his hand on the shoulder of the all too faceless beggar.

Said a few words.

Reached into his satchel and offered an orange.

And sat next to him.

I don’t think I have ever seen more of God than at that moment. When a stranger touched that filthy, forgotten, helpless, cold soul. When he touched the untouchable. When he reached out to someone I don’t even register on most days.

When all the compassion of one Soul reached out to another, and didn’t see filth, dirt, madness. He saw a Soul worthy of his time. His love.

Compassion, Love, Humanity, Empathy – it is all free. But so many of us find them an expense we are not willing to shoulder.

In reality, all we have in this world is the gift of human contact, sometimes in the midst of desperation.

I know I saw the gift of Grace today – in the face of a stranger.

It is perhaps the most important thing we come into this world with.

And I hope it is what I take out with me.

I think I saw God today.

Expletive’s ahead

When you have weighed as much as I have, you get this really weird idea of what you look like. The longer you are big, the more out of perception your idea of yourself becomes.

When buying clothing, you will automatically pick something way too big for you.

When parking, you will give yourself way more space than you actually need.

When thinking of going out, you will worry about fitting into chairs etc.

Airplanes and cinema seats fill you with dread.

It really can be more exhausting than I can ever explain.

All because that is how much space your body takes up in your own head.

Now that I have lost weight – I find that my perception of how big I am is still way off. Actually losing weight is not enough – because in my head I still take up way too much space.

For some reason, getting fit and being fit seems to mean more to the big me in my brain than what a scale says.

That being said – getting fit, being fit, and making all of that a priority in a life that has never been fit is freaking hard. The best of intentions fall by the wayside.

So I had a Fuck It moment yesterday. Inspired by my own self. And the gentle coaxing of fabulous friends.

I am going to be doing Adventure Boot Camp from 1 June 2015. Even though it scares the bananas out of me. Even though it is a commitment to 5 days a week of hard graft. Even through my lazy, frighted ass is trying very hard to rationalize to my fat self why I shouldn’t. Couldn’t. Don’t.

Because Fuck It I need to.

Fuck It, I want to weigh less.

And Fuck It – if I can run, if I can do that one thing that other people take for granted, then my brain will know.

I am not too big anymore.

I am just right.

Perception

What is bravery? Is it donning body armor and walking into the most dangerous shanty towns in Brazil? Is it a police woman or man getting up and facing the darkest parts of humanity every day? Is it soldiers at war, for their ideology or country?

Or is putting one foot in front of the other, when your foot is tired and your body is weak and nothing wants to work anymore?

Is it getting out of bed on the mornings when the pain and uncertainty weighs you down like concrete?

Is it managing to find laughter and joy and peace amidst the chaos that your life has become?

What is grace? Is it the woman who walk down the catwalks of Milan, in clothing that costs more than a small car? Is it the artificially stunning people of Hollywood who flaunt their wealth and beauty to the world? Is it a long dead princess, with an entourage of beauticians in the wings?

Or is it a glow in your skin because you are doing all you possibly can to be the best you can?

Is it a nature that finds the best in every soul it comes across?

Is it a soul, filled with joyous light where there should be sadness?

What is love? Is it Shakespearian dramas filled with angst and resistance? Is it the body of lust and shallowness? Is it the movies we see?

Or is it the love one soul has for another, which transcends health?

Is it giving your everything for one who has no strength?

Is it the caretaker, the nurturer, the selfless?

Perhaps it is all these things. And many more.

I have a friend with Multiple Sclerosis. Every day her bravery, joy and strength inspires me.

As does her beloved, whose attentiveness and selflessness astounds me every day.

Too often we don’t have any role models. Anyone to teach us how to find the best in ourselves just by being who they are.

I have 2.

Glue

We are not born with a good life or a bad life. We are born with a life. And it is up to us to make it good or bad.

We are not the sum of who we are born to. We are every moment we chose to do good or bad. To help or hinder. To love or hurt.

We are not constrained to the family who share our blood. Sometimes, they leave. Sometimes, they hurt you. Sometimes, they are not anything in your life.

We are not alone. Never truly. Whichever God we believe in watches over us. Even when it doesn’t feel like it.

We are not destiny. We are what we make for ourselves. We are what we fill our lives with. The people, the creatures, the environment.

We are as unique or as uniform as we chose to be.

I have a generated family. A family of crazy rat loving, healthy food eating, boot camp addicted, introverted, child rearing, fabulous, stupendous, random people I have met and assimilated.

I have a traditional family. I try very, very hard to be something in this family. Probably because I have always been the black sheep. More probably because I have always thought I am loved and part of it just because they have to.

My traditional family is slowly leaving me. And the fear of being truly alone is just terrifying. The sad part is I am probably already alone.

My generated family – I don’t quite know why they love me. Why they have chosen me.

I just know that to surround yourself with the people who actually want you around – that is a life worth living.

So I thank them.

Every last crazy one of them.

They are what fill the little gaps left in my soul. The little gaps that self-doubt, fear, harsh judgement, self-hatred leave behind. The little gaps that will sink you if you let them.

They are the glue that holds my Self together.

Even if they don’t know it.

Bucket List

I have a bucket list.

Things that I have always wanted to do / see / experience.

Nothing that I have ever really thought about in detail. Just vague ideas that have survived my brain for 39 years.

It is not a very long list. Nor is it in any particular order. But it is still my list.

  • I want to see The Smoke that Thunders. I want to feel the spray on my face. Just simply because it is called The Smoke that Thunders.
  • I want to take a cruise from Seattle / Vancouver up to Glacier Bay National Park.  I have always thought that white desolate cold to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.
  • I want to take an epic train journey. Either the Canadian which travels over the Rocky Mountains or the Trans-Siberian which travels from Pacific Ocean and St. Petersburg and from which you can explore the Russian Arctic, the Silk Road or Moscow.
  • I want to explore Africa in all its majesty. From Windhoek to Dar Es Salaam. Perhaps even by train (Rovos Rail).
  • I want to skydive. Just because I want to fly.
  • I want new, smaller boobs. Because having big un’s in not all it is cracked up to be.
  • I want to ride horses again. Because as a child – that is when I felt the most free.
  • I want to buy my own house. It doesn’t have to be very big or majestic. It must perhaps have a pool, definitely a garden, and the normal basics. And it must be mine to do with as I please.
  • I want to write a book. About everything. And nothing. And the bits in between.
  • I want to come off all the meds and feel healthy. And if you are someone who has never really fully felt healthy due to weight, health or physical issues – then you know why this is on my bucket list.

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