Thursday, April 30, 2009

"So, how are we feeling today?..."

I've loved the same girl for eight years. No question. Her and her daughter. That's good.

But I just figured out HOW to love them all the time in the past few months. That's not as good. Would have been helpful for everyone if I'd have figured out my part sooner. Ideally, five or six years ago. 'Cause then we'd be grilling chicken tonight and going for a walk holding hands and actually talking about how great life is or some problem that needs attention and what we could do for each other and our family and friends and playing with the dog and being safe and living life.

Don't get me started...

So, I've been learning about feelings, one of the sharpest tips on the iceberg of self-imploding. When I first started months ago, the doctor guy asked me to name all the feeling words I knew.

"Good," he said.
"Mixed up."
"Not a feeling," he said.
"Ashamed. Disgusted."
"That's better."
"And scared. Afraid."
I sat there.
"What's another one?" I asked him.
"You tell me."
I hate when you ask them something and they won't answer.
"Happy. Upset."
"Happy is a feeling. Upset's not really a feeling. What is the feeling when you're upset?"
"Could be angry. Could be lonely. Could be ashamed."
"Could be hurt," he said.
"Could be very hurt," I said.

And on and on it went like that until I understood that I knew five feeling words, tops, despite the fact that I have an 'extensive vocabularly." At the time, not nearly extensive enough, not to maintain anything like an intimate relationship, which I wouldn't have known had it hit me in the heart, which it did. I did not know how to be a true friend with ANYbody, much less a woman who, I reasoned in my brain, would leave me. There's tons more to it of course, but that's one dart in the board for sure.

So as idiotic as this might sound, I've been practicing recognizing how I feel. Sounds stupid to a lot of people. To other people, they read that and tear up. "Been there," I can hear them thinking.

Got to become 'aware.' If you're not aware, no shot. It's all luck and sickness and robotic if you're not aware.

Today, I’m feeling a little angry, fairly sad, hurt for sure, a bit afraid, lonely but just barely and that comes and then goes when I ask for it to go, glad down deep, and that’s it.

So why doesn't a person want to look at feelings? That's a whole other ballgame we can get to sometime. Meanwhile, a person who's never learned how to recognize and process his feelings, or didn't think it proper to have feelings and definitely wrong to show feelings, will 'mask' the feelings with defenses. So, what are your defenses?

"Lying and being quiet," I said.
"That's a start," he said.
"Why would I do that?" I said.
"Didn't want people to know who you were."
"Ouch," I said.
"Just sick," he said. "Not stupid. You learned just about all of the wrong stuff. All the wrong stuff was modeled. What about drinking?"
"Tons. Defense?"
"Big one," he said. "Common one. Been there."
"Avoiding things. I avoided. I was afraid to argue."
"She'd hate me. Or leave. It felt like fault-finding."
"She can't love you all the way if you don't feel safe enough to argue."
"Don't know how."
"Right. We'll get there."
"I want to."
"You will. You used to be about 8 in your brain, you're in your 20s now. Getting healthy. Hang in there. Keep working."
"Hurts," I said.
"That's why people quit. Don't quit. Quit and it'll hurt more later. Sure thing."
"It's gotta stop."
"It can. And it will. We're getting there."

Defenses. Repress stuff. Denial. More repressed stuff.

"Ever thought about blogging?"
I told him not really, not about this.
"Might help somebody. You've got to get it down on paper."
Told him I had tons down on paper.
"Think about it," he said.
I told him I would.

I'd write more but we're about out of time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sometimes you'll go months...

...and you'll forget to put some granola in your yogurt.

Then when you do you're glad you remembered.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Favorite verses: Love and affection...

"I thank my God every time I remember you...I have you in my heart."

--- Philippians 1: 3, 7

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weight a minute...

My friends tell me I have got to put on some weight. Yesterday, "too skinny" came up, and "gaunt," and "thin." One of my friends said this picture looked like me, reading a book. The book weighs more than I do. I feel physically good; I just feel skinny at the same time. Or gaunt. Or maybe thin. Wispy?

So they took me to eat three chicken fajitas last night. Forced the last one down, but I made it. Off the caffiene for a while now, I drank water. I lifted weights before, then walked three miles after, then read a while, prayed a longer while (we'll have to have a discussion about prayer one day, which is not quite like I'd imagined all these years it could be), then went to sleep. I actually take Tylenol PM now before bed, doctor's orders, to make sure I sleep. Me and sleep have had a disagreement for decades now. But I'm getting the hang of it. Besides, it's an obedience issue, and a good one.

My weight or my woe is not that big of a deal in the big scheme of things, but I don't want to blow away. The joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart is still there, but even a guy with inner joy hurts when a piano is dropped on his head. It's natural. Godly sorrow is a good thing. It drives you farther away from the old mess and closer to the you you were created to be. But it still hurts. If you've never had a broken heart, try not to get one. But more important than that, try not to give one.

(Here's a Jacob Marley moment): Instead, be honest and kind. It's a tough lesson to learn if you aren't. Not ACT honest and kind, but BE honest and kind. The opposite of kindness is arrogance. You know what got Lucifer kicked right out of heaven? Arrogance. SEEYA! Kicked him out. It's a biggie. It can show up in the most subtle ways, but you put the whole body of work together, and it becomes this monster. A sickness. Arrogance will get you kicked out of heaven. Mine was pointed out to me in a pretty harsh way. Now I surrender it each morning when I get up. It's a better way to go, the only way to go. No one deserves unkindness. They deserve kindness and love.

Anyway, hope you have a good weekend. I'll be writing. And eating.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another day in the USA...

How many of you started your day sitting at the kitchen counter watching GMA?

Human cloning. Wild fires in my home state. And a woman saved from a bullet by the underwire in her bra.

All real stories.

Life in the USA!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's ANOTHER very special day...


Only she knows how hard that was to start, and then to finish. And at the top, too. No surprise. She's the greatest. She really is.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

'But does it have a CD player?...'

Students from Louisiana Tech are participating in the EcoCar Challenge in California; here are their weapons. The goal is to get the most miles to the gallon. Check out their progress here...

Friday, April 17, 2009

A New Way to Walk

A buddy of mine bought his 3-year-old son some cowboy boots. One morning the dad walked by as his son, sitting on the floor on his rear, tried wrestling a boot on, neck veins bulging, boot not budging.

“You’re trying to put your boots on the wrong feet.”

“But daddy,” the little boy looked up and said, trying hard but not understanding, “these are the only feet I got.”

As a Christian only six months into the walk, I’ve tried many mornings to meet the day with my new boots on the wrong feet. My brain spun so fast with so much, I couldn’t form a solid thought.

Some still small voice told me to slow down. (It might have been a doctor.) Rest. Sleep 7 or 8 hours for a change. Exercise. Eat right.

Be still.

God has given me new boots, a new way to walk. He’ll show me the way. He’ll explain if I study and pray and listen.

But do you ever get scared, even in placing your faith in the Sovereign God? Faith is messy business. Francis Schaeffer said that being a Christian means “to walk with a victorious limp.” Learning to trust and obey, dying to self, is a battle Abraham and Jacob and Moses and so many other Bible heroes fought. We are in good company. They pushed through; so can we.

So I have to take my time, put my boots on the right feet and with the right frame of mind. If I pray and pursue Him, he’ll show me where to walk.

The Bible tells us that someday, he’ll even let us wear His boots.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Homespun Sports Hero

Mark Fidrych.

That was such a fun summer. 1976.

"The Bird" was baseball.

Pumping gas when a Tigers' scout signed him for a $3,000 bonus.

Dead in a dump truck accident on his farm Monday? At 54?

Bad bad deal...

If you never got to see him pitch -- 'play' is a better word here -- I wish you had. He was all about joy out there. You had to root for him.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Don't Cry for Me, Kenny Perry..."

With all due respect to the Argentinian (Argentin?, Argentian? ????) who won, I was rooting for Kenny Perry at Augusta National because of the Geezer Factor. And he had The Masters won, too. If it had been just 70 holes. Or 71.

Bogey. Bogey. Playoff. Seeya.

Love my Kenneth Perry tho. 48 years and change, he would have been been the oldest Masters champ ever and continued The Year of the Sporting Geezer.

A 10 year old dog wins at the Westminster Dog Show.
Kenny wins the Masters.
A 4 year old wins the Kentucky Derby. (Wait...illegal.)

I usually grind the Sunday Masters. Sunday I watched for only 90 minutes, the most TV I've watched at one time, maybe total, in 8 months. And I left as Perry and Angel headed to 17, knowing I might miss a big finish. But I wanted to walk so I did, then came back and read about the collapse.

Hope your Easter was good. I think Abigail found the Money Egg, out at my sister's. It was the World's Fastest Egg Hunt; just barely beat the rain.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

So I'm looking at this holiday greeting card...

... and it's the Easter Bunny in a chair and he's facing his psychologist in the other chair, and behind the chair legs are some Easter eggs and behind the potted plant are some more Easter eggs and in the potted plant are some more eggs under the leaves and the psychologist looks through his black-rimmed glasses right at the Easter Bunny and the psychologist says, "I get the feeling you're hiding something from me."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So I was reading something...

... that suggested we should remember that every person we see is "a person worth dying for."

Took a few minutes before I got it: the guy was saying we should remember that Jesus died for every person you see. Whether we like them or not.

And that if we remember that every person we see is a person worth dying for, we might treat them differently.

I've come out of a long spell of treating many people as objects. Sometimes strangers, sometimes those we know, sometimes those closest to us. Not good.

Everyone is a person worth dying for.

The guy went on to write to girls. Or dads of girls, big ones and little ones. And to the girls' dates. That each girl should remember that she is worth dying for, and make the guy treat her that way. And the guy should remember that too, and want to treat her that way. And if that's not happening, seeya.

This "worth dying for" stuff sets the bar high. Where it should be. Won't work if you don't work it though. I need to remember this and actually do it, so I felt I should write it down.