Day 12 – Powerless to Save Ourselves

“I have to surrender, become passive in the presence of a power greater than I.” Fr. Robert Barron

I’m a fan of the 12 Step Program ideology. It is my belief that everyone in life is covering or needs to recover from something. Everyone needs to getmended. I won’t beat this rug til the fabric frays but a while ago I wrote about Step One, so scroll through and reacquaint yourself with that post.

I think passivity gets a bad rap. One of MW’s definitions states c-1 lacking energy or will. I think it takes a great deal of will and energy to surrender and/or not act. With all that is going on in the world, everyone feels that they HAVE to stand up for themselves or others and while that may be true, sometimes surrender is the greatest weapon. I cannot speak on what I would do in situations, my temperament tends to betray logic, reason and common sense but I recognize the Power of Passivity in that none were more passive than Jesus yet none is more powerful.

I surrender all

All to thee my blessed Savior

I, surrender all.

Don’t let the smooth taste fool you.

Nothing irritates me more than when people dismiss you and/or your knowledge because you don’t “look like” you would know what they were talking about. I’m a runner. I’m not long or lean but nevertheless, I’m a runner. I don’t run fast but I do run. I’m also a cyclist and Triathlete but this rant is more about runners and our culture. I don’t like running with people because if they don’t have good energy (meaning, if I don’t get the warm and fuzzies when I talk with you, umm, chances are your Chi is off) then I’m uncomfortable and feel awkward. So, I was at a Sunday run and as I was trotting in, another faster runner came back and ran in with me. While I appreciated the gesture, I didn’t want it but remember the hand over the mouth deal with God, so on we went. When the rest of the runners had returned, there was conversation about the gear myself and another runner was wearing. The runner who ran in with me made the comment, “you probably don’t know Ryan” now, I don’t like to embarrass people because remember, I’m sensitive, so I said, chippily, “no, I know Ryan, he’s the pancake guy in the Nissan ads” her lips said nothing, her eyes did the “look up/down” as if to say, YOU know who he is. See, it’s preconceived notions of what constitutes normal that makes me want to roundhouse kick to head some people. When I set out on a journey, I do my research. In running, I have spring/summer and fall/winter gear, shoes, magazines, articles, in other words, whatever my interest at the time, I immerse myself in the culture. Too bad the culture doesn’t do the same. When MLK gave his speech, he should have included the athletic and non-athletic, fat and skinny, slow and fast, etc. Because I ‘clare fo Lord (circa Bernie Mac) just because I don’t look like what you think I should look like doesn’t mean I’m not getting it done. On race day, when it’s 40 below or pushing 100 degrees, we are all the same. Sweaty, funky, grumpy, hungry gazelles, hippos, and giraffes, spitting, farting and jockeying for position to make it back to our pride. My kick may not be as high, my strides may not hit 180 but I am no less a runner. Doing my best Jay-Z — blasting T.I “you might see in the street but remember you don’t know me. Save all the hatin’ and that poppin’ remember, you don’t know me” as I brush you off my shoulder.

Wish I’d taken better care of my teeth

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Tomorrow.
I love words, literature, all that is creative and inspiring and soul-stirring. I remember having to memorize lines from Macbeth and the lines spouted after his wife’s death. Try as we might to live in the moment, we can’t help but look toward the future. As we come to the end of the year, so often we look back with regret on things we didn’t accomplish or resolutions long forgotten. Ohhh, the new year, full of… whatever you put into it. I no longer wait until the end of the year to accomplish or resolve things because tomorrow ain’t promised. Take this blog, I could have waited until the end of the year to start writing again, but who would that have benefited, certainly not you and I hate to disappoint my fans :). Taking stock and reflecting on the past should be a learning experience, not opportunity to linger with the SWCs. Learn what did work, what didn’t work, why you didn’t, why you did; Learn, not Linger. Lingering leads to depression, anger, resentment and a host of other self-inflicted dis-eases of the mind that do nothing but isolate us from ourselves. The end of the year should bring forgiveness; of yourself, of others, of circumstances, of what did happen, what didn’t happen. 11:59pm on Dec. 31. nothing can be done about the last 364 days. The beginning of the year should bring forgiveness AND focus. Forgiveness: Don’t over-think it, dissect it, discuss it, Just DO IT. Focus: on what lies ahead, what you can control, on yourself, your family, whatever you desire and when you do all this, make sure Forward precedes your focus.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
” Forgiveness fuels your candle to shine brighter. Focus extends your hour, thus signifying something and leaving regret in the dust. Poof.

Hold me now. I’m 6ft from the edge and I’m thinking, maybe 6ft ain’t so far down.

I don’t consider myself a vain person however, I do pay attention to my physical appearance because let’s face us – society is all about the looks. There are things about my person that, well, I’m just not satisfied with. My hair – yeah yeah, I subscribe to India Arie’s “I am not my hair” but who doesn’t want nice hair? Who said my hair wasn’t nice? Oh, I believe that was me. Anyone who knows me knows you’d never be able to pick me out of a lineup because my hairstyles change like the weather. I even drank some Natural punch and literally (yes, I’m using the term correctly) had a mini nervous breakdown. When you start something, you have certain expectations and during this process, my expectations weren’t even considered. Losing sleep, crying, frowning, staring, squinting, pacing, you get the picture. So I went to AA (see Bubba J of Jeff Dunham) and turned it loose. I suffer from fever blisters, cold sores. Medical research says you pick it up during childhood. In my early years and up until Abreva came on the market, mini nervous breakdowns were the norm when I had an outbreak. I remember sterilizing a safety pin to pop it and then dabbing it with an alcohol soaked q-tip. After Abreva, and figuring out what triggered them (lack of sleep, fatigue, bad period) I again went to AA and turned it loose. When we don’t look, or think we don’t look our best, it’s hard to face the world. For women, if the hair ain’t right, nothing’s right. I have greasy skin. I know oily it the PC term, but when you can wipe your face and use the oil to moisturize your hands, umm yeah, that’s beyond oily wouldn’t you say. So, I get chemical peels and man do they give you a glow. Having the critical eyes that I do, you may not see any blemishes but I see blemishes the size of oranges. To dry out my oranges, I have to peel (reference was so not intentional) and for a day or so, I’m a flaky, peeley, semi-scabby mess. But when all is said and done, I give good face. My point is, we all have some things that give us grief, but I’ll take those minor physical bouts of indigestion over the mental bouts any day. I’m human, I want to look my best and sometimes that want gets the best of me but self-correction is the best type of correction. I am perfect, in God’s eyes, and he should know. I was made in His image, so that means I have some good company when it comes to fever blisters and bad hair days. I wonder if He wears a hat when having a bad hair day or did He just shave it all off? In the end, I guess we’re just alike, trying to be accepted just the way we are. When I think about all that I’ve gone through, my trials and tribulations, my heartache, my sorrow, I’m so glad I don’t look like what I’ve been through. Thanks for the lesson and the mirror Pops.

Lend me, Gimme, CanIgetauhh?

I was in church yesterday and a song prompted me to write this moment.

I’m through fooling around with you.  I don’t have time for you. Have you ever said those words to someone who you may have been trying to help and all you were getting in return was more of the same BULL? Dale Carnegie says to expect ingratitude and while that is true, how long must you put up with ingratitude? After a while, the light bulb will go off and it will go something like this, “you know what, I’m sick of you” or something to that effect. That is our Popeye moment – we’ve had all we can stand, can’t stand no more! And so we are done.  If someone asks you about SuchandSuch, you’d probably say, I don’t fool with them like that anymore, why, because they got greedy.  I’m greedy. Not in the traditional sense, but I’m greedy for knowledge and wisdom from God. Yeah, I want things as well and He encourages us to ask, but what if God said, I’m through fooling around with you? We’d be in a world of hurt.  But would you be upset?  Think about it, if God said WHEN, would you be ok with it?  I had to stop and think hard about that thing. When you take inventory of your life and all the stuff in it, where you’ve been and how far you’ve come, has He done enough for you?  The song went, If the Lord never does anything else for me, He’s done enough. That is a powerful statement. We’ve all been in situations where someone has been such a huge help that we say can’t thank them enough and send them home with a “you’ve done enough” hug of appreciation.

God has done more than enough and He keeps on doing. Us humans aren’t like that. If someone stops doing for us, we may get upset and think they are not as nice or caring  as they used to be, all because they stopped doing. Our measure of love is associated with how much a person does for us. The more you do, the greater your love for me.  Well, how befitting that this is the season where you were given the best gift long before you knew you were loved.  December should be like that old Heinz commercial – Anticipation, is making me wait.  Waiting with childlike excitement and anticipation to receive our gift.  Maybe we need to have a national Don’t Ask Day, a day where we go 1 day without asking anything of God and instead, give to him. Give thanks, our time, ourselves to Him because after all, hasn’t He done enough?

Always find time… To Relax.  Get Comfortable. Get Mended.