Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Applying "The Philosophy of Freedom" - Chapter 1

The difference between foolish and wise is the application of knowledge.  In an effort to overcome my previous foolishness, I seek to gain and apply knowledge.  To that point:

I've been reading Muad'Dib and Fedaykin's book (which is wonderful - you all would benefit from reading it, I testify with full faith; go buy a copy ASAP).  My Grandma picked it up while she was staying at my parent's house and also began to read it.  At first she just opened it up and started reading.  It didn't put her to sleep (good sign), and so she decided to start at the beginning.

She struggled with the first chapter so I tried to talk her through. 

"Grandma, as long as you accept and acknowledge that this," I motion to the world around us, "is reality and we are really here, then basically, you've got the Chapter 1.  But you have to accept that before you can 'get' the rest of the book."

She looked at me like I was crazy, "What else would I think?" she asked.

"Well, there are some people who don't believe we're really here," I explain, "so they argue that there aren't true consequences, our choices don't really matter, there is no truth and no real right and wrong."

"Who would think that?" she questioned in sarcastic disbelief.

"More people than you'd think."

Grandma was incredulous, which I found fascinating, because I had met more and more of these people in recent years.  I knew they were real.  "People know this is reality," she said dismissively.

"Do they?"  I ask her, becoming giddy with the chance to debate a point.

"Yes, of course they do.  How could they think differently," she asked, laughing at their stupidity.  "Why would they want to?!" 

"They believe that way because they prefer it," I say, and then - without really thinking it through - "Take me for example - "

"You know this is reality," she interjects.

"Do I?  It sure looks like I think eating cake and cookies and candy and 3 servings per meal will make me thin and healthy," I say, motioning to my ample form,  "Or at least it shows that I believe such behavior will somehow emotionaly protect or endear me to others when in fact it is doing the exact opposite."

Her face  becomes thoughtful, though the smirk is still there behind her eyes.

"I have chosen to live in a world where I hope that the natural laws of the universe don't apply,"I confess.  "A place where I will in no way - not physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually - be held accoutable for my actions,"

"And why would you do that?" she asks, almost all humor gone from her tone.

"Because it was what I wanted to do," I answer quietly.  I feel the pain of living contrary to natural laws of this very real existence.  "But there is right and wrong, isn't there Grandma?"

She nods.

"And how can I know that my fantasy world of sweets and consuming more than I burn isn't reality?"

Her eyes meet mine with that steely Michaelson power, "Because you're fat."

I smile.  "Yep.  The proof is in the pudding."  I realize I don't know exactly what that cliche means....but it seems apt nonetheless.  "If my ideas that I could eat like a bear and look like a dancer were true, it would be so."  She nodded.  "Chapter 1 is all about accepting observable, objective facts; identifying and then accepting the laws of nature.  Because if you don't, then even when you learn the truth, you won't apply it."

"Oh," she says softly.  She turns the book over in her hands, "This is a pretty good book then," she says.

"It has been for me," I say.

She turns her sage and penetrating gaze on me again, "So I see."  Then her tone lightens a little, "So if I accept that...." she struggles for the right words, which I offer to her:

"Existence exists, as they say."

"Yes, if I know that Existence exists....then I can go on to Chapter 2?"

I smile, "Sure Grandma."

There you have it:  if I, Sayyadina, accept that existence exists and that this world functions on natural laws (laws which, in my faith I recognize as being set in place and followed by my very loving Heavenly Father), then I can move on to the proverbial "Chapter 2."  And what is Chapter 2?

Well, in the book Chapter 2 is owning that "the number of people in your species does nothing to diminish the value of your life." and that "You exist to be happy."  Chapter 2 teaches me the formula for achieving my values, for  being happy.  It says that what I accepted in Chapter 1, gives me the freedom and thereby the responsibility to identify that which will make me happy and then do that. 

Emotionally, today I'm still on Chapter 1.  I get that this is real.  I know that my choices have led me here....and....wow.  That's all I can handle today. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shh, shh, shhh....Just let it happen.

Why hello there.  It has been a while. 

Too long have I relied on Facebook for my standard mode of wordy communication.  I gave up on the blog because I felt like no one was reading it.  And in the months that followed I have come to realize that I read it.  I go back over and over to re-live moments of "aha!" and "what the buckets?!"  I have been helped by myself.  So I will continue.  If anyone joins me, great.  But the point is that I join me.  As I quote at the top:  I am the meaning.

With that said, it may take a while for my brain to get going again.  I have left off my penchant for verbose-ness.  Seriously.  I went from one of those huge journals - filling at least a page a day - to a normal size journal....and not even completing a full HALF page.  I stopped Blogging. I have written a few things....and I will not downplay that accomplishment.  Still I can admit that the real problem with not writing is that it seems to testify that I am not really thinking

So.  What am I thinking?  I know that most of my thoughts are "baby," "children's happiness,"  "husband's book (which is awesome, btw)," "exersise," "don't eat so much," and "I wish it were rainy-er."  Ah....you see?  I have recently had a major epiphany and am not even thinking about it.  Truth to my claim! 

I will say it as best I can, though I know there are some who will dislike my word choices for being "harsh."  I say examine the evidence before you judge it. 

First:  I have fears.  They are valid and have proven to be substantial.  When compared with other people who have suffered "more" than I, they are small and one might be left to wonder, "Really?  That is what you are afraid of?!"  But still, they remain regardless of whether someone else judges them a meager offering.

Second: I have - over the course of many years, beginning in my senior year (I tend to call it "hell year") of High School - figuratively and in fact literally fed my fears.

It might be helpful to understanding to share these fears, as it SO directly relates to the overall breakthrough in understanding:

FEAR: I am afraid to be attractive; not because I think I will act on attention, but because I am afraid that other women will see me as a threat to their talents, their appearence, their self-image and to their husbands. I have tried.  Every time I felt like my attractiveness (awesomeness) was a threat in even the smallest way to a friend, I stepped up my eating.  I had to make it "safe" for them to be around me.  Because....

FEAR:  I am afraid of being un-needed, un-useful, abandoned, seen as "not worth it."   Being alone is not the issue:  being useless in the lives of those I love,  being an unsafe component in their lives - for me - is the issue. Because....

FEAR:  I am afraid of how great I will be if I can't temper all my goodness with , "but I'm fat."  Will anyone want to be my friend if I am a blazing standard of talent, intelligence, creativity, intuition, motherhood, wife-ish-ness, humor AND physical beauty?!  And I just realized how stupid that question is.  Which leads me to my largest fear, which is also the conclusion:

I have been stupid.  I have been acting stupid.  I have been RESISTING the truth:  I'm great.
I confused humility with fear and came up with....stupidity.  The stupidity putrified into stupid pride. 

I'm sorry for what my fears might say about my opinion of others.  Sincerely.  I didn't realize that I let my fears become judgement of others.  They began "harmless" enough.  I just wanted CeCe to relax and not see me as a threat to her relationship with my ex-boyfriend.  I just wanted Melanie and Jill and Stacy and Rachel to not be mad at me all the time.  I wanted Kirby to leave me alone and stop beating me down.  I wanted to be "safe" from rape in college. 

I wanted to protect myself. 

And have ended up doing the exact opposite. 

Fear does that. 

Fear makes one stupid/makes one act stupidly.  And by stupid I mean contrary to reality, natural laws (which are also eternal laws), and rational self-interest.  Rationally, eating 6-8 candy bars in a day, followed by 4 donuts and a 10pm snack of a stack of cookies doesn't help anyone.  But my fear said it would keep me relevant and unforgettable, it would make others safe to see themselves, it would - someday give me a badge of honor when I overcame it.

Wait.  That's the important one!

I wanted a "Badge of Honor."

Like when I'm directing a play and someone questions how I'm teaching them to enunciate and project and I can say, "Hey.  I've done theater for 21 years at *this and this theater*, I've been paid *this much* and toured with *this company* and learned from *this awesome theater professer*." and that is enough to convince them to listen to me long enough for them to see the proof of my direction.

I have a few more Badges, but don't need to go into them here.

I had "struggled" for so long, I became convinced that I must be fat for a good reason, and once I figured it out, then I could lose the weight.  Then I would have a valient badge of honor, some emotional hardship I overcame!  Look at me I overcame ChildHood Trauma!  Look at me I overcame a Thyroid Problem!  Look at me I overcame Abandonment Issues!

Unfortunately (see how twisted my mind had become) I didn't have any of those problems.  I had fears, and they were real and valid, but they weren't GOOD enough. Not one of them kept me fat on their own. I needed one that was good enough.  And "stupid" wasn't a "good" reason.  So I continued to resist losing weight. 

And there it is.  Did you know that resisting a thing gives it power?  I didn't.  Maybe I did, but couldn't see the application in my own life because I was still waiting for that one valient issue to rear it's head like a big slathering dragon so I could slay it and mount it's head on my wall. 

Turns out my Dragon was a multi-headed Hydra, with different poisons and dangers to each mouth.  Just like Hercules I tried cutting off each head to kill it.  But I never touched the heart. 

The heart wasn't a fear, it was the resistence to the fears.  I was fighting my own beauty so much that I was in fact FEEDING the fear to destroy it.  And that's stupid. 

In summation:  I have learned that all my fears are valid.  And I don't have a good, valient reason to stay fat. 

I guess I better let the fat go, then.  Just stop resisting losing weight.  Let it happen.  Stop resisting the magnitude of my Chelsea-ness, and let it happen.  Knowing that the people who have always found me attractive, will continue to see me as such; considering that my getting fat didn't stop them, getting thin won't make much difference either.  Because I attract great people.  My husband thinks the world of me, even when he sees me being stupid for reasons he can't even fathom.  My children think the world of me.   And I think the world of me.  Let's just let it happen.

It has been said that I don't know how to relax.  The rest of my life will be an exersise in relaxation and be-ing.  Because with all I have to give, I don't have the time to resist it anymore.  There is so much of me, and so much I can do with it. 

So as each fear - still valid - rears it's dangerous head to swallow me down, my new job is not to feed it, but to relax; I will soothe the heart of the beast.  The heart of the matter is that I am amazing and that's okay. 

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Okay, Father.  I will.  :)