Changing is never easy. It’s something I know I’ve struggled with. We fall into a certain way and for me, the way out can seem too far away. It’s easy to surrender and try to work within a certain thing that seems hard to let go of. Changing is rarely easy. I feel like I’m very ready for it and there is no better time to make changes than right now.
I will guard my tongue. What we say gives meaning to things. We can paint in so many different shades with our words and what we say about others can have tremendous impact. The results can be carried for years and even a lifetime. I have seen a single moment get etched so powerfully in someone’s mind that it stays there long after the one who said it has forgotten. Sometimes those moments become so etched that they actually change how that person views themselves. If we are to treat our neighbors as ourselves, we should consider how we would like to be spoken to both publicly and privately.
Letting go is something else I am working on. My wife is brilliant and shared with me the idea that there are some things that you have to let go of. Specifically, impossible ideals. Some of the worst revolve around how someone should act or respond to something. When we go to someone and say that we’re sorry, for example, we should be careful not to have a specific response from them in mind. Our goal is to apologize, not to have a defined response take place. They will respond however they respond and that is their choice.
Losing weight. This song and dance has gone on for so long now that I have become almost convinced that it is impossible. I know this is not the case. I used to weigh over 300 pounds and was diagnosed withd. This isn’t the “born with it” or “It just happened” diabetes. No, it was the “you did this” kind. I was in very bad shape, smoked two packs a day, dipped, and had regular chest pain. Some creative coaching by my amazing wife and threats from my doctor helped get me started down a better path. I made myself quit smoking and I started eating better. 300 became 280 which eventually became 232. I’m no athlete and I recognize that I have to keep losing it. 210 doesn’t get here on its own. For my family and for myself, I have to lose those last pounds and get a regular exercise routine going. It’s medicine for my body, and I have to take care of that.
Tefillah. I am going to pray and study more, as I should.
Being present. There are so many amazing things in our faith and it is so hard to find anything that comes close to being a favorite. One that might come close is Abraham’s response to Gd. “Hineini”, here I am. To be present is an incredible thing. To be here, in a moment, not with an agenda or with an objective but to simply be here. There have been times when someone needed my ear and only got a fraction of my attention. There were times when someone needed me to be truly present and I wasn’t. I can get into my own head at times and when I do that, it pulls my attention. When my attention is pulled, I am not present. Being here fully is a thing of beauty. You can enjoy things more and be a better support to those around you.
Finally, I will have more patience. This is an area I could really do better in.
The song below is a new one called “Return” and it is about being aware of your actions and choosing to do better.