I’m on Day 11. And pleasantly surprised at every turn. I feel so good. It reminds me of when I stopped eating gluten. It was so difficult and a bit depressing because I love gluten! I love it! But I felt so amazingly good that it made the sacrifice worth it. That’s how I’m feeling about alcohol. Sure, it’s fun. But I do REALLY enjoy feeling clearheaded and lucid.
I’ve also had quite some serious doubt about having any type of place to publish all of this – why isn’t just simple journaling enough? Is blogging really necessary? And why?
For some reason that I am unable to articulate, I think that it is necessary. I will flounder around for a bit until I stumble into my rhythm. This is the floundering. But it’s ok. I can always circle back around and delete.
I think that if I just have a journal, I will fall back into my old patterns of…..well, whatever those old patterns are. I’m ready to share what I’ve learned. I’m ready to put the good stuff out there, along with the bad. And, quite honestly, if nobody ever reads it, just knowing that somebody might read it will push me to improve and grow. My intensity is somewhat overwhelming for many people but this will give me an outlet to keep from overwhelming those closest to me with thoughts and analogies and ideas. I will put them here!
Yesterday, I had to write a letter to my oldest daughter for an assignment in her English class. The teacher asked the parents to write a letter of advice as your child goes off into the world. Here is that letter:
As you head out into the rest of your life, I want you to know first and foremost that I am extremely proud to be your mother. You have impacted me in ways that you will never fully understand. Good and meaningful ways. I also want you to always know that you are stronger than you know. You will feel weak and alone sometimes, as everybody does. But trust in your strength. And your wisdom. And know that you can and will get through all the difficult times.
I know that I have little more to give you in the way of advice that I haven’t been teaching you since the moment you were born. Some of my advice, learned no doubt through observation rather than words, hasn’t been good and some has been. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. In fact, I have learned as much from you as I hope you have learned from me. I am always here to listen. I offer you the following thoughts as you move out of my house into a full life of your own creation.
· Always act with integrity. The world is not always fair and lack of fairness can be maddening. Continue to act with integrity. You only have control over your own actions and as long as you can be proud of those actions, you will have no reason to have regrets.
· Never quit on the uphill. When running or riding a bike or struggling through life’s challenges, when you are on an uphill section, you can rest assured that downhill sections are to follow. The uphill sections can be very long. But don’t make drastic decisions during uphill sections. The downhills are almost always worth the struggle of the uphills.
· Recognize the importance of community and friendships. We are social by nature and our lives are meant to be intertwined with others’ lives. Freely offer and accept help from others. And when you are feeling down, take a deep breath, feel your feelings and then focus on bringing happiness to others and see what happens.
· Admit when you are wrong, apologize and generously forgive yourself and others. Acknowledge that you will sometimes make mistakes, overreact, and say or do things that you will regret despite my advice in the first point J – everybody will. Cultivate the ability to seek forgiveness, forgive and move forward.
· Remember how loved and cherished you are.
I love you and I completely trust in you.