Ready or not?

I was talking to Troy, Battler of the Bulge, at the gym after sweating my bootie off on the elliptical rider, then doing some ab work.  He expressed frustration at gym members, one in particular who came in today claiming borderline diabetic, high blood pressure and obesity and their only obstacle to success is the cost of a personal trainer…. they claim.

Everyone faces adversity.  E v e r y o n e.  I am obese.  I have survived domestic abuse.  My children have survived my living circumstances.  I have one son who’s been diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette Syndrome (gratefully grown out of later when puberty hit full on) and one who’s never met his biological father.  I have a daughter who hasn’t spoken to her’s in several years.  I’m still waiting to see what the last daughter has up her sleeve and I pray it isn’t nearly as bad as what her siblings have faced.  I know people who have anger issues, people who are terminally pessimistic.  I know people who have had to face life-altering diagnoses of brain disorders in their infants and toddlers.  I know people who sit tight at home waiting for the return of a loved one who protects our country every day, who watch the news hoping their family member is coming back home alive.  I know people who have lost a child, spouse or parent or who have faced cancer.

I have lost loved ones.  I have a beautiful niece I never got to hold.  Sometimes when I think of her, I cry.  Other times, I get misty.  Of all the wonderful grandparents I remember, I have lost my Nana and my Grandpa (Ringbom), my Grandma (Hobson), my Grammy and Grandpa (Smith) and my Grandpa (Schwalm).  I have two nephews I pray I will someday get to hug again.

Nobody is immune to the vagaries of life.

Consider your adversity.  Today – what are you facing?  Now put it in perspective.  (I do this when I feel myself drowning.)  I get drastic.  Are my children healthy?  Yes.  Is Dallas alive and well?  Yes.  Are my parents, brothers and sisters healthy?  Yes.  Their children?  Yes.  Okay, then today is a GOOD day.  PERIOD.  There are NO BUTS to this answer.  None.  Because everything else I have to face, have had to face or will face has far less value than the lives of people I cherish.  Period.  Every other circumstance, regardless of what it is, IS surmountable.

Life is about people.  It’s not about your house burning down.  Did everyone make it out alive?  Family and pets?  Perspective.  It’s JUST  a house.  Take a deep breath and start from a new place.

I know it sounds quite simplistic.  I’m not trying to diminish the pain of living, the pain of loving, the pain of losing.  Remember – it happens to everyone.  You’re not alone in this world.  You haven’t been singled out to endure a special kind of pain no other person on this planet has ever experienced before.  Reach out and share your pain with others who are going through or have gone through what you’re facing.

When I first had to face the fact I was a victim of domestic abuse, I fell apart.  How could I have been so stupid?!?!  How could I let my boys live half their lives with a man who treated women the way he treated me?  Did they digest his behaviors?  Were they going to vomit up his responses when they were old enough to be in a relationship?  Did I unknowingly set them up to become abusers?  How could I let my girls watch their father treat me so horribly?  Were they going to find themselves attracted to a man like him?  Have I set them up to be abused?  Why did I let this man treat me like chattel?  What made me submit to his demands?  How would I identify a future abuser?  How could I be certain I wasn’t flawed?  How was I supposed to know I was marrying a man who would hurt me the way he did?

I didn’t have ANY answers. But I needed them.  I was uncertain about group therapy at KCM when I went to my first meeting.  I was so completely awash with humiliation.  I felt so stupid.  And this is something I never felt before.

Group sessions at KCM opened my eyes.  I was in a room full of women who had gone through the same thing I did.  My children were in a room full of children who had a father who treated their mother the same way their own father treated me.  And I became educated.  I learned to identify behaviors in others, regardless of gender, race, social status, education, sexual preference and culture, who had the potential to become abusers….if they weren’t already.  And I taught my children to consider their actions more carefully, taught them explosive anger is absolutely unacceptable.  Period.  Taught them what a respectful, loving, committed relationship should look like – pointing out examples of healthy relationships.  Talked about intimacy within a marriage until, I’m certain, they can tell you exactly what I’m going to say before I even say it when I talk about what goes on behind closed bedroom doors.  They didn’t get to witness it in my life.  I’m doing everything I can to ensure they create it in their own lives.

So, back to Troy and the gym member who’s arguing about the monthly rate for a personal trainer.   The guy is obese.  He is taking heart meds.  He’s been diagnosed as a borderline diabetic.  Perspective.  The cost of a personal trainer?  Or his life?

Is there really a choice?


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