Sunday, November 6, 2016

Nov 6th Gratitude, Service & Surgery

Still studying the book from Dr Marty Lerner I talked about in this post. 

It's short, more of a booklet. But packed with years of experience and wisdom. I've been stuck on this sentence in Chapter 3:

"The true nature of the problem, especially with respect to addictions has to do with almost total self-absorption and self-consciousness."

And: "...most of our struggles have to do with repetitive and obsessive self-centered thoughts".

I used to call it navel watching... remembering the old cartoon of the guy sitting and staring at his own belly button. And I've actually wondered at times if continuing long term with my blog was navel watching! Or, as Dr Lerner more eloquently puts it: self-absorption and self-consciousness.

Four statues of satyrs in the Louvre, depicting omphaloskepsis - navel gazing -  as an aid to meditation

I mean... I know all the "how it got started in my life" stuff. I've made peace with it. It's not about blame. Rather, it's about understanding. 

I've found a way of eating that is healthy and I can do for life: low carb, sugar free.

Now I am left with just one thing, according to Dr Lerner: DO IT. Do the next right thing. Focus on recovery, not weight loss. And the weight loss will follow as I DO the right things. What's left to talk about??

Shortly after I read this page in Dr Lerner's book about all this self-absorption, I read a blog post from Sean Anderson. In passing at the end, he mentioned Gratitude and Service. And those words lit up in neon for me! 

Gratitude and Service. I had used this phrase for years as a reminder: Love God, love others. It's truth, yet somehow it seemed a little bit lofty or esoteric. But if you put feet to it, action to it... it turns into Gratitude and Service!

Now it's no longer just "I am grateful to God for....". Me, me, me. I, I, I.... Yes, I am totally grateful, and want to be aware and express that gratitude. But now it doesn't stop with ME. As in that self-absorption and self-centered thoughts. (Now please don't go and misinterpret that; having a gratitude journal is life changing, and highly recommended!!!! I'm talking about MY hang-ups here).

But for me, now adding Service to the equation takes my thoughts beyond myself, and the arrows are not stuck constantly INWARD. I want to learn to get them to aim OUTward. I can ask myself how I can be of Service? Is there a gift I have been given that can be used as a blessing to others? To be of Service?

The day before all these thoughts hit me, I read something about Benjamin Franklin. He began each day with this question: "What good shall I do this day?" 

And he ended the day with "What good have I done this day?" He obviously had a heart to be of Service.

So... that's what I have been studying. That's where my journey is taking me. Some of it can feel uncomfortable. But I feel good about the direction.

Still on the journey,


A Big PS: I didn't want to make a huge post about medical stuff, making it into a big deal. But thought it would not be very courteous to just disappear without explanation. I'm not God. I can't predict the future, or when it's my turn to die and go to Heaven. But I was recently diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer. It's still only Stage 1; the prognosis is excellent, and my surgery is on Wednesday, Nov 9th. 

The doctors are still fretting over my weight. It does not count how much I have lost; it counts what I am NOW to them. I was 310 this morning, and that still puts me in the high risk category. But quite a few things have been happening in my favor the last couple of months that make me feel like God is looking out for me, and encouraging and reassuring me. So... I am hopeful. If you are so inclined, I would appreciate prayers. Thanks ya'll, and see you in a few weeks! =^..^=

Kitty for Nancy 


Nixie R said...

I have read your blog and never commented before, but have appreciated your sharing and openness. I will be praying for you to have a successful surgery and full recovery. I think you are right, God has more plans for you and wants you to be able to share your gifts in service. Blessings and a speedy recovery.

Deb Willbefree said...

I have prayed and will continue to oray.


P.S. I'm not at all sure that it's navels that those guys are staring at. :}

Retta said...

Thank you, Nixie. I was really touched by your comment, and truly appreciate the prayers.

Retta said...

I appreciate the prayers VERY much, Deb. And those guys? hmmm... methinks I see it in a new light now... mwa ha ha ha! Now it's kinda racy. :-O

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