Love is There. The Friendliest Knowing We Can Have.

Know that Love is there.

Daisy Duck from The Walt Disney Company

Image via Wikipedia

The most friendly thing we can do for ourselves is to have a knowing-sense that Love is there. It sounds rather Disney, and maybe that’s one of the reasons Disney works its formula so well. It’s a formula that is based on Truth.

I like to think of Truth as something that doesn’t change with our changing perceptions, our changing definitions of what is real or have anything to do with our choices. Truth is as solid as anything can be in any dimension, time or space. Love is from that category of unchanging things.

Love is.

I’m not someone who ever relished lectures on defining the different types of love; agape, phileo, eros, Micky-Mouse or Minnie. My simple ears hear buzzing sounds when people start talking like that and all I can think of is how to peel a banana or when can I eat that good bread in the bowl in front of me. I wear my primitive self on my shirt today not to say that we shouldn’t be otherwise, that Greek is trivial and forget the Dead Sea Scrolls. Nooooo way. That sophistication is wonderful too and I lean heavily on it. I just don’t do the research myself. I believe the research I feel is right. There. I’m a scientist and I just said I tend to believe my feelings. It’s out. Leave now if you want to but that is who I am. I still claim to be a scientist and you can’t make me stop.

I see Love the way I do. Bigger than that and that and that. A gestalt at times and at other times, bits. Like finding a piece of broken mirror; I know I don’t see the whole reflection of Love, but it is. Love is there. It doesn’t depend on our behaviors or proofs. It doesn’t depend on anything. Love is.

A patient, Mindy, was telling me about her husband. She said that when he was sick, she was constantly trying to figure out if he loved her. But as he’d been healing she’d been healing too. Now when she looked at him, she found the channel switching more often from, “Does he love me?” to, “There is Love.” I celebrate this with her.

Mindy could have taken this further to say, “Love was there even when he wasn’t healthy and even when I am not. Love is.” Maybe she still will. How about you?

Don’t Run Away. You Might Fall In Love With Your Flaws.

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Empower yourself by going towards what scares you.  Take it to the table and be with it.  Get to know it and openly share company with it.

Opal was throwing up.  She threw up more when she gained weight or felt fat.  Throwing up didn’t help her lose weight.  It was just a tool she had to deal with it all.  Opal was told often not to worry about her weight.  Told, she looked fine and not to weigh herself.  No one said openly, “Opal, you’ve gained weight and you’re going to get other illnesses because of it if it keeps going.”  They were afraid saying anything like that would make her throw up.  Hm.

What do you say?

We remember the three things that help maintain long-term weight loss.  Well one of the main reasons they work is because they help keep us present with “the problem” or “fear” or “shame” or however we name it.  Our natural instinct is to go away from fear but this is another example of when we don’t get help following our instincts.

What empowers Opal is to get tools to contend with her struggle with obesity.  It is probably a life-er for her and oh-well!  We can love our flaws better if we stop running from them and grow our skills in living with them in a friendly way.

Get empowered with whatever you are afraid of in yourself.  If you can’t do what you need to do to be in the place of that fear, it may be that you have a medical illness keeping you from coping better.  It doesn’t mean you’ve failed.  Staying with your journey, even to taking medication, even to naming brain illness in your life is so courageous.  You become one of the great ones.  Heroic.  It is so much easier to disconnect and lose our opportunity to love our flaws.

Have you ever heard someone call their life-er, “my old friend?”  Maybe it is arthritis?  Or recurring cancer?  Maybe it is brain disease.  Some day, we will also name our own, “my old friend.”  And we, with Opal, will mean it.

Self-Care Tip – Empower yourself by your presence.

Questions:  How do you do what is friendly to yourself when your instincts tell you not to?  What has that done for you?  Please tell us your story.

Reworking Choices With Your Physician as Part of Your Team

What do you want? 

It is one of my challenges as a physician when someone comes to see me for reasons I’m not able to accommodate.  I can’t validate them.  I can’t tell them what they want to hear.

What can I do?  Help them “realize” that they came to see me for another reason.  Another way to say it is to help them “choose” another agenda.  A part of them realizes their need for help; they came.  A part of them believes I am a person that can help; they came.  A part of them.  A part that I and the patient are responsible to find and shift agendas deliberately or by any wiles possible.

Hands touching

Image via Wikipedia

We are an unusual team in this.  How often do you find another so awkwardly paired?  Yet these are some of my best patient-doctor relationships.

What do you want?

When there is a meeting up, a connection and everyone is working for the same “want,” both presence and movement are natural responses.  It’s like we’re standing still in the moment, senses taking it in, and moving all the while.  The process of moving itself brings pleasure and healing.  It is not always about arriving.  It is not always what we think we want.

Self-Care Tip – Enjoy your re-choices and what you will get from them.

Questions:  Have you every found yourself being “helped” to have a different agenda that improved your presence and movement in your personal journey?  Please tell us your story.

Do You Believe In God?

Yesterday, sitting with all the intellectuals, the thinkers and the brains, my “Big Fat F” felt like I was dressed wrong more than once.  However, thanks to you guys and what we’ve done together, I was able to recognize it and make it through without sautéing the shame of being who I am wired to be.  See blog-post, Hear, Be Hear, Believe and Speak in Your Language.

 

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Image by rimabek via Flickr

 

There are temperaments that find it easier to believe in God I think; feelers, more so than thinkers at least.  But definitely not across the board.  Whatever our temperament or brain health, we are all deciding what to do with the surging evidence of the evolutionary history of our world.  This can translate into an all-or-none decision for the existence of God.  When logic and knowledge make a seven-day creation unbelievable, than believing in God might too.  When we discover the repeating themes between religions, Buddhist with Christianity with Mayan and so forth, than rather than believing in a message that is bigger than culture and Time, we might believe that there is no message.  When we understand emotions and behaviors on the cellular, hormonal and related biology and draw the line even more clearly to evolutionary origins, we might nod our heads.  “No God.”   When we say,

Everything starts and ends with me,

and in the connections we find, discover humanism decreasing the perceived need to depend only on God, we might pull a hand back, take in breath, go silent and think,

Is this all?

Yesterday, talking about oxytocin, how it was measured and manipulated, how emotions and behaviors were measured and manipulated, I was in awe.  I always am by these discussions.  It amazes me over an over again that we can have this beautiful understanding about emotions and behaviors.  However, there was the curtained message that there is no God.  I can’t say exactly how I believe this to be true.  But I do.  I felt a chill and remembered, even if these things are true, doesn’t say anything about God not existing.

All these things that I use to define my reality, which of them can be really trusted?  Love, Emotions, Time, biology, personality, senses, brain, essence, connections and external input, learning and knowledge, the Bible, visions and more – they don’t have to define the existence of God but for many of us they may.

So I ask you, of all the things you use to define your reality, what do you trust?  Do you use them to grow your belief in God or vice versa?

Self-Care Tip – Work these questions over deliberately before these questions work you over unsuspecting.

Eight hugs a Day

Evening friends.  Spent the afternoon enjoying the company of friends and family.  Including enjoying a lecture from the “love doctor,” Paul Zak PhD.  Dr. Zak gave us a practice run on his upcoming lecture for TED in Scotland.  He told us about the amazing hormone, oxytocin, which Dr. Zak tells us is the morality hormone.  It increases any time we have increased social connection.  Oxytocin makes people trust, empathize and have increased moral behaviors.  Dr. Zak’s prescription is eight hugs a day (hugs increase oxytocin).  Awesome.

basics on Weight Management

A tipped cow. Taken near the Cliffs of Moher i...

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A day or two ago we talked about life-ers.  You and I gave our own.  Whatever yours is, you are not alone.  We share that being a friend to ourself means embracing our flaws, going towards our flaws and letting the shame dissipate in our familiar presence.  Weather it’s cigarettes, weight, yelling or cow-tipping, resisting our instinct to hide it, to ignore it and deny it brings us into a place of friendship and connection.

In all my blah-blah’s, sometimes people just want me to get down to the specifics.  I’ve never found those to be too exciting for me personally, but they do help when afraid.

Today I’m going to hit weight management up.  When hope seems to be leached out by failures, these are my efforts that keep me connected to my journey.  I eventually always go back to these.

Three Things That Have Long Term Influence on Weight Management:

1.  log your food.  For example, Sparkpeople.com or myfitnesspal.com are both wonderful sites that will help with this free, including apps for our smartphone.

2.  weigh yourself every day.  Just weighing in has long-term benefits.  Sweet.  Improves presence with our bodies, awareness, goes towards shame, etc…

3.  compete/support network

4.  the rest of it.  This is for all the other stuff that is critical on many levels.  However, only the three things I’ve mentioned have been shown to have long-term effects.

I know.  Where are my references?  This is my blog, so me.  But there are references if you like.  I don’t have time to pick them off of my under-table unfortunately.  Hope that doesn’t keep you from participating with us.

Self-Care Tip – Know where to go when you feel afraid – towards it and not away.