Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned in my life are these quotes;
“Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!”
I learned this during intense training, it was drilled in over and over again at moments I was already well past my limits physically and mentally.
Another pearl of wisdom was this quote which goes hand in hand with the other one:
“Keep moving!!! You slow down, you stop, and you die!”
The quote that probably drives me to blog and reach out to others in my day to day life is this:
“No one gets left behind!”
These fundamentals can bring you beyond your limitations; they’ve brought me through more situations in my life than I have time to talk about. I will say; What wouldn’t you be willing to do to survive, not live well or happy, just survive? When your situation means do or die, I suggest do.
I grew up around the tip of Lake Michigan. This is one of the things that made it easy for me to embrace these concepts because they were already part of my life. It gets cold; I’m talking 20 degrees below zero cold with a wind-chill factor of 60 below. If you go outside after a shower you can hear your hair freeze in seconds. This is a great reference because you absolutely have to keep moving “If you slow down, you stop, you freeze to death” “You never leave anyone behind” I was walking home once and it was a little over a mile, but in this kind of cold and wind 100 feet seem like a mile. It had been snowing for days, all of the roads were closed, and snow drifts were 13 feet high. I had walked about 3/4 of the way, and decided i was going to take a short cut across the golf course. I started up the embankment at the side of the road; my feet were plunging into the snow to my upper thigh with every step (about 3 feet). I got a little better than half way up and WOOOOOFFF! I dropped into the drifted snow up to my armpits. The snow was packed in enough that I could barely move. I was in trouble, already near frozen because I thought I was a bad ass and wasn’t dressed properly. I was wearing jeans with sweat pants under them, 2 t-shirts, a flannel, and a thin Harley Davidson, straight collar, Leather jacket without a liner, two pairs of socks and my hiking boots. With no gloves, no hat, and no scarf. I had been warming my hands under my arms, then warming my ears with my hands, and cupping my hands over my nose trying not to get frostbite. I would run this cycle over and over as my freezing hands were also my warming tools that I would constantly have to reheat.
So, here I am, stuck in a snow drift half frozen and I’m gassed. A real “Uh Oh!” moment. All I could move was my arms and I couldn’t reach anything. I had to do something, but couldn’t do anything. “Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!” There was a tree branch about a few feet away, so I began nudging the snow. Little by little I bumped forward, then back, then forward then back. The snow didn’t move much because I fell in the plow line and the top was packed. I rocked to and fro for what seemed like an eternity and finally I got a hold of the branch and dragged myself out. Freezing cold now, the wetness from being stuck in the snow froze my clothes. I continued on walking in 3 feet of snow feeling like I couldn’t take another step, but knowing to stop is to die. If you’ve ever been out in that environment for a while you know that everything aches, your feet hurt, your ears feel like they’re being cut off by the wind. Your hands and nose feel like ice icicles also being cut and burned, it can be brutal! Obviously, I survived, cold weather situations like that would happen. We broke down in a car with my Mom and she had blankets in the back. She hitched a ride with a trucker, because if we would have stayed there we would have froze to death. I think it was my Mom, oldest brother and I. (extreme examples or rant if you will)
The point is, no matter what obstacles or challenges we face in life we must push on. What matters is our survival. We then have an opportunity to make better choices, be more prepared (keep blankets in the trunk, dress warmer, steak a sign in the ground that says thin ice or crevasse). Over time and through life experience we learn not only to survive but to thrive. We can warn or help others be aware or overcome obstacles or dangers. Look at the Eskimos, look at people who have lost love and learned to love again, or people who were once in a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, that hated life itself, now love it and are filled with joy. I’m one of these people and you CAN be too.
Take these quotes and add them to your arsenal and when all else fails just keep going!
“Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!”
“Keep moving!!! You slow down, you stop, and you die!”
“No one gets left behind!”
Love everyone, including yourself, you’re incredible, ~ J ~
I read many post yesterday and was reminded of my own difficulties. You may read my post and say “I’m insightful” or a “gentle soul”. I don’t attempt to speculate or read any minds, I only know from what comments have been made. It is nice to hear those things, it helps my self esteem. This blog is but a glimpse of who I am I would say the “Bright side”. I began producing this to help people who struggle in their present life and/or suffer similarly. I continue to have social issues, especially at gatherings, or when my behaviors matter most. I read yesterday of people talking about similar struggles and some more difficult. I love to look around and see people whom, not just overcome adversity but thrive and find even more fullness of life than they had prior to their illness or debilitating injury. (AWESOME)
This time of year is especially difficult due to the social and family gatherings. I don’t have full control over my attitudes, moods, actions, or what I say at times. This causes my family and I embarrassment and makes others visibly uncomfortable on occasion. I’m like the fidgety kid that has to sit on his hands to keep from flipping them around and banging, tapping, or knocking. (I used to be)It’s funny, because I just realized that this was probably caused by my suppression of all of the other actions and talking manifesting themselves in that way. Anyway, I find myself nearly every time I go to a gathering saying something or many things or acting out in ways that even I find inappropriate. The problem is stressors and sometimes other people can become a catalyst energizing or exacerbating my nervous or manic condition. I often find myself during these type events constantly trying to check myself (seldom successfully). Usually afterward having a conversation with whoever was my “designated handler” (LOL) about what they thought the perception of others might have been or if I upset anyone. I try not to beat myself up for it anymore. There’s not a lot I can do other than isolate and not interact or try to get someone I know (That knows me) to stay close by and attempt to keep me in check with the occasional shhhh, or nudge. This is not always effective and sometimes raises my defensiveness causing me to lash out justifying my behavior. Thank you to all that have helped me function in these situations and stood by me in anticipation of what I may do or say. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, and also for preparing me beforehand and consoling me in the aftermath For any that might be blessed to have me at their gathering this Christmas season or any other time, I will try to be on my best behavior, please don’t take me to seriously. LOL
Remember if it’s not within your control you really can’t blame yourself.
Try to manage your symptoms and learn to use tools and rely on others to help you be well.
Love yourself, you’re very special, ~ J ~
I rebelled and struck out on my own as early as I was unable. I wanted to be my own man, I felt alone like it was me against the world and that nobody truly cared about me. I didn’t realize until years later how wrong I was. I see today by forcing my independence and not allowing anyone to get close to me out of fear of being hurt or letting them down is what lead to my isolation. I told my Wife before I married her “That I was going to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and would not answer to her”. The reason I said that, or so I thought, was to proclaim my independence. In reality I was trying to shrug accountability and responsibility. The two words I just typed struck me funny, because that’s exactly where I was going with this. Allow me to clarify, both words have ability in them and that is it in a nutshell. I drank and when I did, there was no telling what would happen, where I might end up, when or if I’d even come home. So rather than continually having to apologize or justify behavior which was really beyond my control, I created my escape hatch. The irony is that I proclaimed my independence because of my dependence on alcohol. No excuses to be made, no arguments to have, I do what I want! right? Of course, this thinking was as flawed as my drinking. I built walls made of false fronts and bravado, I covered myself with a mask where you could no longer see me. There I was trapped by independence, a prisoner in my own mind
I had all of these preconceived notions about everyone. Hiding inside, I’d think to myself I wonder if you like me or if you think I’m crazy. In nearly the same thought, think that I didn’t care, I don’t need anyone I’m my friend. I’d them assess your flaws and think of what I didn’t like about you in case you didn’t like me so your opinion wouldn’t count. I could then preserve my false pride and superiority while I battled my inferiority. I noticed over time how my scenery changed. The group of people and the establishments I frequented became, let’s say, less sophisticated. Seeking to be accepted yet never wanting to join. I was independent other than the fact that my entire life was dependent on the people around me and how long they’d tolerate the insanity. The very systems and thinking I put in place to maintain my independence finally succeeded and I was independent, in dependence and completely alone, with the exception of God. I talked to Him a lot but wouldn’t hear Him. At that point, when I didn’t understand why my life was like it was, I started to seek answers. I became honest with myself, I opened my mind to new ideas and principles, and most of all I became willing to change. I’m going to play on words because this came to me suddenly and made sense. I realized in any relationship which I am a partner I have to do a part. Also, that the whole world didn’t revolve around me and when I refused to participate it would just pass me by. Again, in order for me to be an active participant in my own life, I had to do my part. I began to tear at my walls. I found that I built the walls a long time ago, when I was a scared child and while in there I couldn’t see everything clearly. My vision was obscured by my perception. Like a plant without the proper son light I didn’t grow much emotionally and stayed a small scared child inside. Once I started to break down the walls and barriers that kept me inside I found they were primarily constructed of bottles of booze, drugs, cemented with lies I told myself to justify my behaviors and the things that brought me pleasure. When I discovered that was what had blocked me all these years, I began to kick and strike at them. I became angry but the walls were amazingly strong and I couldn’t break through on my own. I was dependent upon them to secure my independence. I began to cry out for help, it seemed nobody was listening. When I stopped yelling I could hear a faint voice say just stop drinking, start to do the next right thing that is in front of you. Trust another person who had walls like yours and together we will take them down.
True independence is based on total dependence and reliance upon God. He is the One who created us for a special purpose. We are designed to seek the peace and euphoria only He can provide. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, eating, pain and all of the things that bring some of us a similar feeling will not suffice, so we need more. We find in time, as you might expect, they stop working and the very thing we use for reliance, independence, and peace becomes our captor.
Break the chains of addiction and the vicious cycle of self will, seek the purpose of your creation, and ask God to help you offer yourself and your life to Him with complete abandon and fulfill your purpose. He will help as long as you’re willing to follow His gentle direction.
Today I just sit here a bit chill
know great advice or wisdom to spill
sometimes I come off a little prophetic
other times I feel pathetic
a bunch of words on a page from a rambling mind that has run
all the things I’ve said and done
when I write things down is it just for fun
I hope I could make a difference and help someone
it doesn’t need to be many, I’d do it for any
the only reward in what I write is to possibly help people in their plight
I’m not full of myself or think I’m too bright
I’ve been provided these tools by others which help me live right
I’m not a robot that goes on emotionless, without feeling
I feel good today, not up, not down, I’m dealing
enough for now we all need time for healing
so I will sit here and allow myself to be a human being
not depressed not excited not even a feeling
for a change I’m just relaxed, done pushing myself to the max
I need this time, I must face facts
I’ll leave you with this as I finish
I will sit back and let my thoughts diminish
It’s not selfish feeling the stillness of my soul as I let it all go
at peace alone in a quiet room, it is so freeing
It’s OK just being a human being.
Moonbeams obscured by the midnight flight of a raven
I watch silently in horror of the coming day
The simple comfort of loneliness surrounds me with its sweet melancholy touch
I look into the window of my mind, and the room is empty
Hope has ended
I long for the resurrection of my soul, that I may be whole once more
The dawn comes soon yet I find myself frightened
Deaths touch is not welcomed
I am warmed by the breath of the woman who loves me
The children smile that I might live
The new day is here
I move forward, like walking in a snowdrifts cold
I cannot stop, for I would die
I walk for the warmth of love
To give the strength of giants from the frail weakness of a wilted flower
Child of light coming out of darkness
Living in a world with out end
The new day must begin
And spread goodness
What we usually write we can see.
We have to proof it before we show anybody.
This poses a question.
What if no one filtered his or her thoughts or feelings?
What if there were no defenses, and fronts,
and we put our real true feelings to words.
We’d all know exactly where we stood.
I have a great deal of experience with this.
For some reason or another I was born without a filter.
If a thought came into my mind, it surely came out of my mouth.
That was the hardest thing for me to deal with as a child.
If I thought it, I said it.
I’d speak and the people around me would gasp, or laugh.
The problem was, I wasn’t trying to be shocking or funny.
It hurt, and left me confused. I didn’t understand.
I wondered why I couldn’t control myself?
Why didn’t I think like everybody else?
I just blurted things out.
When I was young it happened many times a day.
This brought me to the point where I was afraid to say anything.
So I got quiet, I didn’t say anything for long periods of time.
I remember my mom being concerned because I wasn’t talking.
Brutal honesty, I understand a lot of kids do this and learn not to.
I’m still working on it. As an adult I still do it.
Most of the time I realize it right away.
People still laugh or get angry.
Tell me I’m ate-up, shot out, tore up with it (crazy).
It still disturbs me, the timing and delivery is
Sometimes accidentally very funny.
Sometimes it’s painful.
Not only to me sometimes I hurt or offend others.
My former bosses girlfriend came into the office.
She was usually bubbly and smiling (brace yourself)
She looked a little down, and I said:
“What’s the matter with you, you look like somebody died”
“I just came from a babies funeral” (Gasp) I was floored.
I just threw my hands up to gesture
(You know I’m screwed up nothing to explain).
I’ve spent my whole life trying to either be like
Everybody else or embrace my uniqueness.
Have you spent countless hours trying to figure it all out?
Feel like you’re under the microscope?
Have you tried to hide right in the open?
You’re sure everyone is looking.
But don’t think anyone really sees you.
I’ve always been told I wear my heart on my sleeve.
The funniest part about that is, most everybody fronts.
So people don’t usually accept what’s on the surface, (ironic).
I can be totally myself and hardly one will think I’m really like that
My brother Scott told me it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, this is your world and everybody else is just living in it.
I ran with that for a while. I was a maniac and I embraced it.
We can pretend all we want, but deep down it matters.
I found a valuable truth. I don’t hang out with superficial people.
I hang around real people who don’t hide their true feelings.
People who aren’t afraid to express the way they really feel.
Who speak from their heart about things that actually matter.
People, who not only listen, but also hear what I’m saying,
Friends are sometimes afraid of their feelings but they share them.
We’re all not only unique; we are special, & have real significance
My children think I’m the best Dad.
My son Riley says I’m his best friend in the whole wide world.
My awesome wife thinks I’m awesome
They, like my friends see me, they hear me,
They feel me, and I them. “It’s all good”
To thine own self be true.
The world would be very different if everyone opened up a little.
I wrote this for me, and who ever else might have felt the same.
We were in that room all alone together.