Thursday, January 08, 2009

Willing to Love Easier, Cry More

I can remember of a time back around Grade 4 or 5 where I was reading a book called "Run Silent, Run Deep." It was a story of submariners during the Second World War. At some junction of the plot a tragedy occurred where there was a loss of life. It is the first memory I have of where a literary work caused me to cry.

You know when you are really young you'll cry at almost anything. However, with boys there is a stage in their lives where they are expected to "suck it buttercup." That would be the teenage years. Probably the next time I cried, after my Dad died when I was twelve, was around my 21st birthday. The details to the why are not so important. I remember I had been playing the soundtrack to "Chariots of Fire" on my car stereo when the first tear rolled and the last almost didn't stop for fifteen minutes later. I guess I had been holding back on a lot of emotional items, and that day was intended for a huge withdrawal.

Probably as much as a good belly-laugh is good for you, then so is a good cry. It is a known among therapists that crying keeps us healthy by relieving tension, and crying also lubricates the eyes. and provides a physical catharsis that allows the body to discharge certain toxins, according to Carol Forsloff, journalist, mental health counsellor and teacher. Crying also releases a chemical called endorphins that make us happy.

As I am getting older I find that crying is now a legitimate antidote to sadness. Now that sounds all made up for the truth, which is, I am unashamed now to cry more often at age forty-seven. I am not one of those SNAG's -- Sensitive New Age Men. Heck no! Rather I will acknowledge when a well-composed literary piece or a slice of cinema catches me in the throat and gut. I will mourn the loss of friends and family. Probably because of the tragedy that has touched my life I hold tighter onto relationships than most. Then, when they depart I am sadder for longer periods than most. I recall that Florence Littauer, author of Personality Plus : How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself maintains that those who exhibit the Melancholy personality this is normal; for these people are deep and thoughtful individuals.

There have been times where I have felt really alone and unloved. In some cases I felt I needed to be resolved and macho to get through the situation. Subsequently I didn't shed tears. Now, I know that there was always somebody loving me, but from a distance. I don't necessarily mean God (although I am sure he was there), but that love did emanate with a family member or a friend. I also know that love continues to exist regardless of circumstance. Appreciably, I am willing to love easier than before and cry for others more often.

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Mission Statement and NOT New Resolutions

I subscribe to a number of blogs that send feeds to my email account. At last count I have 162 unread blogger entries in my index.Initially, these blogs were quite interesting to read. Oh, they probably still are. However, I fail to have enough time or lack the discipline to keep on top of them immediate to their announcement.

Therein, failing to have a discipline over much matters has caused me and continues to plague me in some areas of my life. I don't make New Year's resolutions. What's the point? I never achieve all of them. Banish the list-making, I say. The creators of Betty, a daily comic strip to which I subscribe has been making that exact point. Betty is a housewife. The discussion between Betty and her husband has been on making resolutions, in which his first resolution is not be self-critical. "Of all the resolutions I have made it's been the first one I have ever kept...and the only that has made me happier right away." Funny stuff. Because who has never had a self-doubting or critical thought? Certainly I have. Just knowing I had created some resolutions that, upon reflection, were never kept or completed could throw me into the chasm of doubt and censure.

In substitution I decided to write a mission statement that would help determine the direction of my life. I have no idea if it concurs with what god wants me to do. Yet, I did not write this up hastily (like most do during the last week of the year). Oh no, this statement became a creation of several years of work; testing and correction. I know I cannot get them all right. Yet, I will keep trying. So it is that I share that statement with you now:

  • I wholly and humbly belong to Jesus Christ. As a Christ-follower I am seeking to know and serve God in all ways. I am leading a life centred on the principles of fidelity, friendship and holiness as prescribed in the Bible.
  • I will be open to experience new quality relationships and working on existing ones.
  • I will keep myself healthy by reducing my weight through sensible eating, exercise,and play; I will listen to my health advisors.
  • I will be an informed and caring citizen who is conscientiously making a difference in my community and the world.
  • I experience a communion with God while learning and when expressing my creativity. "The path to building anything good in life is to Source: Dr. Henry Cloud
  • I am doing work that is fitting to my skills and personality. I will not allow myself to grow complacent in my Public Service career - I will seek opportunity to grow my skillset and in my ability to influence and lead. I will seek career assignments.
  • I will experience an increase in annual income through my own enterprise. I am enjoying life. I am prudently managing my finances and household.
I have to admit their definition is fairly broad. But its by the room between each furrow that I am enjoying some success.

JAPB