Unconditional ForgivenessTo my many readers, I am going to ask for your forgiveness later on. Several of you have wondered / worried about me and I apologize for that. This is not Sunday but a good time for this post.
Before going on, it appears we have added Sweden to our country list while I was out playing hooky. I want to welcome you to this blog and also to new beginnings for the year.
FBS -111 - A very big surprise since I pretty much decided to take off a couple of weeks and forget I was a diabetic. If you do not listen to any of my advice - make sure you never do that. Once in a while is okay; but, this long is like trying to get back in the game again after losing my star player - I am finding it difficult. I will share what I did today to jump start the program again.
God's Promise of Forgiveness
As you know, I have mentioned before I am a Catholic Christian and therefore have two Higher Powers, God and Jesus. One is my Creator and Father and the other is my Lord and Savior. Both have brought forgiveness into my life in a big way and have promised to do so. One of my favorite versus really puts it all on the line in a simple message:
To me this sums it all up in one sentence. God allows us to forget the past (our sins and transgressions) and look to the future and to gain the ultimate prize. There are no questions asked when we say we are sorry and move on - he has and does forgive us with no conditions attached.
I can only hope that your Higher Power does the same for you. You might ask? Why is the act of forgiveness so important to a diabetic. I am experiencing this very blessing at the moment, forgiving myself for taking a break. I know I am a diabetic and I should not take off two weeks - even though I was mainly good - closing an eye to my condition can only put my body in jeopardy and that is not what He wants me to do.
However, stopping the insanity and starting the turn around - I know he has my back and will once again provide the courage I need to move forward and to get back on the straight and narrow as He did earlier this year.
If our Higher Powers can forgive us for our errors and mistakes, then we surely can learn from that and learn to forgive ourselves. I find this to be very crucial for us diabetics. We must understand we did not ask to get on this ship nor sail this rough sea; but we ended up getting aboard for some reason.
I have experienced this myself - thinking there was something wrong with me and I am a weirdo because I am a diabetic. Shying away from a desert, or telling little lies why we cannot partake in the sugar feast, is nothing more than blaming ourselves for our disease.
A fellow American Diabetes Association (ADA) community member says it best "Hello, my name is Bob and I am a diabetic," No remorse, no regret, straight forward, and pure honesty. This is easier said than done if we have not forgiven ourselves for our condition. Many of us were born with the defect or we got it through genes. Some of us, like me, did the damage to myself by not eating right or taking care of myself when I was younger.
For many years I felt stupid, dumb, should have known better, or thought I was just an idiot. I could go no where as long as this was my thought pattern. I had to change this pattern before I could change my approach to managing or living with my diabetes. I was fortunate to have a daughter bring forth tough love and help put me on the right track.
But her tough love was not the drive, it was simply the spark that started the turn around journey. I had to look myself in the mirror and say, it is okay you have not taken care of yourself for many years; but, today is the day you put that behind you and look to the future - just as I am taught by God, forget the past and place your eye on the real prize - get your diabetes under control today.
So here I stand before you again, looking in the mirror knowing that taking two weeks off is not good. But this time I am smart enough to say time to forget and move forward - but again these types of events need a kick in the pants to help me get started. Along came my wife, daughter, and son (my huge support team) and they knew I needed a kick or jump start. So they asked me to join them for Hot Yoga. Now if you have never experienced this you should. I am hooked as it was a great way to get back into the game.
Hot Yoga involves being in a room where the temperature is 105 degrees - yup that is a little warm. You then spend 90 minutes doing basic yoga poses; but nothing is basic in that heat. The instructors just ask that for the first time you manage to stay in the room for the 90 minutes and try the poses and learn to breath. I can only say this goal is a lot more difficult than you can imagine. During the session, about 50 minutes into the 90 minutes, your brain starts to run wild and you start to lose focus. To make it, you have to focus and just learn to breath - then it works out. Each pose or set of poses is completed two times. Towards the end I was resting for one of the poses and trying to do the second repetition.
At about the same point my mind was wondering and starting to lose focus, my son Brian turned around and gave me a stern look to sit down for a set. It was good timing - I needed the break. At the end, people where giving me a high five and congratulating me. Obviously, I felt good about my self and at that point in time I knew I was going to get back in the game and go back to controlling this beast.
I had added two new people to my support team - the instructors who encouraged me to make it.
Forgiving each other
As our Higher Powers and My God teach us to forgive ourselves, they also teach us to forgive one another for our mistakes. This too is very important to us diabetics.
I am asking for your forgiveness as well. Not that I took two weeks off, or I decided not to be a diabetic for two weeks; but, I left for two weeks and did not leave the proper message that I would be out. Some of you had to worry about me and for that I am truly sorry and ask for forgiveness. I have learned my lesson and in the future I will make sure I do not leave you worried any more.
When we are looking to forgive each other, we must think of our close support team. Again I am speaking from experience. For many years I would get frustrated and close to angry when reminded I was a diabetic and that maybe I should not have the desert or the second helping of mashed potatoes and home made gravy - yummy. When I would not eat or take my medication and my lovely wife Kathleen would try to support by encouraging, I would take it as nagging.
We must learn to forgive those around us who care and are trying to do the right thing for us. For you men out there, you must swallow your pride and allow your better half to be your support team. I think we have the biggest problem with this - Mother Syndrome I think. I am no psychologist but it sure felt to me like Kathleen was trying to be my mother. I had to ask her to forgive me but to do that, I had to realize I had to forgive her for caring and trying to get me to do the right thing.
For our friends who eat anything in front of us or drink heavily while we drink water or diet sodas; we must forgive them and not feel bad to be around them. They did not give us this disease and contrary to popular belief, MISERY DOES NOT LOVE COMPANY! It is your disease - deal with it!
In my mind when we forgive those around us, we make it easy for them to forgive us. When there is no black spots in our hearts we can focus on the real enemy - DIABETES! We can all bond together in a loving manner to bottle up the beast and put it on ice and control it. We most likely will not kill it in my life time - but someday - maybe - just maybe - we will kill the beast within us.
In the meantime - we live together in harmony to bring as little stress in our lives as we can and work to control our diabetes with the help of our Higher Power and Forgiveness; of ourselves and of each other.
What have I been doing
You already know my dog had surgery and had a malignant tumor removed about a week before Christmas. Then the day before Christmas we noticed he was swelling and bleeding a lot. We took him back up to the vets and he had a serious infection. So Mac had to spend his Christmas on the hospital. The good news is he is doing a lot better now from all of that.
Both my children, Sarah and Brian, come home for Christmas. Lydia also joined Brian and made it a very special Christmas get together. So we had 4 great days as a family and during those 4 short days my attention was on my family and my Super Support Team!
After Mac got out of the hospital we headed for Florida to spend a month with Kathleen's parents who have retired to Florida. I can work remotely at my current contract, so it is more about working remotely versus a vacation. The good news was our son decided to go to Florida for a little retreat before going back to Boston. We were once again blessed to have a couple of days with our Son while we drove to Florida and he road with us. We put him on a plane back to Boston just tonight.
While in Florida, I have had the opportunity to play a round of golf with my son and enjoy hot yoga with my entire family.
During all of this, I had to have a conversion done for my contract at Walgreens over New Years. The conversion did not go that well and my team spent 48 hours straight (12/31 - 01/01) getting the conversion completed on time. Then we slept for a day.
I am also working on proposals for two new contracts and that is taking a lot of time. So I have been extremely busy.
These are all my reasons but are not good excuses for not telling you where I was at so you did not worry. Again, I ask for forgiveness and looking forward to the new year.
I still owe you the ending series on meal planning and hope to have that completed next week. In the meantime, thanks again for the forgiveness and I look forward to our continued relationship and new beginnings.
May God grant us the power to forgive ourselves and to forgive each other. May he give us the ability to forget the past and keep our eye on the prize of the future. May he give us the courage to move beyond being upset with ourselves and wisdom to know we are humans and make mistakes. May he help us to understand these mistakes are okay to learn from and move on.