Feb 22 (Day 20)
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: I heard from Emil today; that was fun. He got home yesterday morning and told me his very first dinner was filet mignon with a lovely glass of red wine. I literally laughed out loud — I love Emil! Hearing from him so quickly was such a great surprise, and I needed something nice to happen today.
As it turns out, I’ve actually gained a pound over the past two days. I’m eating roughly 30% of what I ususally do at home; I have been drinking glass after glass of nasty medicines; I have fasted and purged. And yet, even with all that effort –despite doing everything the doctor has told me to… I have still gained weight.
That has led me to a realization that just might change my life: the outcome of all my hard work is completely out of my control. I can control what I put in my mouth; I can control my amount of movement and exercise, but my weight…has a mind of its own.
In fact, I’m finally learning the lesson I have needed all my life. There is no way to control the outcome of anything….ever. I can give my friends advice, but I can’t make them follow it. I can raise intelligent, well-researched points regarding politics, but I can’t make people listen. I can point out the inhumanity of racism, sexism and cultural discrimination, but I can’t force a person to NOT be a bigot. I can research medical treatment for family, but I have no control over whether they use the information I give them.
I have no control over the outcome of ANYTHING I do. As a result, I’m finally realizing that the “doing” is the hero’s journey…That is where the satisfaction must live for me. Not in the outcome, but in the journey. (You know, I think if that’s the only lesson I take home from this place, it will have been worth the price of admission.)
I had the Nasyam treatment again this morning: only three drops in each nostril, so it wasn’t too bad. This afternoon, I had another sinking spell where I almost fainted so they had to call the doctor to the treatment room to check my blood pressure and sugar levels. Both are in the normal range. I’ve been resting in my room all afternoon ever since — I’m on bedrest until dinner. (That’s alright though. I don’t much feel like socializing anyway.)
The doctor tried to make me feel better about my weight by telling me that we are playing a long game here. He said it will take one to two YEARS to get my health back on track, and not until that is accomplished will my weight start to fall into place on its own. (I have to say, his pep talks could use some work.)
He illustrated his point with a beautiful Indian parable though, that actually did make me feel better. You see there was this man who moved into a new neighborhood with his wife and 4-year old daughter, both of whom were very beautiful. Their new house was right next door to another family who had a 4-year old little boy.
The man watched one day as the little boy planted a scruffy-looking, little tree in the garden next door. Every week, the boy would lovingly care for the little tree and over the years, the tree grew and grew, until by the time the boy was 18 years old, the branches stretched all the way across the property line…and right over to the daughter’s balcony.
It was because the boy had the dedication and the foresight to plant that tree 14 years before he needed it, because he had the discipline to keep doing the little things to nurture the future that he wanted…It was because of his vision and his dedication that he ended up with the girl of his dreams. (The parable made me realize the doctor is absolutely right…But I still want a cheeseburger.)
WORDS OF WISDOM:
“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.” — Viggo Mortensen