we all have some sort of addiction. some healthy, some not so healthy. it’s the addiction to the thing that’s not good for me that causes me to pause and think about change. am i open to change? am i willing to stop saying ‘it’s just who i am…i’ll never be able to change who i am’
it’s the awareness that ‘who i am’ is not finite – i am not set in concrete, i am always capable of change – it’s the awareness that allows me to be open, to let go of my ego that wants to say, ‘it’s just me, and me is stronger that the me that wants to change.’
yesterday my dad was complaining about all the meds he’s taking because of his type II diabetes. on his own he said, ‘i don’t have to take these meds if i change my diet.’ wow! i agreed with him, and we made a list of all the foods he didn’t want to eat anymore.
‘I’m not going to eat bread anymore and no more sugar, but you might have to remind me.’
cool, dad, we have choices. an addiction is choosing the same thing over and over again, knowing that it’s not good for us.
‘glad you’ve decided to eat only foods that are good for your heart.’
at dinner, the waiter asked if he wanted bread, and right away he said ‘yes!’
‘dad, you wanted me to remind you when you’re making bad choices.’
‘yeah, well i need to have bread. where else am i going to get starch? i can’t live without bread’
i’m simply a reminder, i’m not an enforcer… so i just listened.
he took his bread and slathered it with butter….
and then gave it to my mom!
as i was leaving for the night, he sat there with his cup of hot tea munching on two oatmeal cookies.
‘dad, you wanted to me remind you when you’re eating sugar.’
‘what!? these are oatmeal cookies! they don’t have sugar! they’re oatmeal!”
‘there’s a reason those are called oatmeal cookies, and not ‘oats’. in the morning, you can check your sugar level and maybe those are special cookies that don’t have sugar.’
i gave him a big hug, and kissed him goodnight.
change can happen, and it begins with the awareness that i have choices and that i need to practice what is new and different to me.
and sometimes the steps to change can be very tiny, but it’s a beginning.