As summer rolls into fall I’ve been doing a lot of deep thinking. I want a quieter mind, but there are thoughts that have been stirring for a while that need an outlet. My food test results aren’t back for a couple weeks, and my EMDR is now winding down to 2-3 remaining sessions targeted on very specific memories. So in the meantime, I will share one of my biggest motivators: the little blue house.
The little blue house is where I consider myself to have ‘grown up’. I actually moved there late in childhood as an escape to heal abuse. The little blue house was slightly little bigger than my current living room. It was in the middle of nowhere. It didn’t have an operable phone, and I walked with a metal bucket to a nearby lake every day for water to wash my blonde hair to avoid the brassiness of well water. Sometimes it had food; sometimes it was slightly empty of furniture which had been sold to buy food. The little blue house held a warm and wonderful parent, a tiny TV with 5 channels that we watched together, great laughs and freedom from judgment. It was the oddest of paradoxes. It was also a time of survival which in retrospect has become my biggest inspiration.
My goal since childhood has been to create a home with the love felt in the little blue house without the financial stress. It took an upward climb for nineteen years to hit a point of comfort. Those years included 7 years of college (which took 8), 16 jobs, 14 moves, 10 shitty cars and 2 marriages. I’ve started completely over from ground-zero broke 4 times.
The weird part is I never once thought it wouldn’t happen. Even in my lowest times, my most destitute moments, times where I was picking up trash for extra money, times where I had no fucking clue what I was going to do next, I never thought once I wouldn’t reach where I am today. And I owe that to the little blue house. See, in the little blue house I was a kid. I had limited control over my circumstances. Once I hit adulthood, I used that helpless feeling as motivation because in any low times that followed I always had more power than I did living in the little blue house. While in the house I was limited by age and resources, as an adult I felt empowered because I could make life whatever I want it to be.
When people talk to me about what I eat, they say things like I could never give up cheese/bread/butter/beer. I reply, ok but don’t expect to feel better. It is harsh but true. You aren’t going to keep eating inflammatory, caloric foods and suddenly feel free of pain or see a lower number on the scale. A new drug isn’t going to come out that fixes all your depression and anxiety. You aren’t going to keep smoking cigarettes and not die quicker. Your body is your machine. The more in tune you become with it, the more you realize just how connected everything is inside you. You aren’t putting water in your gas tank for a reason.
If you really want to feel better, my advice is to find your own little blue house. What in life has frightened you or made you feel helpless? What have been your worst times? Forgoing cheese is never going to be as bad as that. So tell me again why you can’t try it for a month? Explain to me how you have time to watch television with some chips and dip, but you can’t do a few squats or take a walk. Get out of your comfort zone and use those bad times as the motivation they are. Shitty periods in our lives are lessons. Period. You are either making the most of them or you aren’t. It really is that simple.
Every bad moment I compare back to how I felt in the little blue house. It’s my internal check and balance. Life will never be that hard. So not eating a bun with a hamburger is never going to make me feel trapped by circumstance. It’s just a fucking bun.
We all know what willpower means. We just don’t know how to put it into action. I’ve learned over the past 19 years that willpower is a muscle. Muscles need trained. You get one chance that you know of to live each day feeling good. Make something from those bad times by using them as reference. That comparison will strengthen the muscle and get you making better choices which will eventually lead to habit. Habit comes from practice. It’s a cycle. Every cycle has a start. If you don’t try, nothing will ever change. That’s science, not just my opinion.
So get a little high on the bad times and see what happens...