Little did I know how much there was to learn about life AND, it was a complete surprise when I found out that I had to relearn most of what I thought I did know…again!
I would’ve loved a little warning from the gods during the conditioning process or at least some sort of disclaimer indicating that growing up was like a stock market transaction — you know, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
So here I am practicing my ass off and I think I have all the moves down; How was I supposed to know the patriarchal society was getting ready to crash and burn. OK, so maybe I should have been more aware that the lessons I thought I had learned weren’t forever and the results I was achieving may be indicating some kind of change was on the horizon.
Hey, I’m still alive! I may not be floating on Queen Elizabeth II, but I'm doing okay. Actually, I’m grateful for the sequence of events that have brought me to this place in life; a place of relative peace and joy. Am I where I want to be? Oh, hell no! Do I have a chance to get there? You betcha!
A few moons ago I was teetering on the brink of emotional exhaustion. I was able to successfully bring down my 2nd marriage and with all humility thought it was part of my destiny. Maybe since it has happened, that was true. I could’ve stopped at this point and given up. I could’ve thrown in the proverbial towel and decided that I have had enough of the kind of life that I had seen so many times before in myself and others. You know, guy works hard all his life, has little to show for it and then boom, because he doesn’t have all of his ducks in a row, he gets to give up pretty much all he has worked for most of his life! Know anyone like that?
And one doesn’t need to be homeless to feel helpless. I’ve never been without a home nor do I want to be, but I have been to places in my life where despondency seemed to be the norm and frankly…that just sucks!
I wanted to change. I wanted to see things differently. I wanted to be empowered and emboldened, but I couldn’t shake my negative self-speak easily. Until now! Until I knew I was worthy of being loved and of loving myself authentically.
I finally came to realize…to decide…that I had had what I call my “Popeye” moment. I had the moment where I said enough is enough. I had enough of the self-abuse, self-criticism and self-loathing and it was time to open up and consume my can of Spinach and hear myself offer up the words of one of my boyhood heroes…Popeye the Sailor Man. I remember him saying, “that’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more?” Then he would down his freshly squeezed can of Spinach and gain the power to defeat any foe.
Now, Popeye wasn’t handsome, he wasn’t built like a brick Sh@#thouse, nor was he the sharpest pencil in the box. But Popeye was lovable, vulnerable and kind. He knew the difference between right or wrong AND, he knew that if push came to shove, he could always depend on the symbolic Spinach to provide the strength he needed to overcome any obstacle.
My spinach is the spirit within. When obstacles come my way now and I’m aware of negative self-talk I am able to turn the negative into the positive by affirming the spirit within me. In his book, “Three Magic Words” US Anderson said, “there can be no obstacle or undesirable circumstance to the mind of God, (Spirit) which is in me, around me, and serves me now.” This is the spinach that helped me change. Indeed, I am grateful for it!