The Lies We Tell Ourselves

Excuses Vs. Reasons

Jonathan Swift said, “An excuse is a lie guarded.” That is not far from the truth. We often delude ourselves as we delay work we need to do on ourselves, on our bad habits, on our addictions and on our silly excuses we don’t live our best lives. We all do it, you know. Me, too.

I know people who dwell on the wrongs done them as excuses why they don’t get something done, why they never found love, why after 50 years they didn’t do something differently. I’m serious. Some folks have excuses they blurt out like a litany in the Catholic Church services. It’s sad, but it’s also hilarious. Blame is placed on someone else. It becomes the excuse they use to stay frozen in place, where they think they’re safe. But they’re not. They’re unhappy, negative, and live a stagnant life.

Life wasn’t meant to be an existence that is static. As humans, we are created to experience growth and change. Our bodies are constantly changing, growing new cells, working to live, and craving more energy to keep alive. Our brains need new experiences, new challenges, new creations. Art, music, and reading feed our souls, minds, and beings.

Yes, it’s risky trying something we’ve never done before. But why not? It doesn’t hurt to try. Better yet, how about doing? Some folks have lied so much to themselves they believe their own excuses. I believe excuses are just that. Reasons, however, are valid. They are obstacles placed in your way; like I can’t do the 50 Mile Walk because I broke my ankle. That is a valid reason. An excuse is, “It might rain, (take an umbrella), I have to work, (you could take vacation).

Alcoholics and addicts have the best excuses ever. “Someone was driving at me the wrong way on the street.” Ha! You were the one that crossed the center line; it’s on you, not someone else.” “I lost track of time.” Sure, you were passed out somewhere and missed your surprise birthday party. When dealing with these folks, we have to keep track of their records.

Delusions may crop up in our minds about those negative, toxic relationships. They are no good for us. They are no good for the addicts or addicts either. The delusion continues when we let them back into our lives and they continue with their excuses without skipping a beat. “Maybe I was too hard on him.” No, you weren’t. An adult keeps their promises. An adult shows up. An adult doesn’t run scared. Another chance? Enter at your own risk. You may likely be the only one hurt. Don’t risk it again, unless you are certain the alcoholic quit drinking for good, the addict is clean. And they haven’t switched one bad habit/addiction for something else. You are worth more than that.

The more you practice making healthy decisions, the better off you will be. The only risks you may be taking are those on doing something you’ve always wanted to do. You. For yourself. We have a friend who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Coast Trail. In between, he had a double knee replacement. This may be a bit extreme, but he loved it. Do something and conquer it. You’ll stretch your world. You’ll become bolder, brighter, and a whole lot happier. Dwelling on the past and your excuses is counter productive.

Using myself as an example, I’ve snacked needlessly the past week or so. I’m horrified at how easily my resolve to eat healthy has gone out the window. The Babe is done with eating healthy. He’ll do what he does. I’m not fond of it, but it’s his decision. I refuse to make our time together miserable because I want him to be healthier. Why become a nag, making our life together unbearable? Not how I want him to remember me. Not how I want to be, either. I could use the excuse, “He brought home cookies, donuts, ice cream, chips and popcorn.” It’s not the Babe’s fault I caved on my own resolve. I need to step up, be responsible, and not blame someone else.

I will lose the 5+ pounds I’ve gained being naughty. I will be happier with myself and feel less sluggish. Keto friends, stay tuned! I’m loving putting on an outfit and the Babe telling me, “It’s too big.” What?? I haven’t heard that for a long, long time, if ever. It’s nice. And my knees don’t hurt like they did. I was close to asking for a replacement. Yes, I have a lot of arthritis in them, they’re bone on bone. But, the squats I did all summer must have strengthened a part of the knees so they don’t hurt. I’m amazed at what a 45 pound weight loss can do. You can do it to.

Once I stopped accepting bad treatment by others, I gained respect, love, and realization what I deserved vs. what I received. I gained the Babe. I gained self respect. I gained a new view of life. I am amazed at the last twenty five years of my life. I’m also amazed that at the age of nearly 70, I’m living a great story. I’m starting to share my story. It’s a story that could help others. I believe I’m being called to do just that. Stories about kids for kids; as Grandma Kathy, and stories about women for women; as Kathy Raabe, Author. What I’m learning, what I’ve experienced, and the risks taken aren’t so scary now. Time for some more big risks. Yes! I can hardly wait.

Thanks for reading today. More minor decluttering today. Getting stuff done. And some novel writing, too. Have a wonderful Wednesday. See you tomorrow!

Secrets and Lies

You know him/her. They’re your neighbor, your co-worker, your Dance Moms friend, your second cousin on Dad’s side of the family. They appear to have it all together, but they really are dying on the inside. They spend all their energy “helping” everyone, and can be a community blessing. They are ridiculously busy. Deny themselves “me” time. They fall into bed every night exhausted, yet sleep doesn’t come easily.

It was a facade I kept up for many years. My unhappy marriage kept circling back to me. I had to do something. I had a years-long stomach ache. It went away when I filed for divorce. It hasn’t returned in nearly 40 years. That told me a lot. I saw the truth. And a different way of life. Things fell into place. Seminars appeared, which helped me become caught up to function in the business world without a college degree.

Life was good. My career became very important to me. I met fascinating people. I learned so much. I continued taking classes over the next 25 years. With three kids, a dog, and my house, I was very busy. In 1996, I finally graduated from college. There was one thing I never resolved. I kept doing the same thing. I kept wondering why the results were always the same? I had several weeks of confinement to bed after my extensive spine surgery. I faced the deepest loneliness I’ve ever felt. It was crippling. I was all alone in this world. It was probably my choices that was the problem.

Shortly after that, in March 1996, I met the Babe. It was only then I realized I picked the wrong guys repeatedly. I picked people who ultimately rejected me. I was used to it. Suddenly, after the waiting and being rejected, the Babe and I clicked. I abolished my fake bravado. It took awhile. Most of our deepest talks happened early. I could trust him in every way. He’s proven this. It feels so good to do that. He’s the one in every way. I have torn down my walls. Not going to use them again. I have no reason. The rest is a life worth living. A life worth sharing. Everything I ever thought is possible. But I had to speak. And speak out. And quit whining to myself. I had to do was look at the facts. Truth never lies.

Challenge yourself. We all have areas of our lives that are less than perfect. Often, we are more in control of our destiny that we think. If a person has an alcohol or drug issue, they need to fess up before they can do anything about it. And they need to stay on their own straight and narrow road, with a little help from their friends. Groups like AA and NA help thousands of people every day. Every month. Every year. I have many people who are in those groups and thrive. Others show up and don’t participate. No one is a mind reader. You have to share to get help. Somewhere, you need to share.

I’m not a member of any such group. I have studied codependency and Adult Children issue since 1982, when two ladies I worked with shared their experiences with me. Their support helped solidify my independence and growth. They have both passed away from cancer. I miss them. They were real friends. They made a big difference in my life. Thanks, ladies!

Let yourself share something today with someone who will be silent and listen to you. I saw a meme yesterday I liked a lot. “Silent and Listen both are spelled with the same letters.” You can probably trust someone who will listen to you while being silent. You can start there. It doesn’t have to be your deepest, darkest secret. Be discreet. You’ll learn who to share with and who not to share with. It takes time. The more I denied, the longer it took me. Life is indeed too short to spend it living a lie.

Thank you for reading today. Learn to listen to your inner voice if something keeps cropping up in your mind that shouts, “This needs to change!” Don’t deny and make yourself physically ill. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Be Silent while you Listen. You’ll give a great gift to someone. See you all tomorrow!