I am not ready to become a better me, I think to myself as I walk past the book, resting on the coffee table, for the umpteenth time. At least twice a day I cross the book’s stationary path, when I head to my bedroom and when I leave my apartment. So the number of times I have this thought is significantly higher than the word, umpteenth, implies. Truthfully, I must have had that thought for an ‘umpmillionth’ time. Finally, one weekend, when my life was in complete shambles, I decided to crack open the cover, and read what lay behind the smiling pastor’s picture. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain at that point. Desperation enables action.
I’m a fast reader, but it took me a while to read the book. Normally, I process a book’s deeper message while reading. With this book, I read, paused, processed, processed some more, then continued to read. Each page became filled with annotations, resembling Joel Osteen’s manuscript after a visit with an editor.
Words were circled.
Important lines were underlined.
Questions, affirmations, and comments were written in the margins.
Tears were shed.
Last night Early this morning, I received an email that ‘effed’ up my mood, completing extinguishing the high I had after a long, productive day. After reading it, I did not want to do anything else. I simply wanted to crawl into the hotel’s bed and sleep, with the flawed expectation that I would escape, ignore, or at least delay my emotional reaction to its presence. The hours completing REM cycles would be buffers, protecting me from those hurtful words and their intentional desire to trample and stomp all over my sensitive and fragile esteem. In other words, I sought a false solace in the bed, cowering from a bully.
In the book, there is a section that discusses relationships. He suggests that one should not allow others to throw stones in your happiness well. When one does, one’s well becomes drier because of the presence of the additional rocks, which build up and eventually dry out the well. I have very little knowledge of or experience with wells. Yet, I interpret this analogy to signify that one is in control of one’s happiness.
After one REM cycle, roughly three hours, I woke up with this troubling email still on my heart, already draining my energy needed for another marathon day. I strongly considered going back to sleep to run, hide, and ignore. Then my synapses snapped to the message of the well, the book, and the promise I made years ago to protect my well. I positioned my body upright and said a silent prayer. Then I reached for my ipad and accompanying keyboard and began to write, a safe and true solace.