"The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude."
William James (1842-1910)
It's been six weeks since Adam arrived. The change so far is quite noticeable. I've lost fifteen pounds so far. My pants are so loose that they simply don't fit anymore. (I've taken in the last notch on all of my belts, and even that isn't helping.)
People say that I'm hardly recognizable. Although the loss in weight is definitely part of the difference, I think there is more to it. My habits are changing. My attitude is changing. I am no longer the same person that I used to be.
Part of me is sad to see the "old me" fading away. I look back at the past ten years, and there are lots of things that are worth keeping. I did some things right, after all.
But the new me is stronger, more confident, better equipped to handle the tasks that lie ahead.
My body has grown younger, but my mind is still seasoned. Does this combination work? Will it be enough? Is it possible to gain the confidence of youth while holding on to the wisdom of age?
And what if?
What if I grab hold of this second chance, and screw that up as well? Will it have been a wasted effort? It seems that it would be even worse to make the same mistakes again. Am I doomed to keep living the same, sad dream, over and over again? Am I simply destined to live in isolation? Can I escape my past?
Well, for today, I choose to think that I CAN make a difference. And for perhaps the first time ever, I choose to apply this power in my own life. <To make a difference in moi.>
For decades, I have worked to bring out the best in other people. For years, I have labored to make their lives just a little bit better; a little bit brighter. <This has been, and continues to be, the driving passion in my life.>
Today, I am taking that lesson home. I am changing myself. And though the transformation is not yet complete, I can already feel the difference. If I die tomorrow, it will be with the knowledge that I was on the right path.
But wait ... Am I worthy of the life that I have been given? <This question always haunts me.>
Life is so unfair. So many undeserving people seem to reap the rewards and plunder the bounty. Though they have done nothing to earn their keep, they sit at the table and feast, while others (in my mind, more deserving) go hungry, day after day.
I am already blessed beyond belief. Who am I to believe that I am worthy of anything more?
And yet, I find myself here. Wanting more. Believing that I can DO more. Believing that I can BE more.
I am humbled by the fact that there are so many others who cannot make this choice for themselves. Who chooses to be sick, or poor? Who chooses to be born in a war zone; to live in a country without water; to suffer each day until they die?
I am angered by the thought that there is a God somewhere who allows all of this to happen. Should we be reading the book of Darwin? (Seems like it would be a lot more appropriate to this life.) "Do unto others before they do it to you". It's a dysfunctional frakking planet.
I cannot escape the belief that "those of us that have enough are supposed to share with those that have too little".
I try to share. I do my part. But am I doing enough? Maybe I am one of those undeserving people who exalts himself at the expense of others. (I hope not, but I acknowledge the possibility.)
What incredible arrogance, what guile, then - to ask foranything at all?
And yet, I stand here, with my empty plate, asking for "a love that will not end". Hoping to add one more joyous experience to a life that has (in truth) known very little sorrow.
But I tell you the truth, friends - I would trade it all.
I would give up everything I own, everything that I have accomplished. I would give up my comfortable home, my health, my knowledge, my life if need be.
Just to know - real love, mutual love, love without end.
This is the grail. My grail. I will find it, or I will die trying.