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If I Could Only ...

Updated: Nov 12

If I could only [you fill it in], I would be the Master of my fate. I would be the Captain of my Soul.


The human desires of life, what are they for you?

More or less of something?


Drugs

Alcohol

Sex

Money

Power

Cars

Houses

Cigarettes

Clothes

Knowledge

Degrees

Breasts or other body parts

Tattoos

Time

Weight

Health

Youth

Skills

Spirituality

Freedom

Friends

Happy

Pets

Travel

Food

Potato Chips


"IF I Could Only ..." changes over time. Hopefully, we get better by overcoming our addictions, and building skills to enhance our lives. Hopefully ... It's not easy but it is possible. We've seen others do it. Those with severe handicaps who change themselves and change the world.


For all of us, the first craving was about survival. An automatic desire and need for food and love. As we grew like little sponges, we wanted more knowledge. Later we wanted friends, cars, a high school diploma, and, of course, the looks that would attract more friends or a particular one. These dispersed into career/job, money, marriage, kids, a house, travel, comfort, health, but sometimes interrupted by the desire for short-term pleasures such as drugs, alcohol, and sex. We soon discovered that freedom of choice was not free from unpleasant consequences.


Eventually, in our golden years - we return to the basics of where we began: wanting food and love. This process is described best by T. S. Eliot: "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time."



Today, at 68 years of age, if only I could stop eating potato chips, I would be the Master of my fate and the Captain of my soul. Seriously? Yes. I've had a blast on this life-journey, along with some serious bad-experiences. I hate to return home (Heaven) and report that I did NOT overcome potato chips. They beat me: even "checkmate." Can I go back and try again, I might think. But I want to get this right the first time, and never do this again. It's been tough. Do you agree? I mean ...


I'm not stupid. This is hard.

Since the beginning of time, man (including woman), or at least the Kings, Queens, Presidents, Governors, Politicians, Popes, leaders in general, movie stars, athletes, and our heroes/protectors, have caught our curiosity and sometimes, envy. Perhaps we have even been one of these people.


The media has always controlled how we see their strengths and weaknesses. They display their weaknesses for drugs, alcohol, and sex in bold living color, because gossip sells. After all, with prestige comes obligation. They have privileges and should be better than us. Not true.


Especially our government leaders. The media, who in the past could be trusted, or so we believed, kept such shenanigans that might be produced by Presidents from us, as we, the people, turned a jaundiced eye to such indiscretions. That was the polite thing to do.


Movie stars and athletes, along with the rich and famous, were not so fortunate. Scandals sell, and the Paparazzi went about disclosing their indiscretions with boldness and approval by the general public. That's how the Paparazzi made their money, and that's how the rich and famous became more rich and famous. Smut sells now.


These indiscretions are not new, plus we see that they are the same cravings, desires, and addictions that all humans struggle. The people in the lime-light have more opportunities to indulge off camera. We like to watch, judge, and maybe even envy. Wishing we could satisfy our own "if only I had ..." thoughts. Or we like to believe if we were them, we would do better. My Grandpa said, "first walk in another man's moccasins." These indulgences used to be governed by the Golden Rule and the iron rod of parents who did not tolerate bad behavior. Now, not so much.


What changed?

There's a path to giving into things that are wrong or not good for us:

First we tolerate. Then we accept. Then we embrace.


I've also heard that first the man takes the drink ... then the drink takes the man.


It seems like eating potato chips (a metaphor) is just a "little thing." But if you can't walk away from it, it's not little. If only I could eat potato chips and build muscle, energy, anti-age, and look great. Unfortunately, potato chips do the opposite, but I still like them. "Bet you can't eat just one!" The media does not help.


WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?

The scriptures always have the answers. Check out Matthew 7:3: Paraphrased: Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?

So, who are you today? Do you like the person looking back at you in the mirror?


The fact that we are still here, and kicking, means we have overcome much, but we aren't done. And when we wake up each morning - alive; we get a do-over. Take advantage of this fact. For now, congratulations. Well done. Kudos. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a break. But don't stop growing and getting better. Don't eat the potato chip, no matter what. Instead, do something nice for yourself, like a walk on the beach, a bubble bath, or listen to some relaxing music.

Then pass it forward.

Everyone is fighting their own demons. But if we are still fighting the same old ones, day-after-day, year-after-year, such as the same old desire to eat potato chips at age 68 - something has to change personally. How can we help each other? I was hoping you would ask that. Please don't bring me potato chips; you don't give an alcoholic a drink. Instead, go for a walk with me. Play for me. Pray for me. Call me up and listen. Dance with me. Let me know what you are struggling with, and let me help you.


The struggle is real. Don't give up.
BE WELL ~ BE SAFE ~ BE HAPPY
IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE

Note: Inspired by Simon Says

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