Blair Lewis, PA wrote a book called HAPPINESS, The Real Medicine and How It Works. This is a pick-up-open-and-read kind of book, as well as a start to finish study.
Recently, I seem to be spending evening hours doing crosswords as much as I am doing book time, snatching paragraphs rather than enjoying chapters. Reading requires focus on language, concepts and connections. Crosswords require turning some connections upside down.
Mr. Lewis’ book is a haunt, his writing a crossword turning my lifetime connections upside down.
My friend, Patti, once wrote, “Life is not a sprint but a marathon…”.
Mr. Lewis wrote, “Self-transformation is not a sprint: it is a marathon. To finish the race, you are going to have to find and organize all of your memories of success and survival.”
Patti’s thought is a ‘keep on keeping on’ kind of statement… even when life feels like pushing down instead of forward, a one step at a time, handling what is there… kind of thought.
To Mr. Lewis, this is a ‘build on the best’ kind of statement. He writes about the destructiveness of our thoughts focused on failures. He writes about transforming the self by training the mind to see strengths and successes.
My lifelong religious training was a training in the guilt of sin. From that original snake mess-up to weekly confessions of forgotten prayers, I trained in sin. That is so odd.
I have written about the Beatitudes and the Prayer of Francis. To me, these are the basis of a spiritual look at life. These two pieces of ‘prayer’ do not do sin. Rather, they do strength and success.
One last comment lest a new Gentle Reader surmise that I am finding opportunities to disrespect my religious training and education. Not so.
My Catholic education was amazing from elementary school through part of college. Dedicated priests and nuns , often brilliant, were some of the most generous and kind people it has been my privilege to know. However, the institutional message was a message of sin even to the point of Jesus’ death because of my sins so many years before I committed them.
Isn’t that putting in the fix, a finish line that precedes the starting gate? Sprint or marathon won’t matter in the end if the guilt comes prior to the act.