Life is Not for Sissies

Patti's Breakthrough

A few weeks ago, we received a moving and inspiring letter from one of our core members, Patricia Pike. With Patti’s permission, we have decided to run her story in its entirety, including the preamble, as it shows just how far doubt can reach, even when we are fairly certain we are about to do something that can be a great help to others.

Like many of you, Patti is dealing as bravely as possible with circumstances that frankly, would break any parent’s heart, but she keeps going. Susan and I now know of several people who have come out from behind the screen of their computers and have dared to bare their stories to help others. We are privileged. To us, this is a sacred trust. Thank you Patti for allowing us to help get your story out. We are confident it will inspire and help anyone who reads it.

“Hey Marco: I've written something that I'm not sure about sharing, not because I don't want people to know about it but because sometimes I babble and no one really gets what the heck I'm talking about. But I felt after Derrick commented on my story and then writing to you, that I needed to share. So I thought I would share with you and Susan first, and then if you see that I'm not “losing it,” then you would go ahead and share it with others. Believe it or not, it's all about self-doubt and here I sit, doubting whether or not it's worth sharing!”

Patti Pike – My Breakthrough - Life is Not For Sissies

After reading a blog last week about making "Life Breakthroughs" and then both last week’s and this week’s mid-week motivations by Marco,
my mind started ticking and I would like to share with you some of my thoughts. So if you like, grab a protein shake and a few almonds and read on.

I wrote a piece on my son some time ago and what I wanted to become in order to stay strong both physically and mentally for him and for me. Sadly he ended up in jail, was released about 4 weeks ago and has succumbed once again to a life of addiction and pain. Within this time period, my sister passed away at the young age of 54 and so on and so on.... In other words, “life” has happened and I was about to let it get to me and shove me into a pit of self pity, self-doubt, and despair until someone wrote a comment on my son’s story and it made me go back and re-read it.

Who was I to think I could become stronger, fitter, run marathons and “save” my children. Actually, I have figured out that as hard as it is to admit this; I cannot save my son. That is his job. Mine is to be there when and if he decides to get help. I love and support my boys; I just have to remember that I can't live their lives for them. The one person I can save is myself. Self-doubt is lack of trust within oneself. If you don't trust yourself it's because you haven't been trustworthy in dealing with yourself. So in order to move forward I have to become trustworthy to me. Let me explain. Trustworthy people gain your trust by honoring the commitments they make. I have not honored my commitment to myself to become healthy and strong, or I have only half honored it, at best. So if you want to trust yourself and stop self-doubting, then you must first honor your commitments to yourself.

Commitments are hard to keep if we make them so big they appear unattainable. So I will make smaller ones (like not eating the cookies when I get upset, or going for that run, walk, whatever) that are easier to keep. The trick in making any changes in life, be it losing weight or anything at all that will last, is to not make big shifts with grandiose ideas. The trick is all about making the commitment stick. Staying power.

If you want to make changes stick you must show up in your own life.
Not just be a seat warmer watching it pass you by. Participate in your own life. Showing up can be painful at times. Some days I just want to cancel out the day and not show up at all. So I'm figuring it out; I will be able to show up if I do it in smaller ways. It might not be quite so painful and then I will continue to show up because it's not as hard.

Consistency trumps quantity every time. If I do 100 push-ups today and then nothing for weeks because my arms now want to fall off, it will not work. If I do 10-20 push-ups each day for 5 days then it's consistent and more attainable. When someone makes a commitment to me, I hold them accountable for it, so why wouldn’t I hold myself accountable for the commitments I make to me? I will commit to a lifestyle and behavior that is maintainable, and honor that promise to myself and be accountable to it. One day at a time. Sometimes, honestly, just one moment at a time; but every day I need to show up and be present, perhaps in smaller ways and not so loud. Quiet, constant, subtle and then I will earn my own trust.

Thank you Derrick for your comment on my son’s story you made me go back and re-read it and remember the commitments I had made. I cannot, nor can anyone else, help another person if they first do not commit to themselves and then keep that commitment. We all want our children to learn this lesson but first perhaps we need to, or at least I do.

Thank you Marco and Susan for listening to me. Life isn't for sissies is it!

What will be your commitment to yourself and how will you honour it?