Fat, ugly, stupid...that's easy? Yes, terribly so. Addictively so, in my case. Calling myself names just keeps me feeling down. It gives me an excuse not to do the work of change. And changing is what I need to do. Fat? Well, it's easier to say it (and accept it) than get up and get moving. Ugly? That just prevents me from beautifying my inner being. Stupid? More like failure to be present.

This morning, I couldn't remember if I'd taken my allergy meds. I vaguely remembered sipping water. So maybe I did. As usual, my brain was elsewhere, worrying, moving on to the next thing, and the next. I was too busy practicing conversations that I would never have, making plans for a life I'm not going to lead. Oh, my plans are endless. I could do this, and this, and this...only I never do.

Perhaps it is my own dark thoughts that provide me with something of a jaundiced view toward certain Catholic saints. See, sack cloth and ashes are easy. Self-flagellation? A momentary sting. It's change that's hard.

So, guess what? I'm going to change.

That would be the easy thing to write. The truth is, I don't know. It might take a lifetime. It might not happen at all. That's the whole problem. I can come up with a million reasons not to change, most predicated on the feeling that I'm just too tired. It's easier to live in the dark than search for the light.

How do you make that first step?

A Different Road

The road of change
is not well-lit;
it's the dark corner of the mall parking lot,
way in the back, by the dumpsters.
It is that blind turn on the highway,
the one you take surface streets to avoid.

The road to change hurts,
alternately slippery, thorny and up-hill both ways,
uncomfortable, brutal, mean.
Also, necessary.

The trickiest part is starting.
The trickiest part is never stopping.
I give You my hand, my hope, my promise.
Let's take the first step together.

-Lori Strawn



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