Straightaway, we need to address my latest self challenge. For the past 37 days, I have been abstaining……..from carnivorous activity. Um, wait a minute: that came out wrong. Lemme clean that up a bit. What I should’ve said was that I’m not eating meat right now. However, I’m still eating fish: heavily. Who knew eating an all-seafood diet was so expensive? This challenge was birthed out of my Lenten Season sacrifice. I made the decision to relinquish meat-eating from my diet because I figured it would be quite arduous (as it has proven to be). Let’s do a root-cause-analysis on not eating meat, called: sunshine and rain.
Sunshine: I don’t feel nearly as bloated as I used to. [Huh? Too much information? Lol.] Seriously, I feel great. I have more energy and my digestive system is loving the change (no visual needed, I presume)? I’ve lost a few pounds since living out the true meaning of my name. Speaking of pound-shedding: I have these pair of “close fitting” jeans, that I had only worn once because I was too self-conscious in them. They’ve been neatly folded in the corner since September. Well, during one of my days I was running late for school, I somehow or another put on those jeans. I didn’t even realize that they were “those” jeans, until I got in the car. I thought to myself, “Wow, these pockets are shallow.” Once it dawned on me that I had the jeans on, I instantly felt like I should be on that soup commercial, exclaiming through a can, “They fit!” At school, my students even complimented me saying, “Those are some nice jeans, Mr. Brown.” I must admit, that made me smile. Onward to “rains”.
Rain: I’m also abstaining from walking in the school cafeteria. All sorts of aromas in a school cafeteria can remind you of meat: Including foods that don’t include meat at all (cue in the “pink slime”). I’m a natural-born carnivore. If you look up “meat eater” in the encyclopedia, you will find a picture of me with a turkey leg in one hand, and a pizza in the other. Hey, I’m from the South, where we have a side of vegetables with our meat. Just get off my back, alright?!
*Inhaling deeply* Now, where was I? Oh, yeah: the rains of no meat.
I also have developed a heightened sensitivity to cooked meat in my building. As I leave my building each morning, I can smell various breakfast meats being cooked (and can tell you which condo’s that are cooking it as well). I sound really glutenous, but, ya know what? If you must judge me, do it silently please. Thank you! Haha!
My biggest temptation to date is something that I battle on a daily basis. There’s an authentic Mexican restaurant positioned less than a mile from my condo. They have grilled veggies and assorted Mexican-inspired dishes as well. The kicker is that they also serve grilled chicken; and it’s grilled on a spit too! WHY, LAWD?! WHY?! And to make matters worse, I have to pass by this place every…..stinkin’….day! I have even conjured up the imaginings of grilled, headless chickens dancing a choreographed “number” in the window, singing, “Nanny, nanny, boo-boo. Stick your head in doo-doo.” That just isn’t right.
When this is all over, I imagine diving into a garbage can top-sized pepperoni pizza. [To say that I love pizza is an understatement. My love of pizza can be expressed in the form of a treatise.] Maybe I’m sitting on a throne, being fed a mountain of various meats, with a goblet of my favorite carbonated beverage at the ready. Apparently, these thoughts have cycled through my mind more times than I care to admit.
Although this post is rather jovial in nature, there’s a lesson to be taught. Just as I have deprived myself of meat for a specific goal, I must learn to “deny” myself of certain ways of thinking. I am reminded this week that I have the ability to choose. I can choose to dwell on the symptoms or on the healing. Whatever I believe will manifest itself. Don’t believe me? Well, try this on for size.
I have been diagnosed with a form of arthritis for the past 14 years. This disease has had me literally awake with pain throughout the night. I have since changed my eating habits, which have helped tremendously. In recent years, it has been triggered by the changing of the seasons. Where I live, the weather has been rather unusual. The previous day was a high of 55 degrees, and yesterday was 72. All throughout the day, I felt a pain progressively worsen. By the time I had gotten home, it had began throbbing. Although I knew what it appeared to be (an attack), I decided to speak and think differently. I said aloud, “I’m dwelling on the healing, not the symptoms.” I said this to myself a few times, up until bedtime. When I woke up this morning, the pain had mostly subsided, and has fully dissipated since. I have read several times that, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue, so choose your words carefully.” I have been a firm believer of that statement, and my belief has been further strengthened through this morning’s episode.
Maybe there’s something that you need to “speak life” into. Try it. Maybe it’ll happen immediately. Maybe it won’t. Maybe you need a little more faith first. Maybe you’re not ready to handle it yet. I do know this much: What you believe will manifest itself eventually.
Believe. Because no one else will.
Until next time,
Love & Peace.