I've made today tough because I violated the 2nd agreement. I know better, but still--I took the poison and allowed it to course through me. It awakened all kinds of things; memories, emotional and psychological dynamics, all relating to my transformation, my relationship history and right down to the heart of what I'm all about.
I spent a lot of time today in bed, under the covers. When I wasn't sleeping, I spent time in communication with several support friends. I'll explain the specific poison I ingested, after this...
In case you're not familiar with the 2nd Agreement:
The 2nd Agreement:
Don’t take anything personally.
Dr. Don Miguel Ruiz’s book “The Four Agreements-A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom” is a powerful read. You can order it from Amazon here.
Agreement #1: Be Impeccable With Your Word
Agreement #2: Don't Take Anything Personally
Agreement #3: Don't Make Assumptions
Agreement #4: Always Do Your Best
About the 2nd Agreement, Dr. Ruiz writes:
Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.
Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds…Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up….
But if you do not take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell. Immunity in the middle of hell is the gift of this agreement.
Since its release in November, 1997, Dr. Ruiz's book has sold over five million copies in the US alone. It's powerful and applicable to anyone and in my opinion, should be required reading for anyone choosing to share large parts of their life in a public way, in an effort to help themselves and others, for instance, on a blog--like this one.
I don't look for anything people say about me, good or bad. I just don't. Until today, I didn't realize how many people think so horribly of me--largely based on a couple of relationships I was in over five years ago.
I was simply starting my day by stopping by some blogs to offer support. One blogger, who has quite a large following, mentioned how part of the plan in her turnaround from relapse/regain was being a member of the comprehensive teleconference support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri Helms. It was a very powerful, honest and open post from start to finish--and this mention of the group was a small point near the end.
I scrolled down through the comments to add my encouragement when I discovered this comment from someone else:
"Please watch out for Sean. He has had multiple failed relationships with a few women, all of whom I believe he met online. Please be careful and good luck on your weight loss journey."
Seven years along this road, writing straight from my heart-- doing my best to do my best and sharing things that have helped transform my life, and as many have told me--things that have helped them, too--and that is all this person took from it?
In that moment, I forgot all about the 2nd Agreement. I eagerly grabbed the poison and it was bottoms up.
I went straight back to bed and slept until noon, hoping I could somehow cleanse this garbage from my brain. It didn't work. The poison created a mixture of anger and hurt. And mostly hurt.
I spoke with one support friend who shared with me how they once ran across an online forum where they love to bash weight loss bloggers--and yep, several in there also had horrible things to say about me. I also spoke with the author of the blog where this comment appeared and she shared with me how she deleted two two other similar type comments on that same blog post, but accidentally missed this one.
"Let it go." "Let it roll off your back like water on a duck." "You're ingesting poison, stop it." "You know the truth, you know what's in your heart, you know how passionate you are in what you do--that's all that matters." ----just some of the things I was reminded of today.
And they're right. And still, it hurts and bothers me. I'm trying to let it go. I really am. I need to write this post and get it out of my system. Forgive me while I purge this nonsense. You're so kind to still be reading this post, thank you.
Can we talk, here? Look...
Going through a divorce after twenty-one years of marriage, right in the middle of the last year or so of my initial 275 pound weight loss, was difficult. Facing the prospect of dating--something I hadn't experienced since my teen years, was also difficult. Now add this...
I was completely transformed physically and receiving attention in ways I never expected. My brain still thought of me in 500 pound terms and whenever someone would compliment to the contrary, I wanted to believe it, but still couldn't. But even still, I was attracted to it, because maybe if I heard positive things enough, I'd start believing it myself. This led to many poor decisions. Many poor decisions were made much easier because of an almost non-existent set of boundaries.
I'm not going to get into specifics of each one, but there were two relationships (one lasted only 4 days) with women whom I met online, who were also weight loss bloggers and readers of my blog. Both of those relationships ended horribly in ways many wouldn't believe. Both of these happened over five years ago.
Since then, I've had a few relationships with people whom I met in person, only one was a blogger--and I didn't meet her online, I met her at a speaking event of mine. And I've dated, even recently, and who knows where that might lead. One thing's for sure, the next serious relationship I enter, will be the healthiest by far, because of the personal growth I've experienced.
I share quite a bit, but I don't share every detail of my private life, anymore. I've learned some tough lessons along the way.
The powerful impact May 15th and May 19th, 2014 made on me (I refer to those as my epiphany days) has changed my life forever. Those days are in the archives if you care to read those.
Those were the days I finally discovered how to be okay with me. I discovered how to love me. I discovered a path to my personal happiness regardless of circumstances. I discovered things that would forever free me from looking for validation or adoration from others, in an effort to somehow prop up how I felt about myself.
Don't get me wrong, I still appreciate compliments--but they're no longer put to work against my deep seeded insecurities...because I'm okay with me, regardless. I've traded in several insecurities for guaranteed security come what may.
And that's what I needed most along this road. I needed to learn how to accept and love me. I needed to learn how to find happiness from within. I needed a spiritual cleansing. And these things I needed--things I'm eternally grateful for today, was never and will never be anything I could possibly find from an external provider. These things--the lock boxes within my heart, mind and soul--needed the keys of perspective, ones I truly believe were divinely dropped on me on the above mentioned dates.
I take what I do in helping others very seriously and very professionally. When someone tries to turn an online correspondence to an inappropriate/off topic place, I remind them once to keep it weight loss related. If they push, I simply withdraw from the conversation and I don't respond again. If they still persist, I block them from whatever social media I can.
The fantastic successes happening in the support groups I co-facilitate are incredible blessings to me. I'm lucky to be a very small part of our group member's success. I'm passionate about what I do each day. I'm passionate about maintaining my food sobriety, including my abstinence from refined sugar and I'm passionate about sharing my experiences on this long and winding road that can lead many different places. I know, through experience, it ultimately can lead to a freedom that's constantly evolving, growing and defining itself.
It's all about learning and growing. And in that, there are no failures, only opportunities to learn and grow.
This isn't exactly the post I set out to write. But it says enough. And I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read it all.
Oh--by the way...my funky day set me way off balance in my food schedule, as you'll clearly see in the Live-Tweet times on each food tweet below. But, I made it through. I feel better now.
And most importantly, I must remember to refrain from ingesting the poison offered by anyone, especially those who know little to none about who I really am and what I'm really about.
My Tweets Today:
Coffee with two tablespoons half & half X 3 cups. 120 cal. pic.twitter.com/ycnjYsMBic— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) January 31, 2016
Brunch in MFP... pic.twitter.com/7tE3cLF6En— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) January 31, 2016
3 cheese omelet w/2 whole eggs, 1 slice each: provolone, mozzarella & muenster. 7.4oz sirloin & 5.8oz orange. 721cal pic.twitter.com/CvHF852Qrp— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) January 31, 2016
Coffee with two tablespoons half & half. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/zPAJ9aQOu7— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 1, 2016
I listed it under lunch. It's basically dinner. Haven't felt like eating much today. This meal in MFP... pic.twitter.com/5WP7yN3RP0— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 1, 2016
4oz 93% lean beef, provolone, mstrd & red onions on Ezekiel, toasted in 7g butter. 215g swt.potato w/oospray. 663cal pic.twitter.com/Dyw31uKBJb— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 1, 2016
6oz apple with 48g natural peanut butter. 399 cal. pic.twitter.com/ZKQisEHUPQ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 1, 2016
Late dinner, or whatever I need to call it this evening. It's been an off center food schedule, today. In MFP... pic.twitter.com/unef5yaG4O— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 1, 2016
Fit&Active 90 cal. flatbread w/56g sf tomato basil, 3oz mushrooms & 4 slices mozz. 2 cups h2o. #lastfoodofday 328cal pic.twitter.com/w1h8qrpR8R— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 1, 2016
Thank you for reading and your continued support,