Trying to understand Unconditional Love

I know it’s been a real long time since I’ve posted.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately on what it means to love another person and wondering how to describe or even understand how someone could love us when we know all the crap we’ve done and could very well do again.

I had a similar conversation recently with a close friend of mine.  He’s in a relationship, I’m currently single, and our conversations either start with or get around to the topic of me and dating (or the lack thereof).  Some time ago, at his suggestion, I created an account on a dating website – the same one he used to meet his girlfriend.  Our recent conversation involved my lack of dates (or even messaging on the site), and I asked him how he could be so positive and supportive for me when I had difficulty feeling the same way about myself.  He didn’t really have an answer.  Instead, he reminded me to keep positive and that it will happen for me just as it did for him, even though it might take a long time.

I’m usually that way about myself and others.  I don’t have any problems being positive and optimistic when it comes to supporting my friends, but when it comes to feeling the same way and believing in myself the same way, I fall woefully short.  I don’t understand how it is I’m able to be that way for others but not myself, or vice versa (people being positive, etc, for me).

There’s a song by The Choir called “To Cover You” that describes what it is I’m trying to understand; what I’m trying to get a better sense of.  Have a listen, and maybe you’ll have a better idea of what I’m getting at.

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Thinking about Temperance

I’ve been thinking about temperance lately and trying to figure out different ways I can implement it into my everyday life.  When I decided to emulate the virtues that Benjamin Franklin is said to have lived by, my first thought in regards to temperance was food, and the consumption of food.

Eating food isn’t bad.  It’s necessary.  But sometimes we’ll sit down to a meal that tastes so good that we can’t help but go for a second or third helping.  Have you ever sat back after a meal and thought that your eyes were bigger than your stomach?  If you have, you know where I’m going with this.  One of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to eating is Chinese food.  I think it’s great, but I have the hardest time ordering “just enough.”  There’s a number of dishes I want to get each time, but there’s no way I could all of them by myself.  The various chicken dishes alone are enough to make me stare at the menu for 10 minutes.

About once a week, my mom makes pizza.  She’s done it for almost 20 years (to my memory) and gotten very good at it.  Depending on who’s present for dinner, sometimes I’ll be hard pressed to limit myself to a certain number of slices.  “It’s so good, though.  C’mon, just one more slice.”  That’s what I’ll tell myself at least once.

I don’t have a magical formula, or a series of steps to take in order to not eat too much.  I know that gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins.  I’m not saying that it’s not okay to have a second helping of a good meal.  By all means, if you like what you’re eating, then have another plate or bowl.  Everyone needs to know what their limits are, though, and not cross them.  Know where your weaknesses are, and watch your step around them.  Take things slowly if you have to.  Let someone know what you have trouble with so you have someone to be accountable to.

I don’t always have a second helping of something, even if there’s a half plate/bowl-full left.  At times like that, it’s more about getting into the practice of not eating too much than making sure there’s no leftovers or having more just because it’s there.  Sometimes someone will comment on that, but I’ll just say something along the lines of “No, I’m good” or “I’ve had enough.”

Hopefully I’ll do better the next time my eyes are bigger than my stomach.