As usual, I’m writing this after it actually happened, but I thought this was too good of an experience to not share.
The other day, I was headed home and realized my head was growing worse. If you know about my ongoing issues you’ll have some idea of what I mean, but let’s just say that by the time I reached home, I knew I was heading to bed to hide from the light and be unable to do anything for several hours. Not a good situation, and I let Alanna know as I went back to the bedroom, nearly having to walk with my eyes closed, and laid down, fully expecting a few hours of complete unpleasantness.
Alanna had different plans, though. She slipped into the room like an angel of mercy bearing a bottle of frankincense and had me hold out my thumb. A dab of oil on the end of my thumb, which I then pressed to the roof of my mouth and proceeded to suck my thumb like a little child, and within 10 minutes I was sleeping in peace instead of holding my head in agony.
I cannot thank her enough for this, and I have tried it again at least once in less dramatic situations, but for anyone with similar issues, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring this up as a possible solution for future episodes. That makes everything we’re doing with Young Living worth it on its own (and I’ve been experiencing the benefits of some of their other products as well).
Frankincense: the Biblical oil that is still amazing today.
I’ve already shared some personal details here, like my health condition, but one big area of my life I was planning to hold back on is my beliefs. Nothing stirs up people more than agreeing or disagreeing with someone on a religious matter, and a business does best if it’s completely secular, right? Well, I don’t actually believe that for an instant, and it’s time to let my fears go and just be forthright.
I am a Christian.
I’m not perfect.
That’s the whole reason why this started in the first place. I’m still a work in progress, and that’s a core tenant of Christianity. It’s right out of the Bible in the book of Philippians, in fact: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (That’s the New Living Translation.)
Why was I scared to say this on the blog so far? Well, Christians have a couple reputations I wanted to avoid, some for good reasons and some not so good.
The first is that Christians are pushy. They tell you you’re going to hell, or that you should believe, or just tell you about God constantly. This isn’t actually a bad thing, btw. If I truly believe that God is who He says He is, it’d be the most uncaring and evil thing I could do to not tell others, since the consequences are so serious. But it is a dangerous thing in this world sometimes, since all of the baggage of other Christians and those who claim to be Christians come with that, including those who are pushy in evil ways, like Westboro Baptist Church or abortion clinic bombers. Those aren’t representative of true religion, true Christianity, but they are something we have to contend with. Well, I’m an introvert, so I won’t be pushy at all, but there’s that one out in the open.
Second, Christians are anti-science, right? Actually, that’s ridiculous. Science is the study of the physical universe. God is the creator of the physical universe. Science, therefore, is the study of what God has created. There’s absolutely nothing more compatible than science and Christianity, despite what you’ll hear screamed from all sides of every debate on either subject, but it does require a willingness to explore every possibility. Evolution, creationism, and everything else that people will use to divide religion and science must be reconciled, which is best done by having a truly open mind to the possibilities. That said, I’m not an expert, despite all the science jokes I’ll put here, so I’ll usually defer any actual arguments to the experts.
Third, Christians are cheesy. This is hard to escape. Creating a t-shirt design with a Christian joke is exceptionally difficult because all the jokes are just so cheesy. That’s ok, though. I tell plenty of bad jokes. I can tell some bad jokes that talk about Jesus instead of llamas.
On that note, I’m going to begin incorporating a new line of designs into Still In Beta. I’ve been calling it Proskuneo, which is a Greek word usually translated as devotion or worship. You can see the designs that fit into it at shop.spreadshirt.com/proskuneo, and I’ll try and include them into my main store soon as well.
I’ll also have another big announcement coming soon, so keep your eyes on the blog, and you can follow me on any of my social media platforms to be alerted!
I’m halfway through re-reading the fantastic book Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson right now. Yes, I regularly read books again, sometimes dozens of times eventually. Good books are worth it. This world Sanderson has created in particular is so alien and yet so real that it’s particularly engrossing despite how incredibly long the book is. Hundreds of thousands of words (479,080 to be exact). According to the internet, the average reader needs almost 32 hours of reading time to finish it, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t take me quite that long. If you’re into fantasy, check out the first book in the series, The Way of Kings, or his incredible Mistborn series first if you’d prefer a less wordy start.
There were plenty of points before that when I knew I needed to change, and times when I tried. My weight. It’s fluctuated a lot, and this isn’t the heaviest I’ve ever been, but it’s time to see it go down for good.
275.5 is a lot of weight for one man to carry around. The number of problems that come with it are even worse. So I’m planning and beginning a change.
Many of you know some of my story, and that the health issues I have and haven’t talked about here make it difficult to exercise, but I’m planning to make sure I get on my exercise bike at least 5 minutes, 5 days a week. That might not sound like a serious workout, but it’s a lot more work for me than it would be for someone without my issues.
I’m also letting go of sugar and wheat. Those are hard to give up for me, although I don’t eat handfuls of candy or anything like that, but nonetheless it’s a non-trivial improvement.
And then to help give me a boost, I’ve ordered the Slique oil and tea from Young Living. The Ocotea and other components help make fatty acids ready to be processed out of the body, so hopefully they give me a boost in clearing out my backlog of fat.
I’ll check in here regularly, hopefully posting a bit more than I have been! This is the time. I won’t give up until this weight is gone.
I posted about this on Instagram and Facebook, but I wanted to take the time to expand on it here as well. There’s a radio show that’s happening as I start writing this called “I’m Listening” that has really inspired me to speak out about mental health and my own experience, and the core idea is that we need to break the stigma of talking about depression, anxiety, and other mental illness and especially suicide and the risk of taking your own life.
I said on Instagram that you know someone who has considered ending their life, and I wasn’t just saying that because I figured most people knew me. Statistically speaking, every person in this world probably knows someone very well who has considered it. You might not realize it, you might never know who it is, but someone you know has considered it. You may have even saved their life.
I have struggled with depression for many years, but it became a huge problem in my life following my health issues hitting a peak a few years ago and becoming seemingly unbearable. I truly felt that I had nothing to continue living for, and ending my life would just be an improvement, but I wasn’t willing to tell anyone else that.
I’ll get into the details of that in another post, but for now, just know that the reason I’m still here is that someone (my wife) showed me that she was listening, and that she cared. Medications have helped, sure, and were probably instrumental in keeping me from continuing to return to that point so far, but what turned my life back around was her. Listening. Even when I wasn’t talking.
If you know anyone going through a rough time, or going through happy times, or just know anyone (and yes, that intentionally includes every possible demographic, because anyone in any life circumstance can be suicidal), let them know you’re willing to listen. That’s being a good friend even if there isn’t a mental health situation going on, but it’s a lifesaver if there is.
If you’re interested in the show I referenced or in knowing what you can do to help, check out imlistening.org
Is is more powerful to have a hope that has never died, never been broken or abandoned, or to have hope that has been thrown out the window, beaten up and left behind, and then picked up and restored? I’m not quite at either place anymore, but if hope is to be found during troubles, does it need to be pure and whole, or do we find hope most powerful when it’s already been lost and found?
Hope was a lost thing for me for several years now. I’m not sure it’s back. But if hope can’t be restored, then it isn’t really hope at all, is it?