Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Latest News
Obviously I've been kind of lax posting lately... just haven't been so sure about how or what to say about the whole liver thing. I didn't set out to make this blog into some preachy, self-promoting soapbox in which I spill my guts about every subject under the sun. Every jerk has an opinion, right? Mine's no more valid or special than anyone else's. I think humility is one of the most underrated virtues these days, and I try to remember that as often as possible. Or, as Woody Allen once said, "I would never want to belong to a club that would have someone like me as a member."
Anyway, I did get the call yesterday... not "THE call," but a call from Baylor Medical basically telling me that I'm official. I'm on the list. They've agreed to take me as a candidate, it's approved and paid for by my insurance, all that stuff. This does not mean that I'll get a new liver any time in the near future. It simply means that now, when I do need it desperately, I'm in the system and I'll get one without a whole lot of red tape.
This is what I need, right? But I have to be honest and say it's sort of overwhelming now that it's actually true. I guess the hardest part for me to wrap my noodle around is that someone has to die in order for me to live. Some living, breathing soul walking around right now has no idea that at some point in the future one of their vital organs will be harvested from their body and put into mine. This fact has really done a number on me.
How can we ever be sure that we're worthy of such a gift? I've attempted to break it down in my head as best as I can...
My whole life, I've been pretty self-absorbed and have done pretty much whatever the hell I wanted to. Those of you that know me will claim that this is not true, that I'm a super-nice guy, and all that crap. But if I'm being perfectly honest, I have to say that I've done plenty of things that would invalidate that claim. Laziness. Moodiness. Feeling like I've been unlucky and that I've gotten a raw deal with my health. Being so self-centered with my own problems that I forget my friends need support. Being a shitty and selfish husband.
I'm not going to get on here each posting and preach about inspirational and amazing ways to improve your life. Because I'd actually have to lead by example. And I don't think that we ever actually learn anything unless we can air out the dirty laundry, too. Talk through the bad stuff... all in the pursuit of truth and honesty.
But I do have to say that within the last year something finally clicked. Like turning on a light. All of a sudden everything seems much simpler and pure. I really do think it's that easy, too. When we stop fighting ourselves and try to find the peace that already exists within our lives, everything seems smaller and less scary. You can search under every rock on the planet for some key to happiness and fulfillment, but I guarantee you this: If you can't find peace where you are this very instant, the very moment you read this, then you're not going to find it elsewhere. Peace of mind does not come from any external source. If it exists inside ourselves just as the beat of our hearts do; it goes everywhere with us.
A good exercise that you can try is to shift your focus into the now; this very present moment you are existing in. Try not to think for a moment. Just look around and focus on your surroundings, and the fact that you are conscious and alive. You should feel a very calm and somewhat warm sensation with this realization. If instead, you feel panic and dread, chances are something's wrong and you've got some work to do. Anyway, these are pretty basic principles of meditation. I don't subscribe to the school of thought in which you close your eyes and picture yourself on some beach or something listening to the gentle sounds of the waves and all that shit. That's for relaxation and pain therapy... the mental equivalent of taking a Xanax. I'm talking about finding vitality and strength and energy from the quietness of one's soul.
Simplify, simplify, simplify. Attack challenges head-on in lieu of procrastinating. When we procrastinate, fear and sloth build up like plaque on our teeth. Best to brush now and avoid cavities later, yadig? This opens us more energy for us to plan for the future as we live in the present. Don't get hung up on past failures. Learn form them, and move on. Constructive, short-term "guilt" can be useful in keeping oneself in check. But carrying that guilt eventually becomes a self-serving crutch that we use as an excuse not to evolve.
There I go again, proselytizing. But I know what's worked for me, and maybe it can help you, too. Life is such a gift! To have someone else's in addition to your own is something that I truly think must be earned. I realize that I'll actually be living for two people now in one body. I have to make that worth something if I'm given this chance. I have to greet each challenge fearlessly, with an open heart and an unconditional love for all of mankind. To try as hard as I can and be the best person I can be. To live fully as a man.
On that note, we lost a great man today. I can rest easy knowing that no matter what I do, I'll never be as awesome as the late, great Teddy Pendergrass. That man was the man, man!!!