- How do you want to feel everyday or about your life in general?
- When, where, and around whom do those feelings happen?
- What gets in the way of those feelings or takes them away?
- How do you get those feelings back?
- What are you willing to work for?
Answering "how do you want to feel" was much easier for me to answer in the negative -- I knew how I didn't want to feel: broken.
Flipping around the verbiage didn't quite work; the antonyms of broken didn't quite capture how I wanted to feel because I know there is no simple repair, no time machine to get back lost time, no erasing the feeling of being susceptible.
I thought about the times and places where I felt this "opposite of being broken" and came up with the time when I took a leap of faith (March 2011) and joined a boxing gym. I had only recently found my exercise groove, my diet groove, and needed to change it up a bit to deal with the plateau on which I had been residing. My boxing trainers made it very clear that my success required both my body and my mind. I couldn't let the narrative of being broken run the show. They taught me to fight for myself instead of fighting against myself.
Of those trainers, Randolph was the one that I bonded with for many reasons. I loved it when these young, jacked guys would come in to spar and he'd slip past each and every punch. More than anything else, he saw the fire in me and knew that if my body could do more that I'd let it (in other words, I wasn't one of those people who showed up just to burn calories, but I was there to learn and fight). He would only give me crap if I mentally checked out before I physically checked out (i.e., I had to at least try, even if I couldn't do as much as everyone else). Because of this (and his extensive training/certification), I trusted him enough to turn off my brain and let him take over.
I knew that the answer to both "How do you get those feelings back?" and "What are you willing to work for?" started in the same place and with the same person:
The good news is that my form is still pretty good. The bad news is that my conditioning is kinda crap (the respiratory plague could have a little to do with that). It's not as bad as he thought it could be, but I was winded 15 minutes in and my arms were noodles for 4 days after.
I am going back tonight.
How do I get that "opposite of broken" feeling back?
I get help from people that I trust and put in the sweat equity.
"What are you willing to work for?"
Yes, I know that the more I work on Doug's questions, the more specific and detailed my answer should be, but for right now, it's enough to say that I'm willing to work for and fight for myself. Instead of working for and investing in everyone else, I'm just gonna hit the pause button to recognize that I don't need to prove my worthiness to anyone. I don't need to beg for their affection, approval, or attention. And if people don't know how I fit into their life, it's not my fault to cure or my burden to remedy.