September 26, 2005
This weekend was BUSY! Louis came again and we worked out every day, he took my Abs class, we went to a friend’s dinner, attended two BBQ’s, watched the Love Parade and had a picnic at the Zen Fest Concert. While I was driving down Lake Merced Road I passed a community center that I fondly remember visiting a few times earlier this year…I was involved in a mentor training program there.
Earlier this year I was going through a tough inner battle and I longed for someone to help me understand my life’s predicament and give me a better perspective. I wanted a mentor…someone who can help guide, support and assist me in accomplishing my goals. But I realized, that in order to ‘receive’ something, I had to also ‘give’ that same thing in return. I decided that to understand the habits of the new ‘thing’ in my life, I needed to begin my life lesson by first practicing the habits myself.
We all accept life’s gifts in different and unique ways…In undergoing my personal predicaments I realized that life is an individual game. You may have players on your team, but they’ve got their special talents that make them specific to the role they play in your life’s game. They will not understand the personal turmoil you go through because they don’t house the same innate gifts or shortcomings…it is during time of severe hardship when you realize that NO ONE will ever truly understand your pain more than you. Each person in your life is a product of your environment…an environment created by you: because you are the character of your own story: you are the actor in your own drama: you positioned each person in your life to fit a piece of your life puzzle because somehow each person completes a piece of who you are or think you are.
I became a mentor during a time in my life when I needed to redirect my selfish attention onto those who really needed a friend. When I began owning the habits of a good friend , I began recognizing the habits of both good and bad friends… I observed that there are friends who will be there only when you satisfy a piece of who they are: when you play the role of the ‘workout buddy,’ the ‘party friend,’ the ‘trophy girlfriend,’ or the ‘dinner companion.’ A good question to ask yourself is if you would still be friends with someone if you stopped playing ‘their game?’ What if you couldn’t play defense on their team because you hurt your leg? What if you had to sit out and not play your position chosen by them, to help them win in their personal game of who they think they are? It is sad to recognize and reflect on the memories of moments when I was injured, and I lost a lot of ‘friends.’
When I work out the hardest part is the transition: not the part when you are performing a bench press exercise and you’re at the end of your lift with your arms straightened after lifting your hardest weight…the hardest part was perceiving the challenging and then committing yourself to completing that difficult challenge…the hardest part was feeling the pain during the beginning and middle phase of the lift and watch your ‘friends’ walk away as you struggled…the hardest part is realizing that this was a personal choice and that you could give up if you wanted to.
If you map out your life, you will notice that most of us will lose friends during times of ‘transit.’ And the funny thing is: is that we are always in ‘transit’…because there is nothing constant but change. When we stop trying to ‘control’ our environment and allow things and people to grow, develop, mature and blossom: we are living in harmony with life and with others. Friendship is Love. Love means that even if you piss me off today, or you can’t play the game tomorrow…call me up and we will play bingo when we are 90.
You will connect with others through both pain and pleasure…for those are the two emotions that drive and motivate humans. The deeper you experience both those emotions with your friends, the more your love in friendship will deepen and develop, because now, regardless of what you have to offer, you have now established an unconditional playing field where your team will love, support, guide and strengthen one other as a team and as individuals because we have a common goal to win this Life together.