Monday, October 25, 2010

To Peter on His 61st Birthday (originally posted August 5th of this year)

To Peter on his 61st Birthday
August 5, 2010

Dear Peter,

Today you would have turned sixty-one years old.  You lived quite a life.

You were like a vibrant pebble dancing across the water, creating bigger and bigger ripples across the pond, reaching out to more and more hurting and helpless souls who yearn for wisdom and warmth.

I'm trying so hard not to be sad that I never got the chance to meet or know you and that I knew of your existence a little too late.  I feel I am failing at this endeavor.

I have the deepest feeling that wherever you are today, you are pain-free, serene, and laughing that generous laugh of yours.

People still love you Peter, they still care about you and they still apply your advice, breathe in your poetry, and cling to your causes that you held so dearly to your heart. 

I'm just a young woman in the sea of so many people who have been swept away by the sands of your humanity and humble genius.

Awhile ago, I asked you to be my Guardian Angel. (What a challenge). I feel that you are watching over all of those whom you loved, and still do love.

Thank you Peter for so much. Happy Birthday wherever you may be.

I love you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pre-Peter vs. Post-Peter

Pre-Peter vs. Post Peter

Pre-Peter, (or, before I discovered Peter's works), I battled chronic depression.  I rarely tuned in to my own thoughts which could cripple me.  What a negatron I was!  Peter mentioned in his writings that he was a recovering negaholic, well I think I even had him beat. 

I had visited a couple of well-meaning therapists who, bless their clueless hearts, were unable to help my helpless self.  When I dove into my darkest of days, I’d scarf down some chocolate in order to desperately savor some much-needed sweetness in my life. Or, I would starve myself.  Never felt worthy.  Never felt pretty.  The one serious boyfriend I ever had, horribly mistreated me, and I never understood all the while that I had allowed it. 

Well-meaning and frustrated friends of mine would try so hard to convince me to escape this relationship, but I never listened.  He left, out of his own commitment-phobia, and Peter's poetry was there to pick up the pieces of my helpless heart.

I had tried one or two "self-help" books before. Perhaps I wasn't ready to hear the message. Perhaps the author did not move me.  His or her points were too muzzy for my fuzzy brain.  Whatever the reason, I stayed a prisoner of my own depression.

It's amazing what a little blue book could do. Last December, You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought by Peter McWilliams burst into my life, like a sizzling comet, and I have never been the same since.
This year, I had re-united with family who never even knew I existed. I was so thrilled. I had waited all my life for this, with such high expectations which unfortunately were dashed.  Pre-Peter I would have been devastated, crushed, dead inside. But since taking his advice, like avoiding people and situations that upset me, I am learning that I am better off without those empty connections and I do not allow their sour judgments of me to rob me of the pride I have in myself.  If I am not accepted, I no longer beg people to like me. I simply move through and move on. Sure, I still get upset, but the level of upsetness is so much less.  

All my life I craved father figures, family figures, because I felt such a void. But Peter's words helped soothe that ache.  He taught me to be my own family unto my own self.  (And getting to know Peter’s Mom means so much to me.  I truly feel like she’s my family.  She has shown me unconditional love that I never before experienced.) 

I still have days where I might feel down, but those moments of being down are no longer mountains, just moments!
I am learning to be grateful everyday for simple things. I rather religiously keep a "Book of Good" (mentioned here in previous post). I especially keep this book when days seem stressful. I find this has helped my attitude immensely!

Pre-Peter, I was always getting injured. As an amateur athlete, I had weak ankles, a throbbing knee injury, I was one sloppy mess. My doctor claimed I could never run too far, because I simply wasn't "built for it."  I created, allowed and promoted (as Peter calls “CPA”) each injury.  I didn't believe in myself.  But, through Peter's words, they inspired me so much that I went from running a couple of miles to running a full Marathon, safely!  All on my own-no fancy trainer, no expensive gym.  All me, while Peter's philosophies danced through my head!

Pre-Peter, my world was a whirlwind of dark drama. Post-Peter, my life has been forever changed.
A man I never got to meet has helped change my life in a way I never thought possible. So when people ask me why I spend so much time writing about a man I never got to meet, I know in my heart, in my own way, I’ve already met him.
I love you, Peter.