Avoidance Can Harm You

“Pain in this life is not avoidable, but the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable.” – R.D. Laing

In September of 2018, I had foot surgery to correct a painful bunion. My body had reacted badly to the way I was compensating for the pain over several years, and in June 2018, my tendons screamed STOP! I tried walking in a boot and doing physical therapy again, but this time, I had to have surgery finally. I didn’t realize that this was one stop on the road to discovering how to let go of a different kind of pain that I had been avoiding for most of my life.

The surgery went well, and I recovered in bed for several days. I was up and walking in my surgical shoe within a few days and back to work within another week. I am nearing two years since my surgery and admit there is a little pain and inflexibility in my toe, but not enough to keep me fixated on it anymore.

In Louise Hay’s Heal Your Body, issues with bunions reveal a lack of joy in meeting the experiences of life. The new thought pattern she shares is, “I joyously run forward to greet life’s wonderful experiences.” I have read this repeatedly since I learned about Louise Hay during a grief counseling session after my father passed. Today, I understand it. Today, I am taking it in. Today I am thankful for the life experiences that have brought me to this point of recognition. And now, as I continue to write and let this process of letting go of past hurts be easy and free, I am starting to feel the release that can help me to joyously run forward to greet life’s wonderful experiences.

The Cookie Man’s Daughter

“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.”

– Barbara Johnson

My Dad was a cookie man. Growing up in our house in Phoenix, he distributed Archway cookies. Later after he moved away, he became a Pepperidge Farm distributor. Although Pepperidge Farm is known for many amazing products, I only remember my Dad selling cookies. Frosty Lemon and Chantilly were my favorites. Everything was loaded with butter and sugar and everything sweet.

My Dad ran his own business out of his cookie truck. When I visited him in the summer, I got to go on the cookie route, but I had to get up at the crack of dawn to beat the Arizona heat. One of my best memories of my Dad is helping him stock shelves, take away the “older” stock, which was still good, and ride around in the truck with him.

Of course, I did not understand it then, but I see it now. My Dad was an entrepreneur. He ran his own company. He worked alone. He called the shots. Did I get my entrepreneurial drive from him? Or, am I just ill-equipped to cope with other people’s view of who and what I should be? Perhaps I am the one who needs to let go of what I think others think of me.

I have spent many years of my life coping using the sweetness of comfort cookies, crackers, and desserts – and this is my jumping-off point for changing it without changing my memories of him.