I recall reading that a man from Virginia Beach (Virginia, USA) filed a law suit against his hospital. He opted to have surgery in order to lose weight. So he had his stomach stapled -- a procedure that reduced the size of his stomach so he couldn't eat as much.
A couple of days after surgery he sneaked down the hospital corridors to the kitchen. There he raided the refrigerator and ate so much that his staples burst.
The law suit? He claimed it was the hospital's fault. They should have locked the refrigerator.
And no – I don't know how the suit came out. Just the staples.
He wanted to make other people responsible for what he put into his mouth. Which raises the question: who decides what we bring into our lives?
One man told me, "I'm not a garbage truck."
"What do you mean by that?" I asked him.
"I mean that sometimes other people want to dump their garbage on me,” he said. “They fill themselves up with negativity and complaints and want to dump all of that garbage on me. I’m not going to take all of their garbage. They may need to get rid of it, but not all over me.”
He believes people need to be responsible for the garbage in their lives. And that’s probably true for the good stuff, too. For me, that includes just about everything. It means I am responsible for everything I put into my mouth, but also for everything I choose to watch and hear. Some of it’s good and some of it’s garbage. It even means everything that comes into my head through my eyes and ears. It’s also about everything that fills up my time. Everything.
And to be honest, I don’t always do a great job with everything that comes into my life. But I am clear that what I allow in is up to me, not somebody else.
When we fill our bodies with the right foods, they perform well.
When we fill our heads with learning, they won’t easily stagnate.
When we fill our minds with healthier attitudes, we will have a better outlook.
When we fill our hearts with a little more courage, we will be able to face life with confidence.
When we fill our talk with more gratitude, we will be happier.
When we fill our lives with more love, we will never be alone.
Only we can decide how to fill ourselves up.
Have you heard the story of the two wolves? A common version of it goes like this:
An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt and ego.
"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old chief simply replied, "The one you feed."
Only I can choose what should come into my life. Only I can choose which wolf to feed. And only I can choose what to do about it today.
-- Steve Goodier