It’s important, to me, to note the help didn’t magically show up. I asked, sometimes in a roundabout way and sometimes direct, but I actively sought help. Each person offered different insights.
On Friday, I enjoyed lunch with a friend. Our conversation wove together what had been shared the day before and what I was learning from Rorke Denver in his book Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior. No I’m not a SEAL and never will be, not even close. However, I was raised in a “war zone” by people who had no trouble using me as a shield and scapegoat.
I’m deeply ashamed to admit I fear NM more than God, even now. What does it say about my faith? I won’t let go, but I’m badly shaken.
Talking with my friend on Friday, I realized a number of things:
I excel at learning. I gather copious amounts of information and shuffle it in my head. I keep what fits and tuck away what doesn’t for later use.
Though I excel at learning, my ability to apply what I learn is shoddy. I came by it honestly as those who raised me don’t do it well either. I make attempts, but they often don’t last. I’ve always figured there was something wrong with me. I needed to change things until I figured out how to make it all fit.
Then I was reading Damn Few. It talked about doing 3,000 sit-ups, 7,000 lunges, and innumerable flutter kicks. Thousands? In a single day? No wonder I wasn’t getting it! I expected to make it work after the prerequisite “16 days make a habit.” No, no they don’t. 16 days makes a start to making a habit. I read somewhere else that it takes 5 years. How do I make it 5 years if I can’t make it 17 days?
Thousands, every day. Chatting with my friend, I realized I need my own BUDs. That’s the insane training for SEAL wannabes. Granted, I don’t need the physical brutality. I’ve already been put through starvation, sleep deprivation, and abuse. I’ve learned to push through it all. However, I wish I’d had the encouragement along with the beat down. I didn’t. I do now. I start from now.
On Saturday, I continued my mental shuffling.
I grew up in chaos. Chaos serves abusers. It keeps everything stirred up, so no one focuses, no one sees what’s right under their nose. There’s too much dirt and debris. Truth is obliterated by the chaos, or so it appears. Truth never stays buried.
When prey chooses to step away from the chaos, the predator must stir things up even more or be discovered. Sometimes, the predator uses a false calm. To prey, this false calm can be worse than the whirlwind chaos. It’s confusing, and makes the prey question if there’d been any chaos at all.
I’m constantly changing what I do and how I do it, endeavoring to find the magic combination that works for me. I create my own chaos. It’s what I know.
BUDs is about preparing men to be SEALs, to be the best at what they do. It prepares them for what they will face in the future. BUDs builds a rock solid foundation with constant repetition. The men who survive BUDs all have a good foundation to begin with; they know what they want and will do whatever is necessary to achieve it. BUDs builds on a foundation already there. It builds and hones strength and endurance, both physical and mental. They learn basic physical and mental skills they will use the rest of their careers.
I need to learn basic skills: Sleeping, Eating, Exercising, Spiritual, and Creative. These are the things I need to make my life work for the rest of my life. Everything else is extra.