Well, Tracy is progressing outrageously fast. The sin of smugness is multiplying like rabbits here in Anaheim.
Here is an excerpt from her latest email.
I do know that since I have written what I have I am more aware of enjoying life experiences as they happen and to bask in that enjoyment at the time.
I also listened to Brain Rot and am now looking for glory stories – at least one a day.
I also want to thank those who have written in and commented on the blog. Their prayers and encouragement make a huge difference. I don’t feel like I am going through this alone. I appreciate their support. Thanks.
I feel glad and sad over this report. She has worked so hard at deliverance and inner healing without growing in intimacy. And when she first read my email, asking for 30 examples of pleasure, it was like a slap in the face because she could not feel. Never had. And now, with this ultra-simplistic little exercise, we have significant progress in a couple of weeks. I sooooo wish more people would add brain repair work to their deliverance and inner healing.
Also notice that there has been a lot of pleasure in her life up until now. Her brain was registering it as pleasure, but her soul was not allowing her to feel and enjoy her joy. So the stories she is reporting below come from real life experience where she felt pleasure but had no permission to feel pleasure.
So, #1 was the apple pie in the previous blog.
I did not realize how much I enjoyed this experience until I started to write about it.
I love to fish. Now, I don’t mean from those big rigs where you hire someone with a huge boat that is all set up with the fishing gear connected to the edge of the boat and when there is a tug on the line you run to your fishing rod at your station and try to reel the fish in. I mean real fishing. It’s been a few years since I have gone fishing, but oh the fun and the joy when I can go. Whether it’s in the ocean, a river, a lake, or a stream it’s always time well spent. I went salmon fishing off the west coast. We didn’t have a boat to go off shore so we used the next best thing – hip waders. Fishing in the ocean can be tricky when you are wearing hip waders as you have to walk out with the tide and walk in with the tide. So I slip on my hip waders, grab my fishing rod, and try to attach a worm onto the hook as it tries to wrap itself around my fingers when I poke the hook through it. I hate the sensation of it wiggling on my fingers. Maybe next time I will wear a thin pair of gloves to do that job. I walk out into the ocean walking with the tide, continually throwing my line out into the waters. I see the hook and worm hit the water and sink. I wait as I slowly reel in the line. I do this several times anticipating the thrill when something hits the line. And then I feel it – the tug on the line. I give a quick jerk on the line to set the hook – then the fun begins. I lift the tip of the rod into the air to pull the line part way out of the water and closer to me. Then I let it down, all the time reeling in the line. My thoughts race – Is he going to stay on the line? Is he going to break the line? Did I just snag him and he’ll break free? All the while I’m doing this I am walking backwards towards the shore. I do not want to be in deep waters now as I fight to keep him on the line. Besides the tide may turn and start coming in anytime. My line gets shorter as I continue to fight with him and reel him in. I continue to back up until I am in shallow enough water that he can no longer put up much of a fight. He is flopping around on the sand of the ocean bottom. I now have two choices. I can grab the net or the fish bonker. I choose the fish bonker. I win!
Now, that’s fishing!
3. The taste of fresh salmon baked in butter and lemon
4. Hugs from little friends.
I don’t see these two little guys very often. But when I do, the initial meeting of the older one is met with a run at me throwing his arms around my legs and squeezing hard. He’s ready to tackle me to the ground.
The younger one approaches a little more slowly and cautiously. He has a quirky little grin on his pudgy little face. He continues to grin as he takes his turn to wrap his little arms around my legs.
This gives me such pleasure knowing that this will be their greeting when I see them this summer. They will be older and bigger so I better brace myself.
5. New coat
I bought a new coat last fall. It’s not heavy enough for the cold winter days but it will be great for spring, fall, and warmer winter days. It is a beautiful, above the knee length, and very slimming gray coat. Two months ago I put on my new coat to wear to church. I had been anticipating this day, knowing how good I would feel sporting that new coat – then just before I headed out the door I changed to my everyday winter coat. I lost my courage. It went back into the closet. I kept thinking about that coat and anticipating the day I would wear it. This past Sunday I put on my new gray coat to wear to church. I felt good, I looked good. I didn’t need anybody else’s approval. I had God’s. I was styling. I rocked it! – at least I thought I did and that’s what counts. I still smile when I think about wearing my new gray coat.
From the moment I step into the cool waters of the large swimming pool to practice, I anticipate the pleasure of going to the lazy river in 40 – 45 minutes. Oh, the lazy river, where the water is considerably warmer and the current is running at a nice pace. And best of all there is a whirl pool at one end of the lazy river with a seating ledge around the inside of it with jets pounding out that considerably warm water. After a few rounds against the current in that lazy river I can sit on the ledge and let those jets pound out that warm water on my back, my shoulders, the bottoms of my feet, and where ever else I can position my body in line with the jets. I love the feel of the gentle massage on my body from the jets and my body is no longer chilled from the large pool of cool water.
7. Electric mattress cover
I never knew how much I would enjoy my electric mattress cover. I can anticipate the warmth of this cover anytime during the day or five minutes before I go to bed. I live in a cold climate and start out working in a cold building until the furnace warms it up. It is easy to get chilled and feel cold all day. I enjoy slipping into that bed that is heated to whatever level of temperature I set it at. My body appreciates the heat and I just lie there absorbing it. I bend my knees so that my feet get the warmth of the heated cover through the flannel sheets. Then minutes later I can straighten out my legs and feel the warmth the whole length of my body. Oh! does that feel good.
8. Sharing a good deal
I don’t like to pay full price if I don’t have to. And whenever I get a good deal, I’m smiling! I had gone into the hardware store in the nearby city to purchase the gloves that I wear for work. There was a bin of 6 pack men’s socks – heavy and warm. They were regularly priced at $9.99 for the pack. They were discounted to $5.99. I consider I scored a good deal. There is a drop-in center that just opened up in this city that provides daytime and evening support for the homeless. They quite often make an appeal for socks, gloves, and hats for those at the center. So 3 packs later I’m at the center to drop them off for those less fortunate. Now that’s a good feeling. Smiling again.
I had never had a pedicure before. But I decided I wanted to treat myself so I booked myself a pedicure. I choose the color I want my toes to be painted. The lady leads me to the chair where she will be working on my feet. I sit back in it and she instructs me to put my feet in the water. Then she asks if I would like a drink – coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water. Hot chocolate would be my beverage of choice since I don’t like coffee or tea and water is so blasé when you’re having a pedicure. She begins to work on my feet. I push a button on the arm of the chair and immediately the chair begins to massage my back. I choose where I want the pressure of the massage and how deep. Oh does this feel good. I lean back and relax with my cuppa hot chocolate, the chair massaging my back and the lady working on my feet. I close my eyes and enjoy. This will definitely not be my last pedicure.
And to add to that, I go to pay only to have the cashier tell me that someone had called in and paid for my pedicure, tip and all. I am loved!
10. Square plates
I used to live in a small town in another area. Once in a while I would travel to another city to shop. I found a store that sold different kinds of dishes among other things. I am not one to collect items just for the sake of collecting. There was an assortment of square dinner plates in this store. I liked them. They averaged around $8 to $10 a plate. I consider that to be pricey. But I wanted one. So I bought one. So over a period of a couple years every time I went to that city I would buy one plate, each one different from the other. I have since moved but I have this little stack of 10 square dinner plates in my cupboard – some brightly covered, some with very little color. Every once in a while I take out one of those square plates and enjoy my meal on my special plate. I take my time as I eat my meal and it makes me feel special.
Clearly Tracy is in better shape than she thought. She has more Scrabble letters on her tray than she knew. We are just rearranging them. She already knows how to anticipate, be in the moment (especially with fishing and her little friends) and is learning how to savor. This exercise should be a discipline for a year and by then it will become a lifestyle.
She is moving so aggressively and is in such good shape that as soon as she finishes her list of 30, we will be able to transition from pleasure to joy. This is a large step forward in experiencing intimacy with people, then ultimately with God.
Now there are many other tools we will explore along the way besides brain work, but this is our starting point so the others can build on an intensely sizzling brain.
From the Hub