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I canít pinpoint exactly when I started my new regiment, nor can I remember all the ill effects I suffered before Iíd become enlightened. However, I do remember being totally intrigued by the fact that a simple life alteration could produce such happiness and utter joy. My journey toward better health was not planned, but after living for several years with unexplained heart palpitations, an upset stomach, and chronic, unyielding headaches, I knew something had to give.

For the longest time I lived my life as one of those type A personalities. Not type A as in one who is overworked, but one who works overtime -- and believe me I did. I worked overtime at trying to solve my own problems, overtime at keeping a running log of who did me wrong, and finally, I worked doubly hard at figuring out how to dish out my own form of payback -- you know, my own brand of justice. Oh, nothing criminal, mind you. Iíd leave the real revenge for my active imagination, and you can bet quite a few people fell down some flights of stairs -- if only in my mind. My favorite form of active punishment toward those who wronged me was the silent treatment. I could go for months without speaking to someone -- especially to those who like to do dirt behind your back and think that youíre too dumb to figure it out. You know, the smile-in-your-face types. I could walk right past them and act as if they werenít even there.

by Christine Adua

But, this behavior didnít come without a very high price; my health suffered in the process. I canít really say that at the time I knew this was causing my health to deteriorate, but I knew how much energy I expelled just by being mad at someone or trying to remember to whom I wasnít speaking this week or that month. It was all too much.

One day while at home I was flipping through the television channels. I came across a program that seemed to be describing people just like me, so naturally my curiosity was piqued. The person speaking didnít just tell the audience about the behaviors associated with this type of personality; she went on to describe what takes place in the human body when anger, frustration, bitterness, and non-forgiving take over. I could no longer be a skeptic because everything she was saying I had experienced firsthand. The only thing I hadnít had was a heart attack. I wasnít dead yet, so I thought, Thank God. Thereís still hope. The program went on to talk about the remedy and how to begin the healing process -- I was all ears. Learning and practicing to let go of things was number one: acknowledge youíve been hurt, then let go and move on. The second and hardest thing, no, I mean really hard, was the part about learning to forgive. Believe me, this one took a lot of practice.

My life is much different now than it was in my twenties. Iíve been on my self-prescribed regiment of daily forgiveness and am learning, as my girlfriend says in her lovely Italian accent, to have a fa-getta-bout it attitude. With Godís help, each year is a little easier than the year before and life has most definitely improved. Headaches, backaches, and stomachaches are all gone, and my outlook on life is much brighter. Oh, donít get me wrong, I still have an occasional flashback when I want to smack someone upside their head for some perceived wrong, but I quietly let the image linger in my mind for a brief moment. And then with forced discipline I simply forget about it.

Bio: Barbara (Bobbie) Jones has been a writer since the age of seven, but her work didnít find its true voice until the year 2000. This was the year her life took a dramatic turn: her husband of seventeen years walked out on her. It seems that it always takes something almost catastrophic to jolt the human spirit into action. Ms. Jonesí action has led her to great blessings and a career as a published freelance writer. She signed her first writing contract with ďPoems by BobbieĒ is the name of her first business venture and is one of the most creative and productive outlets for her talents. The business enables her to create poems for individuals for holidays, birthdays, or any special occasion. Ms. Jones also volunteers at the senior citizen center in her hometown. You can contact Ms. Jones at the following e-mail address:

The Gift of Thanks | My New Regiment
Children and Their Divine Questions
SPIRIT: A Woman's Journal and Guide to Discovering
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