God Sends Tony Robbins To Help


A: Okay well you know that if you’re going to attain the goals, you’re going to have to be just a little bit more clear about what they look like.

B: Try a lot more clear.

A: Fair enough, a lot more clear. Jeff?

Jeff: Well I was at Freddie’s house shortly after I had left the place on 1500 South, the place that had been Adam and my home— is that grammatically correct?

B: We get it.

Jeff: So I was there at Freddie’s, all my stuff literally piled to the ceiling because— well, it was the remnants of— oh nevermind. And so there was all this stuff that I was going to have to drive to Alabama, the stuff that hadn’t made it into the UHaul containers and— Jesus, he really was a dick wasn’t he? “I’m free now, Bitch” (laughs) Oh well, anyway. It was like three in the morning and I couldn’t sleep. I just keep thinking about him and Phil and John and putting this new information about their “polyamory” into Adam’s stories— that is to say lies— about going camping with his “med school buddies” (laughs) anyway— doesn’t matter. I couldn’t sleep. That’s a miserable place to be, stuck awake with your own thoughts. I was so beat up by then I was sort of numb. But still hurting. Still in a state of disbelief in some ways I guess— shock. So I prayed. You know, I prayed hard for some help. I was lying there in the dark, empty of tears—I thought, and I prayed for some help. Maybe it was even sort of an angry prayer even though I had already come to see where my part in the whole thing, beginning with moving an admitted drug addict/alcoholic into my life and my home when he was not even really sober yet and getting all those people to cosign my— anyway, I was able to see where I’d fucked up and fucked up bad eight years earlier. But that wasn’t helping in that moment. All I could think of in that moment was him with his new boyfriends and me there with the promise of getting nothing for all I had put into this MD he was about to get. I felt as alone as I have ever felt in this world. I just felt like I didn’t want to go on anymore. Finally, realizing that sleep was just not coming, like I said, I just prayed this sort of angry, desperate prayer. “Please God! Give me some fucking help now!” You are going to laugh your ass off at this but I looked down into the pile of all my shit that was there in the floor—

B: Wait a minute, I thought you said you were in bed.

Jeff: I was pacing around by then— anyway, I saw this book bag that appeared to have some CD’s a spiral bound books inside. That wasn’t mine. I had never seen it before in my life. What was it doing in my stuff?

A: What was it?

Jeff: It was a Tony Robbins motivational seminar CDs complete with book.

B: Oh God.

Jeff: Right? I mean I sort of felt like I hated that guy— having just seen him on those late night infomercials all those times. Just the sound of his voice— I felt like he was just for— I don’t know, for Republican businessmen and losers. (laughs)

A: Please tell me you didn’t listen to them.

Jeff: God no! Well, not right away anyway. I started flipping through the workbook and I could see that someone had filled out some of the blanks. It wasn’t Adam’s handwriting. I knew it wasn’t mine. I wondered who’s Tony Robbins life enhancement program stuff had made it into my stuff and how. I read a couple of pages and then I realized— it was Adam’s parents who had been filling out the book— Adam’s parents had ordered the program. I quickly closed the book and decided not to read any more. I considered what they wrote there to be private and I didn’t feel like it was my right to read it.

C: That’s right. It wasn’t. It was good that you stopped reading it.

Jeff: Thank you.

B: I would have read it.

A: Shh!

Jeff: Anyway, from the little bit I had already read, I felt like I already knew everything that they would have written in there. Adam’s dad is very ADD and in fact, a lot like me. It was more than a few times that I thought if Adam’s dad hadn’t been the way he was, then Adam would have never conceded to love someone as ADD and crazy as I am. Even one of the new husbands is sort of— as I’ve said before— a clear stand-in for Adam’s dad. More than once, when Adam would show up drunk, he’d end up blubbering and crying saying, “I miss my Daddy” which is weird because his dad’s not dead and in fact lived less than a mile down the road. Adam just never really wanted to see him— until he was drunk. Anyway, beside the point. I stopped reading the workbook when I figured out that Adam’s parents were the ones who’d filled it out—

B: Yeah, you said.

A and C: Shhhh!

Jeff: But there was something about reading that little bit and thinking about Adam’s family— I loved and love them still very much— and about little Adam and about his brother’s death and about my own family and the terrible way it had all ended and I just started weeping from the bottom of my soul. I must have sat there on those boxes for ten minutes just sobbing. I really would have thought there were no tears left by that point but apparently another wave of grief had been called forth by reading the words of my (now freshly ex-) parents-in-law. After that, I slept. I slept hard and deep.

C: So you never listened to the CDs. Thank God, I’m glad to hear that.

Jeff: Oh! No! I actually did. That’s the reason I started talking about it. When I prayed for help, I got the immediate— or almost immediate— catharsis which was what I needed to sleep that night— and then I started listening to the CD’s the next day. I put the files on my phone and I listened to them as I drove all my shit to Alabama too. And after I got to Alabama. I listened and I took notes. One of the best things about all that is that I felt like I was demonstrating to God?— or to myself? —this willingness. I was so ultra willing. I was willing to give this program that I had a huge amount of judgement about.

B: Well, clearly it didn’t work because you’re still in a pile of shit nearly two years later!

Jeff: Thank you. Thank you for that.

A: Please ignore her. She’s bitter. Carry on.

Jeff: Now I feel stupid about even telling y’all about it.

B: You should. You should feel—

C: Will you please shut the fuck up? Can’t you see he’s already on his last—

(A clears throat loudly)

C: What?

Jeff: Anyway guys, I’m tired and I really want to make a go of it this week so if you don’t mind—

A: Wait, wait, hold up. Before you go. What was the outcome— I mean why did you bring up the CDs? Was it just about the— I mean did you take anything away from them that you could—

Jeff: Oh right, right. That’s it. That’s really why I started talking about them. I was thinking about what Tony says with regard to goals. And it’s something that I’ve not really been thinking about or putting to use with this set of ten goals I shared with y’all. I mean the fear is the reason that I don’t do the action items, right? The PTSD and the fear.

B: And?

Jeff: So anyway, I think I need to— number one, spend some time really visualizing these goals each day, really imagine what having them would feel like. What would it really feel like to have the Mehadi Foundation helping hundreds if not thousands of veterans like I dreamed it could? What would my place in New York look like and how would it feel to come home to it feel like?

C: Is this Tony Robbins stuff?

Jeff: Actually I don’t know. I mean I’m sure he’s got to talk about visualization somewhere in his stuff— most “goal setter teachers” do— maybe I’m remembering this from some Science of Mind or Unity stuff— some Edwene Gaines teachings— anyway doesn’t matter!

A: That’s right. Doesn’t matter. Go on.

Jeff: But something that Tony does say and it’s the part that I really need to start putting to work— he talks about using my mind to— let’s see how does this go? Like to make the pain of not achieving the goal be much greater that the pain of— what? being complacent and doing nothing? See? Now I’m confused. Maybe I need to go back and listen to it again. Oh, I don’t think I even have that phone anymore. I wonder if I could find the CDs, I think they’re down at Mamma Key’s.

C: Jesus!

Jeff: Wait, I think I got it. Or at least some Jeff version of it. So there’s achieving the goal and there’s not achieving the goal. To achieve the goal, I have some action items in mind— action items that I seem to be too afraid to do. So how to I “trick” myself into doing them anyway? I have to imagine how great I’ll feel when I achieve the goal and contrast that to how shitty I’d feel if I don’t. Is that right? Something like that. No, I think that’s it. In the morning, when I start coming up with shit to do rather than the action items on my goals list, I just need to stop, think about my goals and envision how wonderful it would feel to have them and let that good feeling build until it is greater than the fear of doing the action items, right? Okay, that might not be exactly how Tony explained it but I think I’m close. And that feels like it will work. Not doing the action items equals not attaining the goals equals Jeff feels like shit. Doing the action items equals Jeff attains the goals equals Jeff is happy. And I’m not forgetting to leave space for God to do all kinds of amazing and unexpected shit once I am out of my fear paralysis and once again working toward my goals. I’ve given enough time to grieving and letting go of this soon-to-be-ancient-history “divorce.” I’m not judging myself for taking so long or the often very sloppy way of trying to move through it— it only means that it really did mean something to me. It was a colossal blow and because I am doing the work to move through it, when my real and authentic marriage comes into being, I will know what heaven it is based on the hell I had to live through. — would you just please look at this precious cat curled up beside me here on this bed as I finish this blog? And listen to those chimes? And the ticking of the clock. What wonderful sounds. How peacefully I’m going to sleep tonight. And you know why that is— a big part of it? Because I don’t feel so alone anymore. I don’t feel like I have to go through this alone. Thank y’all, for showing up for me tonight, guys. Guys? Guys? Hmm. They must have already gone.

(Yells down the hall)

See y’all tomorrow! 

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