How to love your backbone

by Rod Smith

To Whom It May Concern: How to Love Your Backbone 

A backbone is one of those “use it or lose it” things. In order to love it you have to find it. 

Some men and women, very sadly, have been filleted. Like fish.

This, the filleting process, can be done swiftly, or painstakingly slowly. It’s often done by life, “love,” family, or even by church.

It saddens me to know I have met several filleted men and women – men and women who stand for nothing – and there are many times I have felt spineless myself. 

If you lost your backbone some time ago its presence may be hard for you to locate. But, be assured, complete filleting is possible with fish. Not humans. 

It’s in there, really. Your backbone is in there. You just have to want to find it. And, to find it, you have to acknowledge its usefulness. Believe me you have a spine even if it has been ignored for years.

You have to see its purpose, its role in propelling you to face yourself and the world if you want it to be restored to full strength.   

You will start to find it when you believe you still have one and know you still need it.  When you practice using it, it will really start to grow in you. Everything will start to change for the good. Well, most things. The people who preferred you to be spineless, or, those who did the filleting, might resist who you become. But, you will be able to deal firmly with them as you discover the truth about your backbone and the power of using it.  You will see repeatedly how spinelessness got you nowhere worth going.  

Growth require practice. Practice involves showing up. Standing up. Speaking up. Even if it is at first in small ways and about seemingly insignificant matters.

If you start with non threatening situations, perhaps where you have been a pushover in the past, you’ll get used to the feel of your backbone.

You might even begin to enjoy it and feel it doing its amazing work within you.

Once you begin to trust its usefulness you will like it more and more. You will begin to use it in more important situations like in your intimate relationships, at work (with your boss), with your parents, and even with your children. If you use it consistently and without apology there will be people who will forget you ever stooped through life and stood up for little or nothing.

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