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Life's Little Lessons

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." – Emile Zola

Tag

fixes

The Crooked Road

Be careful listening to anyone trying to “sell” you something that will “make” you something.

Happier.

Skinner.

More energized.

Whatever.

Doctors will prescribe pills. Friends will try to sell you their coffee or their wraps. Your pastor will point you to Jesus *and I’ll join Him to an extent*

But in the end…

It all comes down to YOU. Nothing is going to “fix” you or “make” you turn into the person you want to be except YOU.

Hard truth.

Pills can help *temporarily* but they are not a fix. Talking it through, looking at hard things, taking responsibility, establishing boundaries and extending continual forgiveness are pretty good helpers.

Coffee and wraps? Heck I don’t actually know anything about these things but I do know that eating real food, being consistent with exercising and getting good sleep are great helpers.

And Jesus? He is not your Genie and He does carry a magic wand. Rarely have I heard a prayer come to be that was not attached to someone’s intentional action post prayer; their willingness to be changed along with their fortitude and humility. He promises to walk with you but you’ve got to show up and do the work and the work is hard, especially when it comes to your heart. The good news is, the Spirit of Jesus is the most excellent Helper. He has my vote.

So if you are looking for a “fix”, you will most likely keep looking for a slew of them your whole life and may fall for whatever is out there that seems quick and easy. Take it from me, there is no quick and easy anything to change the “you” you want to be.

You can read all the self-help books you want but if you don’t consistently apply the authors principles to your life, all you’ve done is read a really good book that someone else wrote. Someone who actually took the crooked road to grace because change, especially lasting change, is hard and it’s ugly…

But it can be done.

Gather your troops and find your tribe.

Change rarely happens on your own.

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The Further Journey

I cannot find my lipstick. I cannot find it in my purse, my bag or any of the pockets in my coat. I forgo showering trying to find it and spend the next hour trying remember when the last time was that I used it.

I rack my brain. Where is it?

It drives me crazy. I wish I knew where it was so I could resume regular living but instead, I’m stuck, consumed with trivial things.

It’s just a tube of lipstick, “Bombshell” I believe is it’s name and it’s part of the system I’ve put in place that helps me feel safe, protected and such. Just knowing where it’s at, HAVING it, tricks my brain into believing I am enough IF I have enough lipsticks.

And sweaters, shoes, shampoos. Bracelets and books.

Books on how to break free from bracelets and books.

And all they do is suffocate me and make me feel like I am drowning under a heavy and thick layer of ooze, of shoes. I can’t find it. I’ll go buy another. Because I must have it.

Obsessive Compulsion much?

A process I have run from my entire life is before me and I believe deep within myself despite how it looks or feels, it is a gift.

I resolve this time to go all the way through, to the very end and beyond, to the further side. It would be wasteful of me not to.

Seriously, this is a gift horse and I know it.

Only time will tell if I see it to the end.

The last several weeks have been just about the worst. The Holidays came and went, our son was Home and is now gone again and during that period of time, problems were placed neatly on the shelf. The Holiday hiatus is now over and it is time to keep moving forward.

Yet part of the problem is I feel at a standstill.

I don’t want to remain shelved.

Roni, a very wise friend of mine, encouraged me the other day to stay focused on the solution rather than the problem. Easier said than done and I know those who have walked through life and the joys and sufferings of it, will agree.

It is difficult to not get consumed by life’s “problems”, hence washed away by some giant wave that often feels and looks like a Tsunami and has the potential to take out the entire planet, or at least my own private island and right now, my kingdom is in jeopardy.

I’m not sleeping well or eating much. My thoughts are consumed with the bigger picture, of what may happen, but as washed by the waves as I am, I drown myself in worship and  in prayer and resolve to continually place my thoughts on the solution.

What is the solution?

I am. I need to make different choices.

I know the power to overcome lives within me. Any answer that I am seeking dwells there because I believe Jesus is who He says He is and if He is, so am I.

I also know there is a process in each of us that needs to be fulfilled to completion and until it is, it will chase us down as a predator hunts its prey. It is inevitable. We may play hide and seek the entirety of our lives trying to avoid it or disillusion ourselves thinking we are done when maybe we were only half way through. We may tell ourselves that halfway is good enough and that our bandages will stick but in reality, they eventually fall worn to the ground and we get used to our limp.

Maybe our process will not end.

Maybe the end is not ever the end.

I do know that in order to move forward, there is always something that has to be let go of, moved beyond from, given up or forgiven. Baggage is heavy and to continue to make progress, we have to be made light. Maybe that’s why so often we cut the process short. We grow attached to our stuff, even the heavy and hard. Even unhealthy attachments are attachments nonetheless.

And I have a lot to let go of.

The price may seem higher for the addict who prostitutes for a fix than it is for the addict who merely spends their entire paycheck on a new wardrobe, but ultimately both pay with their lives.

And I am tired of paying with mine when Jesus loved me enough to pay with His.

Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results – Albert Einstein

I know we may all have our vices, our little fixes we gravitate towards when the sky feels like it is falling on our heads and our lungs get so tight we can’t breathe. I’m sure we may have all been drawn toward something to help, something to fill our empty places.

Drinking

Eating

Drugs

Sex

Exercising

Shopping

Social Media

Gambling

The ante keeps escalating and I can’t keep up. My fix is no longer fixing…I don’t know if it ever did except to lull the real me to sleep and numb me from the noise.

So today I made a call, this week I’ll take a step. I am going to attend my first Celebrate Recovery meeting which is similar to AA and is a Christ centered approach to recovery. I’ve thought about going for years but as things like this go, things got better, things got worse. It wasn’t the right time. I thought I was at a good place. It’s just shopping. Everyone likes shopping and I had a hold of the reigns real tight. I was in control and in charge.

Turns out the reigns have had their hold on me.

Tight.

To those whose minds consume them whole till they begin and then finish, you may understand.

Binge and Purge. It’s what those of us who create systems do. We are wildly all in or all out. There is no middle ground. We erect tiny safe havens within ourselves that we go, that we hide, like the Mall to feel safe. We buy new sweaters to feel pretty.

Sometimes I wish I sat a bar.

But no. Instead I am lost in my house for over an hour looking for my latest lipstick.

I tell myself it doesn’t matter.

 

It doesn’t matter what it is that I DO, it doesn’t matter one bit. What matters most is that I desire to be free, completely.

And this baggage cannot go with me where I am heading. I am scared but I am unashamed.

I need to be made light in order to journey there.

 

 

 

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