On Tuesday I started sharing my recent journey to freedom with you (What’s Driving You?). This is a continuation!
There is a verse in the Bible that says, “The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” (Proverbs 27:7) When I read that the other day, it really hit me how deeply true it is! When our “souls” are crying out for help, whether due to losing a loved one, financial issues causing stress, stress in family relationships or friendships, health issues, or a trauma past or present, we often don’t want to deal with the issue because of the pain/stress so we turn instead to something else to help us “cope”. That is where food, drugs, overexercise, self-sabotage, etc. come into the picture.
As I acknowledged I had an issue, then just watched for opportunities to address the issue as it came up, my desire for junk diminished greatly–and totally without effort on my part. There was no willpower (I honestly don’t believe in “willpower” anymore–but that’s a whole different post!), no “gotta be more disciplined”, no “I need to practice self-control”. Now, there’s nothing wrong with evaluating my workout schedule, what I’m eating, etc. BUT–what I have found is, I can spend an inordinate amount of time “examining”, coming up with a plan, beating myself up that I’m not doing it right and stressing over it, which all add up to upsetting my metabolism and raising cortisol….which adds to belly fat, for one thing, among many other consequences!
Slightly counterproductive, don’t you think?!
This is the second time something like this has happened (because too often I took the “overthink it and stress it out” route!), and this time was totally “effortless” as far as the junk cravings going away! I seriously am craving good yogurt, nuts, dried fruits, and about the only real “junk” treat I want right now is animal crackers! (Yeah, go figure! But it’s better than M&Ms, yes?!)
I’m sharing all this to encourage you that you can be free from the things that drive you, without stressing out about addressing them. My faith plays a huge part in my learning to rest and let the Lord help me tackle things as I’m ready. No one said you had to get it all figured out and back on track in a day!
I know it’s tough when the clothes aren’t fitting–but beating yourself into submission is not going to help in the long term, either!
May I gently encourage you to learn to rest? As things come to mind, acknowledge them. It’s okay to say someone’s cutting remark hurt. Or that you still miss your mom. Or that you wish your close friend hadn’t moved away. Or that a childhood trauma still affects you. Often admitting it to ourselves is the first step to healing. In my case, I didn’t ask why or where or for examples–I simply agreed. Then as each opportunity to trust came up (in many areas–relationships, finances, timing, decisions), I realized I needed to first trust.
I still miss my mom as well as my friend, Peggy. I still wish my kids didn’t struggle with cavities so much. (Financial AND health issues there!) I wish my one daughter’s chest heaviness would just go away (no physical cause, but still a mystery). Those are just a few areas that I realized I needed to simply….rest and trust. As I did, though, decisions came easier, financial issues aren’t bothering me as much (and neither are the teeth–not that I like it but I have perfect trust that we’ll find the right answer for us), and we’re pursuing some other ideas for my daughter. In the meantime, my food addictions simply fell away!
Do I think that’s the last of it?
Because we are living beings and nothing stays static. But we can stay consistent as we can, even if it’s just a few moves a day, keeping up on our water intake and learning to inhale/exhale deeply to help with the stress while it’s happening! In the long term, we’ll be better for it–healthier, stronger both physically and emotionally, which only serves to help us in future times of stress.
So, I ask again–what’s driving you?
What one thing would help you rest and not be as focused on that driving factor? What one step can you take in your journey to freedom today?
I’d love to hear your progress! Remember–it’s not just “making yourself do it” but being willing to gently address the factors that are the real cause. It takes time.
But it the freedom it brings is worth it!
Photo credit: dweekly