You are one of the strongest women I know…

Was received as both a compliment and a contradiction quite some time ago. But this statement likes to make a reappearance in my brain from time to time to remind me it was said. To fill my emotions with the security I felt the day it was mentioned. To almost tawnt me into the ring of life with an “are you chicken?” kind of tone. I know there are times I exhibit strength. I know there are times I have been stronger than others. I know I have pushed through certain types of pain that would melt the average individual. But all this pales in comparison to the massive list, I have in my mind of the times I have been anything but strong. Where I have been weak, weaker, the weakest. I give in to what others want, I sacrifice a dream because of fear, I look the other way because I don’t want the hassle, or I am afraid of what people will say or think of my choice.  So in the picture of the tipping scales, most of the time, I do not SEE myself as STRONG. So when I come face to face with one of my battles, I hear the second part of the conversation:

“…Are you going to let THIS define you?  Are you going to let this one thing defeat you?  This is nothing, this is minor, this is such a minute part of life; I cannot believe for an instant you are not strong enough to overcome it, defeat it, master it.” 

And there is was… a statement of BELIEF in who I am as a person.  A statement that reminded me of how much BIGGER and HUGER I have made this whole food, exercise, weight issue in my life.  Why isn’t this as straight forward as every other challenge I have undertaken?  Why has this habit, lifestyle, perspective taken up sacred untouchable territory in my subconscious?

For me it is simple… because I allow it.  I have decided that there are enough excuses, reasons, allowances for me to be this way, eat this way, live this way that it is OK to given in, give up, throw in the towel at a moments amount of pain.  People will understand, its okay, sometimes its just too hard, life just can’t always be won.  Everyone has something they struggle with.  But I must say I am tired of this being MY THING… I am ready for a new challenge.  I am ready for God to reveal to me something ELSE in my character I can master and correct and improve.  So no more excuses, no more permission, no more reasons it is acceptable to give in.

Make decisions now for the outcomes you want later.  So I am making decisions now that will give me the outcome later… In the center of my decision making process is the fear of pain, embarrassment, rejection, humiliation.  And I have determined that it is better to hide behind the physical boundary of weight than to deal with the world without it.  I heal my pain with food, I reward my pleasure center with food, I hide away in my room away from life and activity for fear of the pain mistakes bring, judgement holds, and life distributes.  But that is not the life I want, that is not the life I can have, that is not the life I am meant to experience.

Only one way to change direction… change actions.  It is time to build character, strength training for the soul, kick that belief out of command central of my feelings, and do things that hurt.  Do things that will stretch my heart, mind, & soul to new places.  I’ve tried easy, I’ve tried grace, I’ve tried one step at a time; but now its time to take command of my life.  Tell my inner self it’s time to get in line soldier… because we are going to the high places, we are going to change our name, we are going to do as the Shepherd says because the time of living as Much Afraid is over…

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Some Days its better NOT to think about it

So I have been struggling to blog for months and months.  It is mostly because the things that have been filling my mind have all been focused around a specific person.  And with every thought and every idea that seemed to enter my mind I couldn’t write it out here in the Public forum.  I had been so convinced in the past that I could handle being honest in any circumstances in any environment; but I was wrong.  I found that moment in time when I could not just write what I was feeling because I knew that a certain person out there wouldn’ t like it. 

There are so many things and so many stories I cannot even begin to catch up on the things that have happened. 

I’m angry… I am so completely angry that I have to explain myself.  That I have to sit here and allow these attacking thoughts to my self-esteem, character, integrity, and life with no defense.  Even now I can’t seem to type one sentence at a time.  The thoughts are muddy and cloudy and confusing.  Just as I grab on to one to put it on paper it escapes and runs for cover.  I enjoyed so much this medium of writing what I think and thinking what I write, but it is such a struggle now just to write to connecting thoughts. 

So I have an appointment with a new counselor at the End of July.  I am filling out the paperwork and trying to decide what do I want to talk about?  What do I want to focus on and work on?  It almost seems like because Ted (no not a real name) always talks about counseling and what my counselor will say and what I need to talk to my counselor about that I am already posturing myself to do battle with a woman I haven’t even met yet. 

There is a part of me that wants to defend my life, defend my experience, and defend my life philosophy about friends, community, and relationships.  I know there are things I haven’t figured out, I know there are things I need to learn, but this whole experience with Ted has really gotten me to question whether or not I am connected with reality or not.  Why is it like this?  Why am I confronted with this conflict internally all because someone said I am wrong.

Fast forward to today… And without further Adieu I am back.  The people in my life are important.  I need to be careful who I allow into my sphere of influence because Ted was just a continual conversation focused on every little detail of me that was wrong, imperfect, unloving, inappropriate, ungodly, and out of touch.  And that doesn’t matter.  That stuff is who I AM.  I need to make no apologies for the character and creation I have become.  I am only to BE the Woman that is living this life, trying to figure things out.  And yes there will be people who don’t get that, but that doesn’t matter.  They can NOT understand it all they want, it shouldn’t change who I am and who I am striving to become. 

Therefore, with new wisdom, support, resolve, and determination I return back to my process of old, my blogging of the thoughts that appear in my mind and on my heart.  Knowing and BELIEVING there is a community of friends out there who wants me and a man who will love and ACCEPT me… with all my flaws, fables, fantastical wishes, and fantastic ideas.

Psalms 45 – Just a Few Things

Months and months ago I wrote a series based on the list I had created years ago called What I look for.  This all started from a few of my friends saying I needed to make my list.  I needed to know in my mind, heart, and print what I was looking for in the man I wanted to partner with in this life.  I even found a section in one of my favorite books that provided a list of things that should be asked when determining if someone is a Person of Character.  I even put it on my blog as a separate page to remind myself from time to time.

Well just as I had completed that series a blast from my past arrived on my door step.  Well maybe not my door step but my Facebook page, and these days that might as well be your front door.  After a series of conversations, dates, non-dates, community dinners, friend introductions, and the like; we have decided that a relationship between the two of us would be a bad thing (we being me).  Bad meaning unhealthy, dysfunctional, co-dependent, draining, chaos causing, and frustrating (is there anything else that would make something bad?) But I am getting distracted from the real topic, which is that I think I found a few more things to add to my list.

This psalm is referred to as a wedding song, so what better way to identify those things I WANT in my future partner than here.  Now I promise not to rewrite the entire chapter, since I realize that would be redundant and most importantly impractical or improbable. But since I get to decide what I want, and what I will pray for and what I am hoping for out of this chapter, then that is what I am going to WRITE.  SO THERE.  I don’t sound a little defensive do I? But in all seriousness allow me a few moments to share a heart felt inspiration as a piece of scripture is inspiring me to draw a connection to my life in this season. 

My heart is stirred
     You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever.
          Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. 
               In your majesty ride forth in the cause of truth, humility and justice, let your right hand achieve awesome deeds. 
                    Your throne, O god, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
                         You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, 
                               has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.                          

With grand expectation and hopeful want, I desire a man who will have lips that use words laced with grace and not criticism.  That God’s heart for my well-being and growth would be communicated from him as gracious items of life and not destructive points leaving me bruised and wounded at the mere mention of the words.  Not that truth wouldn’t be spoken, but that he would know that fine art of speaking truth in love to me. 

Although I do not require my man to be a card-carrying member of the sword wielding guild, he must have the confidence that builds him to a place of being the mighty one in his life.  That he know who he is in God and that he knows where he is going.  He is confident in his mind and heart to carry the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith in this crazy world of church, friends, family, and work. (Kind of a compliment to my favorite artist’s picture on my blog.)

That his values run deeper than this is what my parents taught me.  That his life philosophy includes fighting for the cause of truth, humility, and justice.  The world may not be fair and there will be injustices that will be done in front of us and to us; but that does not negate the need to do life towards those goals.  Just as there is a balance between truth and grace there is a balance between confident mighty strength and honest genuine humility; and in these I want him to know the difference and strive to achieve this. 

In the deepest core of my soul lies the belief that it is important to be fair and just in my decisions and actions.  Even if this means someone gets a benefit over me.  So reading this scripture that speaks to the scepter of justice ruling over his kingdom, really resonates with what I believe to be one of my most important life decisions.  So he must also value truth and justice above all else.  (and the American way?)  Funny how certain things end up programmed in the back of one’s mind. 

Finally, the anointing you with the oil of joy, has become so important in my life I cannot imagine living in a partnership without it.  I did not move into adulthood a happy or joyful person.  Too much tragedy, complaining, and hurt had not allowed me to embrace those things.  But as healing, acceptance, friendship, and grace has found its way into my life I began to realize that joy is an important part of everyday.  It doesn’t always FEEL that way, and I may not always express it or live in it, but it is a choice at those times for me to still allow God’s joy to change my perspective and attitude.  So he must also have that same desire to look for the joy, seek out the good, and make the best of any given situation. 

After all, I am typing this in the midst of a rainy Oregon day while camping, in a tent, by herself; if a girl can find the good in that part, well then he is definitely SHOULD be able to as well.

Hope – Its not just Fluffy

The beginning of the bolder being moved into change in my life started with FPU – Financial Peace University.  Something about the way Dave Ramsey – say things – Straight, Direct, No Excuse, Funny, with No Apology.  It got me moving.  I am on a plan, I am paying things off and making slow progress, but its is progress.  I only have 3 more years on my debt.  10 year on the student loan.  BUT I am on the road.  This started Spring 2008. 

Then I started on Medifast: Food plan that has gotten me to lose 85lbs so far (July 2010) so far.  But the biggest effect it has had is my perspective on food and the constant emotional struggle and fight I have with myself about control.  It really REALLY comes down to this one area I don’t want to surrender.  I am fighting with myself everyday these days.  But I started to start over every day.  I know this is the right plan and it is working out the character of my real life, who I really want to be.  This started July 2009. 

Even in my season of getting mad and fighting through the feelings of despair and hopelessness, I did not realize how the hope of success carried me.  It wasn’t just a delicate doily in my pocket that I waved in the air.  It was this Marble Pillar I grabbed hold of with all my might and pushed and pulled and wrapped my arms around because I knew what I knew what I knew that this was the future.  This WILL be my success, my HOPE that i would make those daily choices to allow me to keep hold of this victory became the sword that I wielded against every little thought that would attempt to pull me away from my goal.

More than Fuffy

NEW DAY
NEW BEHAVIOR
NEW RESOLVE
NEW DEDICATION!!!!!!!!!!

This is just as important this year as last year.  It means JUST as much to me this year as last year.  It took me almost 2 years to get the Dave Ramsey stuff on track… WHY would the food struggle be any easier. 
 
Behavior change affect the attitude change. The same goes for motivation and achievement. It seems if we are just motivated we will achieve our goals. However, it is just the opposite…motivation comes from achievement. The more you achieve the more you will be motivated.

To me that is such the complete opposite of everything I remember hearing.  I remember voices saying just be disciplined, make the sacrifice, be uncomfortable, make the choice.  And as much as I am realizing there is definitely a place for each of those thoughts and attitudes.  I can definitely agree with a standing ovation in the cheering section, that when I achieve something, no matter how small how insignificant to the rest of the world; I AM MOTIVATED!!!!

I still do battle with the worthlessness, I still hear the voices of self-doubt and I still rebel against what is good for me.  But when I see the achievements, when I feel the improvement, when I KNOW what I know WHAT I KNOW that I have accomplished, achieved, even MASTERED something in ANY way.  My motivation is stronger.  My drive has returned.  My Hope is Brilliant and Glowing. 

It’s no wonder that I have 5 different songs on my iPod at the moment ALL by different artists with the theme of: It’s a brand new day, New Day, New perspective, New pathway, New Challenge to inspire my psyche as I spend more hours than I care to count in my car. 🙂