Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gaining The Ability To See Progress And Still Be Okay

Hi there. How are you doing? Are you  having a good Summer so far? I can't complain. As a matter of fact I have quite a bit to be thankful for. I don't have any particular plans other than continuing to embrace the advocacy work that I've been doing for almost a year now. It's going very well. I'm meeting some really incredible people who are as passionate about advocacy as I am, if not more. New opportunities are opening up for me and my skill set in increasing by leaps and bounds. My son's health is better also. Food is not making him suffer. He enjoys the foods that I'm cooking and he's responding well to the medicines he's taking. We did go through a period where his seizures increased dramatically, landing us in the ER a few times. With many prayers and a few adjustments to medications he seems to be doing well.

It's been a long time since I've seen my son so happy, even though I've witnessed him smile through much of his pain for the past three years. It's different now. I can tell he feels much better. I sit here listening to his inaudible chatter and contagious laughter and smile to myself, taking mental note of my gratitude.

In my last post I wrote about becoming aware of my self-sabotaging mindset whenever I've managed to achieve a weight loss goal or an exercise goal or even an eating goal for that fact. I've been spending a lot of time praying about this thing, because I honestly didn't have a clue what to do about it. I needed answers to questions I could barely voice. I'm still seeking answers and while I'm seeking those answers I'm systematically compiling more questions. While all of this this is going on, I turn my attention towards the self I see in the mirror and I begin to see what looks like change. As I stare at my reflection I wonder if what I see is real.

Have you ever come to a point in a situation where you simply don't know which way to go? It doesn't matter how much you think about it, you still have no clue and as soon as frustration sets in, you shift gears and begin willing your thoughts to disappear. Before long you might find yourself in a vicious cycle of trying to overcome something that you don't know how to overcome and getting angrier by the moment because you can't to do this on you own.

Part of my Christian belief is that we as believers should not try to navigate life's trials and tribulations on our own. We are taught to rely on God, to seek Him in all that we do. Why is it so hard to put this into practice? The way I see it, it's because we are fixated on seeing self...not our whole self, just the parts we don't like. We read books on how to help self. We seek out inspirational speakers that say to us, rely on self...believe in self. As a matter of fact, since the beginning of our being we are conditioned to focus solely on self. Even much of our faith practice is focused on self, what we want from God...not what God wants from us. And if that isn't enough of a track towards narcissism we go one step further and expand our focus on how the world sees us and that image becomes the image we pay most attention to. We use the world as our mirror and almost always hate what we see. And so every thing we do, say, experience, and want is centered around the image of self that we want to portray to the world. We want to be better than what the world sais we are. Okay, so let me ask this... How can we Christians see God if all we see is the world's view of self? And how can we see God in ourselves if we don't like what self looks like? I'll even go one step further and ask, how do we learn to trust God and love Him with our whole heart if we don't think He made us right...if we think that God made a mistake when He made us? Have you ever thought about that and how that kind of thinking affects us on every level?

I'm starting to understand why there's such a profound level of negative self and body image. I don't know one other person that is happy with the way God made them...not one. And though I've never had an issue with the way God made me, I've spent the majority of my life loathing what life's circumstances created me to be...fat and afraid.

A couple weeks ago I was about to write a post on not being able to see change. I sat down, opened my blog and attempted to type out the first sentence. Something inside of me would not let me complete that sentence. I closed my blog and began working on something else. A few days past, random thoughts dashing across my mind. "Wonder why I can't see any change?" "Is it because I've been so heavy for so long that I'm not able to see myself any other way?" "Maybe I need to try wearing a smaller size." Of course, at that time I was afraid to try a smaller size. I didn't want to endure anticipation followed by the disappointment of a smaller size still being the too tight. Another thought crossed my mind, "Could it be that I'm not able to see progress for fear of sabotaging myself again?" That was it. It became clear to me that my inability to handle progress will always be a stronghold if I don't seek help from God, because I can't get past this on my own.

Sometimes when I ask God for answers He answers me right away. Other times, He takes me through a process...a journey. I've learned, when asking God to help me change something about myself, in order to achieving change it often requires a process. This time the process is to shift my focus from seeing the world view of self to seeing God's creation.

With the help of God I was able to spend the first year of my journey working towards better physical health by increasing awareness of my emotions and their link to my eating disorder. He also helped me find the courage to look in a mirror and see the image I'd been running from, because my image was everything the world considered wrong. I had to learn how to see my body, not as what the world sees, but as it was created by God and what He intended my body to be.

This is what the bible has to say about that. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

Now that I am learning to see myself in the light in which I am meant to be seen, I can better handle the progress I'm making and know that I'm going to be alright because the darkness of negative thoughts cannot penetrate the light of seeing myself through God's eyes.

Onward and Upward!