So imagine you're on a hike. You come to a fork in the road. You're not really sure what the right way is. You don't really know if the way you choose will take you to your desired destination. But you choose. You make the choice. And you move forward with confidence. Along the way you see beautiful, rich-in-color blossoms and delight in the warm sunshine. You see a delicate doe prancing through an open meadow as the butterflies dance in the wild flowers. You feel God's love for you as you watch the bubbling brook as it laughs it's way down the mountain. It is a glorious trail, and you feel at peace. You come around the bend, and before you is a HUGE boulder indicating the end of the path. So, after leaning on that boulder to take a little breather and rest you turn around and go back. When you get to the fork again, you take the other path.
So the question is... do you get upset about the detour? Do you belittle yourself? Do you say and think hurtful things about the kind of person you are? I mean really... how could you have chosen the wrong path?! Do you get frustrated and think about quiting? About choosing the easy way out?
Do you relish in the journey? Do you thrill about the small treasures you were given along that short path? Do you thank your Father in heaven for the truly majestic world He has given us? And thank Him for the privilege of being here to witness those small wonders? Do you appreciate the break and rest you received and the strength you've been given to continue on?
If it sounds like I'm trying to say that I'm quiting - I'm not. I'm just admitting to myself that the last two weeks I have been on a detour. I have been reverting back to eating a LOT of fun foods and not so nutritious foods. But worse than that, I have been judging myself for it. I have been considering working out to make up for it. I have been cringing when I look in the mirror and obsessing about the way my jeans fit.
I've been feeling like a hypocrite.
Last night I was reading Intuitive Eating and I read something similar to the hiking scenario I shared. And they pointed out that a hiker would have chosen the later feelings and thoughts. They would not have been upset, but appreciated the detour for what it was. They would be curious and thoughtful about it, but not judgmental and mean.
Yesterday I ate so much food! I did not stop to consider my feelings, my thoughts, anything! I just ate - and ate - and ate! As I went to bed, I was sad. I felt physically horrible. But even worse, I felt spiritually empty. I felt disappointed in myself, and honestly, I felt like I was not the only one that was disappointed in my actions. As much as I talk about not judging my food choices - which I still believe is a true and good principle to live by. I also do believe there is a certain point where too far, is just too far. I went there yesterday. It wasn't the first time I'd been there. The difference? I was aware. I knew it. I saw it. And I did nothing to stop it. Being aware also brings with it responsibility. It was selfish. It was not in the name of learning. And I am not proud of my actions.
As I always say... so now what?
I guess now I find out what I am really made of! I find out just how much I've learned this year. I get to practice "moving on" and "forgiving myself" and "asking for forgiveness". Well I have begun that process today, and I feel much better. It was a real eye opening experience! So I guess it was for learning after all. Just not the kind of lesson I want to have again. I spent the day in quite a bit of prayer and reflection. And actually, it turned into a great day. I went to my meditation class and had a wonderful experience. The spirit was so strong, and I felt my Father's love for me despite my short comings. I also was shown that I have a long way to go - but that if I am willing to do the work - I will not be alone! I will not be left wanting.
Today I felt my hunger. I let myself get really familiar with it. I did not rush in to hurry and eat and protect myself from it. I guess I just needed to really see that, it won't kill me to be hungry. To listen to my hunger. To TRUST myself more. To trust my body more. After all, it is from God, right? So it comes with all these built in features. Like knowing when to eat, what to eat, and when to stop. And if I can just stop getting in my own way, I think the Lord could really make something of me.
Willow has this green ball that she just adores! She carries it everywhere! You can ask her "Where's your ball?" and she'll run all over the house to find it. When we first started training her, we taught her "drop". She would drop it exactly where you could reach it and prepare herself to go fetch it. She LOVES fetch and could play it ALL day! Then we took her to a family party and the kids played with her. And they said drop so many times, that she started to learn it was better to just run away. So now, even though what she wants more than anything is for you to throw the ball. When you say drop, she runs away.
Every time I play this game with her, I think that this is the game I am playing too. Long ago, I knew how to listen to my body. I knew of God's love for me, never questioned it. I was kind and loving to myself, forgiving of others, and only wanted to be a helper. And my love for myself was not dependent on how my body looked. Then through life, I've learned some bad habits, and forgotten some good ones. Now, I am trying to get them back. And even though what I want more than anything is to give it all up to God and let him make me what he knows I can be, I just hang on so tight and run away.
I want to stop being so stubborn. I want to let go. I want to give more and take less. I want to think more about what I say before I actually say it. I want to be less of a hypocrite and more like Christ. I want to love more and judge less. I want to forgive myself for my actions over the last couple of weeks and recognize the detour for what it was - lessons learned. I did pick up some beautiful truths, and I just need to remember them. How am I going to accomplish any of this? Give up. Surrender! I have to stop running and turn my life over. He can do so much more with it than I can. One of the things Clint (my meditation teacher) said tonight is that the sooner I realize that my life is none of my business the happier I'll be. That when we truly give our life over to Christ and let Him work in us, that is when we really can figure out what it's all about. I've heard that before, but it struck a nerve tonight. All I can do is focus on today, on this moment. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but for this moment - for the now, it's time.