|"You Lookin' At Me?"|
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Are there days when you wake up and you just want to S C R E A M? No particular reason why, you just want to have one of those kid-like-roll-on-the-floor-type-temper-tantrum? Today is one of those days for me... Now at 44 years if I did that, they'd probably come and put me in a white jacket and lock me up in a padded cell. But when you think about it - I think if we allowed ourselves to have one of those it would do all of us a WORLD of good. Better than any Yoga class, better than any exercise. I think that keeping our emotions in and appearing "stoic" on the outside clogs us up like a stopped up drain.
Take a moment with me - try this! It's harder than it seems it would be. Take out a piece of paper - write down ALL the things that you are feeling frusturated with. Can you do it? Let me see if I can do it... Here I go...
I'm frusturated that cancer has changed every portion of my life! That it was the breaking point in my marriage! That I had to go through treatments alone! That I'm struggling financially! That I'm having to adjust to being a "single parent" that I don't have all the answers! That I'm afraid of reoccurence! That I'm not promised tomorrow! That my body feels different than it did before surgery - even though I'm blessedly cancer-free! That everything I want seems dependent on money! That I'm not sure I should want the things that I want and if I got them if they would even workout or make me happier? That my emotions run up and down like a huge roller coaster ride! That sometimes God feels far away - even though I know He isn't and that I'm not suppose to go by my feelings - although my feelings are very strong! That God created me with the desire to LIVE although everything in this world dies and is not promised tomorrow!"
There! Ahhhhhh that feels somewhat better! Did you do it too? Now take a good look at that list (your list not mine.. hehehe)... What are YOU going to do about it? You can stew and sit and steam and do nothing to change your situation - or you can change your mind! I choose to change my mind. It is hard to accept that there are certain things that we have no control over. But in saying that - even before I went through being diagnosed with breast cancer and having a quarter-size chunk removed from my left breast, and having gone through chemo and radiation I realize that - guess what? We NEVER have had control over our lives. The Bible tells us "The Steps of the Righteous are Ordained by God." Things happen to us that surprise us - but they don't surprise HIM. He sees down through the course of history - and yes even through what some of us think of as our "trivial lives" and knows. He knows... (Does that bring tears to your eyes? Because its bringing tears to mine)... And still He loves us. He knows. If He knew about it then, and He knows about it now - and STILL loves us than we have to love ourselves. Love ourselves enough to accept that our lives are in His hands (by the way - they always WERE even before those unbelievable situations happened in your lives. Even before you goofed up.) The difference the thing that matters MOST is what are YOU going to do?
Let me tell you a little story, one that I wrote off the top of my head...
There was once this frog. He had somehow lost his way in a forest and was trying to find his way back to his pond. As he was walking through the forest (or hopping rather..) he came to a clearing. He saw a big pot filled with water and thought "oh my legs ache... Maybe if I just swim in that water for a little while I'll feel rejuvinated and will be able to find my way back to the pond." So he jumped into the pot (not noticing the hot fire underneath it). It felt sooo good at first... The warm bath-like water was soothing and cajoling... He lay back and relaxed, "aaah, this is the life..." but after a while, he started feeling lethargic - the water felt warmer. He began to squirm feeling uncomfortable, disoriented. What had once felt good didn't feel good anymore. He couldn't remember what to do? Should he jump out of the pot back onto the hard ground? Unsure of how long it would take him to find water again? Or should he just stay there and squirm and try to adjust to the sudden spike in temperature of the water surrounding him? The longer he stayed the hotter it got. He began to get angry. "Why is this water so hot! Why couldn't it stay warm? Why did I lose my way from my pond?!" He stamped his hot little foot in anger. Then he realized he had to make a decision. He could either stay in his discomfort and hope that it would get better by itself or he could jump out into the unknown and try to find his way back to his pond. He jumped out from the pot onto the ground and looked up at the pot seeing the flame underneath it for the first time. Then he stopped looking behind him and focused on the pathway infront of him and went forward on his way."
We don't know what tomorrow holds - but it could be better than today? If we don't try - we won't know. If we don't believe and we settle and we stew and we complain - we may miss out on the blessings that are before us that we don't yet see. We can change the things about us that we are able to change. So take a look at your list now. (I'm looking at mine)..
Yes cancer has changed my life. Changed the way I think (taken away my bs meter...) but it has also brought into my life some of the most couragious, beautiful, strongest women I have ever met. Brought friends into my life that I never otherwise would have had the privelege of knowing. Yes after 19 years of marriage I'm on my own.. But I have such love in my heart, so much to share, so much to experience, so much to do that I can't see myself being that way forever. So I've grown? Although I often get lonely and scared of these changes - they are not forever. That much I know. Sometimes change = growth. If we allow it. And as for my feelings - it is important not to be "led" by them but to acknowledge them for what they are. To do less is to dishonor yourself.
So you see? I'm changing the way I think. Are YOU? Why don't you try it and see what results you have. Be patient with yourself. Changing the way you think takes time and if you are your own worst critic (like I am) then you are harder on yourself than anyone else is... I often think of the scripture "Love your Neighbor as your Love yourself." (Mark 12:30-31)But here is the thing - many of us are loving our neighbors MORE than we are showing our ownselves love. I think the change has to start first with us. I have started thinking about how this body of ours is a shell. We are in-cased within it. First there is our mind, our body and our spirit. How interwoven these three things are.... I think if we "change our mind" we will see a better result in our body and in our lives and of course our spirit. I hope that doesn't come off as "New Agey" because I'm not at ALL. But I do think that is even Biblical. Afterall the Bible tells us: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
It's time to change your mind... And jump outta what ever pot you are stewing in... He's holding us in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16) and He tells us "I will continue to do a good work in you until it is finally finished." (Phillipians 1:6) Choose to believe it. Change your mind... It will change your life... I know, because its changing mine.