Are you ever amazed to find that you’re right back where you started?
Late winter has always been tough for me. We don’t get a lot of sunlight where I live and wearing snow boots every day just gets old. Everyone experiences cabin fever, even the most die-hard of hermits. Mix all this with a migraine and the fear of someone being upset and you’ve got the ingredients for a meltdown.
At least, it should have been a meltdown.
I bit back the tears. I told myself that I shouldn’t be upset. I alternated between anger and self-blame. Within seconds, everything that was wrong with everyone became my fault. If only I was better. Smarter. Nicer. Whatever-er.
What did I do? I ate my feelings and did my best to ignore them and the stomach ache that followed.
I’ve gotten lax. When things were at their worst I knew that I needed to spend time in Bible reading and prayer each day. I knew that I needed to take the time and the space to think about my thoughts and decide if they were rational or not. I knew that when something or someone made me feel sad that I needed to talk about it. I knew that when anger hit I needed to take a walk or do something physical. Diligence was necessary just for getting through the day.
Old habits are tough to kick, folks. Now that I’m not a walking wound, I’ve stopped doing the things that help. Instead of choosing a positive reaction, I go with the flow. It’s easier.
I think about what Paul wrote:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Usually I look at this in terms of things I should give up, since that’s what a sacrifice is. But I wonder if this is just as much about taking something up. Those tools that helped before? They will always help. They need to become the new routine. Instead of blinking them back, let the tears fall. Instead of repeating the same negative thoughts, look to the truth. Soak that in. Talk when necessary. Listen more.
Renewing the mind takes so much effort. I’m just beginning to understand that.