Two things about myself recently startled me: one in December and one February. As much as I hate to admit it, I realized I had some unhealthy attachments. One was physical and one was mental/spiritual.
In December I realized I was looking at a person with only one lens and that lens was dark. It was like I was wearing dark sunglasses every time I saw them or even thought of them. I know this person has positive qualities in them, but I had moved into the place where I could see only the bad. Yes, there was ample evidence that their treatment of me had at times been cruel and unfair, but I also know, through some other behaviors that were positive, that there was goodness. It was not easy for me to admit, but I knew resentment had planted itself within me and it was growing. The final evidence of this was that I realized it was affecting my sleep. Ouch!
The other attachment was physical: sugar and salt! I indulged way too much with all the delicious, sweet goodies that the festivities of Christmas brought, I gave in to the temptations of munching on salty chips throughout those cloudy cold days of January, ate too much at a January retreat. Then came February: two birthday celebrations, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, weekly dinners at Blue Coast Burrito with chips and pineapple salsa. It’s no surprise that I found myself being “hooked” on sugar and salt. Ouch!
The pain of admitting I had some serious problems was rough. However, I knew the consequences that would arrive from not dealing with them soon would be worse. I needed to do some “cleaning up” of these unhealthy attachments – too much sugar and salt and the negative thought patterns I had towards someone who really means a lot to me.
These two attachments I had are distinct. However, they both affect my overall well-being. One affects my physical well -being, the other affects my relationship with God, myself, and others. Both affect my emotional well-being and mental well-being. I had some choices to make. I had to decide to say “no” to some things which meant saying “yes” to others. What are some of the yes’s and some of the no’s?
- No to grazing all day.
- No to two bite size candy bars instead of just one.
- No to two cookies, one is enough.
- No to negative thoughts about the one who has mistreated me.
- No to 10-12 chips. 5-6 really can satisfy.
- Yes to healthy, low calorie snacks like raw vegetables and fruits in moderation.
- Yes to drinking more water and herbal teas.
- Yes to an hour of exercise 5 days a week.
- Yes to asking God to help me in my weakness.
- Yes to allowing God to show me how to love the difficult person, forgive them, and see them with eyes of love and not condemnation, which is the way God sees me.
All of these yes’s and no’s are not easy, but, the necessary effort will be worth it. There will be more and more transformation taking place in my soul which means I will have more peace and joy. It also opens the door for me to give away more peace, joy, and grace to others. The transformation may not happen overnight, but it will come. I am seeing it come, and I do not want to go back to where I was. Praise God, I don’t have to.
How about you? What unhealthy attachment or habit prevents you from moving into a deeper place of transformation? Whatever you discover, spend some time asking God to reveal to you how to get free so you can abandon yourself more to God.