“All or Nothing”

This title sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?  How can you have all or nothing?  People these days seem to be on this “find the balance” mantra–which is great and IF you have figured this out, please share with myself and the rest of the class because-SPOILER ALERT-I have zero clue.  I have zero knowledge or know how on exactly the proper formula for finding “the balance.”

You see, I tend to lean towards the “all or nothing” side of life.  When I have really set my mind to achieving whatever crazy idea I have in my head, I go for it with full force.  However, the complete opposite happens when I am not interested or have lukewarm feelings on the subject–full on halt of any forward momentum. Someone has pulled the emergency brake on the car. Do not pass go; do not collect your $200 type of ceasing in momentum.  Some of you–are there any of you out there still reading this sporadically posted blog? (ps: I WILL get better about regularly posting) (pss: can we say tangent and reel it back in?!?). Okay, okay, back on course–some of you may read the above and think what’s wrong with being an ‘all or nothing type of person?’  Being so steadfast and convicted in one’s beliefs is a wonderful attribute.  This world will challenge us and can cause us to wonder and question; so, being so unwavering is a commendable.  Then, Erin, what seems to be the dilemma here?  We just aren’t seeing it.  I guess to really see where I am coming from, you’ve got to know where I’ve come from.

My “all or nothing” quandary falls into one area for me–body image.

My history with my body I have touched on briefly, for I desperately do not want that aspect of my life to define me or give it any power over me–but I have to recognize the role it has played.  For a very long period of time struggled (and some days still struggle) with the body God created for me.  The temple in which He resides (1Cor. 6:19), I mercilessly picked apart.  No matter where I looked all I could see was flaws.  So, I took matters into my own hands and controlled the only thing I could control–what went in and out of my body.  When life seemed out of sorts; chaotic; out of my control…I took control–or so I thought.  Change happened.  Physical, emotional, and spiritual change happened. Physically my body was changing in a way that I wanted on the outside and yet, on the inside, Lord only knows.  Actually, I do know what was going on inside the ‘ole brain bucket…One Hot Mess.  During this time, when my physical body was where I had hoped it would be, I was miserable.  But how is this possible?  I am at the physical goal; why I am I still unsettled?  Why am I still feeling unworthy?  Why am I not happy? Why? Why? Why? My negative thoughts would run rampant.  This leads us to the spiritual…let’s just say…Jesus and I…well He never left, but I definitely wasn’t reaching out to Him for guidance or direction. All I thought was, if I get smaller and keep controlling what I can, then all will eventually pan out the way I want.  I had changed my direction.  I had changed my focus.

I would LOVE to sit here and tell you that I have overcome the hurdle and the struggle and we are on the other side of it all; but, alas, this is a battle I may never fully win.  BUT, I will tell you that I am aware of my behavior and a heck of a lot more willing to take an active role in ensuring I do not wander down that path or allow thoughts and feelings which are not of God have as much control over me.  Call me stubborn, but I don’t like to fail at things–maybe that’s part of the “all or nothing” side of my personality.

I guess my point is that if you feel you’re unraveling at warp speed and can’t seem to find any form of life preserver to grasp hold of…you’ve got a friend in me?  Wow, I’ve just become Woody from Toy Story (insert face palm here).   Seriously though, you’re not alone.  If you’re sitting there reading this and thinking to yourself that no one knows what you’re going through or what you’re feeling….you’re not alone.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life; simply trying to keep your head above water. If you feel like you’re being pulled in all different directions all day long with no end in sight…I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone.  You’ve got someone willing to come up alongside you for the journey.  Someone who willingly sits in the trenches of life with you for the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  Someone who wants nothing more than for you to use Him to pull yourself up by the bootstraps.  It may sound cliche, but He is the rock on which I stand….all other ground is sinking sand.  Jesus is a firm foundation in which we can lay all of our burdens–no matter how big or small–down at His feet and its as if He says to us all, “okay, I’ve got these now.  Take a breath.”  We just have to be willing to relinquish our desire to pick them back up.

So, while I have zero idea how best to fully eliminate my own “all or nothing” character traits and find the all too elusive “balance” folks seem to be discussing more and more these days; I do know that if I relinquish my desire to control my circumstances to God…really, truly, 100%…the hurdle doesn’t seem as overwhelming; the negative inner dialog doesn’t seem as loud and more easily hushed; and the old behavior patterns are easier to withstand.  Whatever the battle; whatever the burden; He can handle it.  He is the Almighty Creator of everything–His shoulders are broad enough to take on our messes.  We just have to be fully willing to hand them over.

Until next time,

E

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