When under pressure, we revert to our default ways of thinking, feeling, and reacting. Maybe it’s time to reset our defaults.
Pressure plagued me this week. It came from some relationship issues and misunderstandings. This happens in all relationships, yet I knew God was up to something.
The pressure increased and negative emotions surfaced, which forced me to make a choice. Too many times, I’ve chosen between these two options:
Option one: blow off the issues as the other person’s problem and move forward without resolution (and eat chocolate).
Option two: feel sorry for myself, which still comes from the belief that it’s the other person’s problem (and eat chocolate).
But, as my mother used to say, “It takes two to tango.” If my heart was truly issue-free, I wouldn’t have had the reaction I did.
The intensity of the pressure I felt to inwardly beat myself up (and eat chocolate) stunned me. But, God allowed it to bring up emotions and reactions from the past. Why were they still there? Because, in the past, I chose to use the previous two options, which sweeps our true emotions under the rug.
Thank God there’s a third option!
Reset Our Defaults
Option three: take our eyes off the other person, off ourselves, and focus on what God is doing.
Romans 8:28 (AmpC) states, “We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”
We can choose to reset our defaults. We can shift our focus to God.
So, I talked to God. I poured my heart out to Him and was honest about my thoughts and feelings – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
When finished, I put it all in His hands and let go. I chose to think about His great love, mercy, and grace. I also chose to exercise rather than gorge on chocolate.
My feelings didn’t change right away. But I finally realized the root of those feelings, once again, was shame.
Some experiences, throughout my life, left me believing that my needs would cause heartache to someone else. I literally felt shame over having needs.
For example, when I was in first grade, I got in trouble for talking. The teacher told me to put my head down on my desk. A couple minutes later, my nose began to bleed…profusely. Since I disappointed the teacher for talking, I didn’t want to talk while being punished. So…I didn’t.
Eventually, I heard a gasp from a classmate who shrieked, “There’s blood coming off her desk!” The teacher grew upset and rushed me to the bathroom to clean me up and meet my needs. I thought she was upset with me for having needs.
That is one experience out of many. If left uncorrected, the roots of belief established as children grow into giants that show up in our future.
Once I saw this root, I thanked God for the situations that brought it into the light. I saw it for what it was and it was finished. I was free of it.
The results of this week’s challenge: I lost another two pounds from my body and two tons from my soul.
Hannah lost another pound as well and seems happier too. She laughed more this week than she has in a long time.
What do you know? Maybe faith and fitness really belong together!