Friday, September 13, 2013

You have to empty your mind to keep your head up!


You have to empty your mind in order to keep your head up!

I was watching the morning news early this morning before work and I heard the forecast for a FREEZE ADVISORY tonight! What????  The weatherman said the temp may dip into the 20’s tonight. Brr……even for northern Michigan! I was more concerned about my flowers and how I was going to protect them from the elements,  than I was about keeping myself warm tonight. I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye to the flower gardens; in fact, I still have my pool open and was in it after work a few nights ago!


Before I left for work, I took a peek at the gardens just to see what I needed to do tonight and I noticed those sunflowers that I wrote about last week….the ones that “sprung up” unexpectedly and have been a source of delight.  Today I noticed that their heads were all hung down and their faces were facing the ground. When I looked at them a bit more carefully, I realized it was because their heads were so filled with seeds that they were too heavy to lift towards the sky.  Hmmm…….a lot of food for thought this morning.


I began to ponder…how many times has my head been “too full” of “stuff….mostly thoughts, mostly negative, bothersome, worrisome thoughts or doubts, fears, anxieties” that I had difficulty “looking up” or “keeping my chin up?”  The answer, is “too many!”  That used to be the everyday way of life for me a few years ago before I began this journey to a new life.  Oh, I used to “pretend” to “look on the bright side… put on a happy face…to lie and say, “I’m fine, thanks, how are you?”  Gosh, is that exhausting!  Trying to keep your chin up…trying to look up and see the positive….trying to look on the bright side….or have hope, when your head is so full of garbage, worries, fears, pain, depression, doubt….whatever.   Has anyone else been there?  Is anyone there now?  It’s downright exhausting!

Before I could truly allow God to change my heart, to deliver me from the bondage of obesity, to set me free from emotional eating, depression, and pain, I had to “get rid of the junk….not just in my diet…but mostly in my “head”.  My head….my mind….my thoughts….my life….my body…..was JUST TOO HEAVY…just too full….of thoughts/ideas/fears….LIES that I had told myself about self-worth, ability to succeed, etc.  As I’ve said repeatedly: the new body size is a visible sign, but the true miracle/transformation is of the mind and heart! Thank you, God!  And YES, I know, that it is very difficult to “look up” to “lift your head/heart/spirit”, “keep your chin up”, when your world seems to be crumbling around you, when loved ones are ill or have died, when finances are bleak, when troubles abound, and heartache and pain is a way of life.  YES, I know… I’ve been there…and STILL find myself going there from time to time. We all do…and LIFE is HARD sometimes, and sometimes “we just want to wallow” instead of being strong. Sometimes we are JUST TOO TIRED to keep trying. Sometimes WE REALLY DO WANT TO GIVE UP!  Today I tell you….DON’T!  Don’t give up…don’t quit trying….don’t give in to despair! It doesn’t have to be this way forever. It WON’T be this way forever.  YOU CAN…and YOU WILL change your life!

One other thing I noticed about those sunflowers….when I looked to see what they were so full of that that were too heavy to look up….. I noticed it was SEEDS!  SEEDS….the very thing that provides food for the birds I so enjoy….the very thing that causes NEW GROWTH….new plants…NEW blooms!  Those seeds are Life-giving…they are essential for the continuity of the plants….for the nourishment of bird, animals, and even people.  Hmmmm……in a sense…just like the times when “my cross is heavy….when my mind is full….when my head is spinning….when I’m looking down, at myself, the world, life.”  It is in those times, those struggles, those moments of difficulty/challenge/temptation….that we have the greatest potential to grow, to nourish/help/provide for the needs of others, to plant seeds for a beautiful NEW bloom in the future.  As birds enjoy those sunflower seeds, as the wind scatters them in the yard, as they drop and lie on the earth waiting to grow into a new plant….they become lighter and better able to LOOK UP and FACE THE SUN!   Perhaps, we need do that too. It is in these times of trial and temptation that we have the greatest potential to help others and to grow…in our faith….in our relationships…as individuals. BUT…. We need to  get rid of those thoughts…those negative feelings….those regrets….those hurts….those fears…those past failures and doubts… that we can find it easier to LOOK UP…TO KEEP our CHIN UP….to GROW into something new. 

I know I am going to start today….to empty my mind of all those things that are dragging me down and keeping me from looking up and holding my head up high. What about you?