Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sometimes life is a tangled up mess

Good Morning.  Most people who know me will agree that I am very much a “girly” girl. I love clothes, shoes, and accessories, especially jewelry. I own only a few pieces of sentimental ‘real” jewelry, but I have more costume jewelry than I can wear in a year. One of the problems with this is storing necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc. in such a way that I can access them easily. I’ve yet to find a really good solution to the situation, and at the moment, I have a pile of necklaces on the bathroom counter that got all tangled up because I put a bunch of jewelry in a Ziploc bag when I went on a recent trip: Not a really good idea!!

  I tend to change clothes several times before I finally decide on an outfit, and of course, that means changing jewelry multiple times as well.  Although this silliness makes it appear that I’m really just a superficial diva, I really just like dressing up after so many years of not really caring anything about my appearance. I simply didn’t have the desire or energy to put forth. My, how things have changed and I have a lot of fun thrift shopping and putting outfits together on a limited budget…..but….. my silliness and changing accessories multiple times each morning and tossing them on the counter has resulted in a tangled mess, and…. because I haven’t taken the time (there are NEVER enough hours in my day) to unravel the cluster, I struggle each morning to free the necklace or bracelet that I wish to wear that day. Usually I get frustrated and just choose something else, but vow each morning that I’m going to just take the time to sort things out when I get home so that tomorrow I won’t go through the same hassle.  However… I’m often so tired when I return home at the end of the day and usually have more pressing issues to address….and so, the cluster remains…waiting to aggravate me again.  Sigh……….

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about that tangled mess and asking myself why I’m putting off sorting it out. I’ve come up with many ‘excuses’, but none of them have any merit. Thoughts like, “it’s going to frustrating when I can’t get a knot out”. “Every time I’ve done this in the past I ended up breaking a chain”, “it’s not that big deal, I can wear something else”, “It’s going to be a long, aggravating process and I just don’t have the patience because there are too many other things I need to do,”  and “I just plain ole don’t want to!” I can go on and on…and as a result, each morning I am greeted with the same thing.   I’ve used many of those same excuses to put off making the changes that needed to improve my health and well-being.

I’ve shared recently that my emotions are all over the place this holiday season. One minute I’m excited about Christmas; the next I’m overwhelmed with stuff I need to do. I’ve been looking at old photos and remembering past Christmas’ and I go from smiling at the wonderful memories to being choked up as I think about those I love who will be missing from our celebration. This will be my 2nd Christmas without my stepdad Tony, and I think this one is more difficult than last. I’m happy one minute; melancholy the next; and yet, I am incredibly hopeful for the future because God continues to bless me with wonderful people to share my journey. Still, my thoughts and emotions are like that tangled mess of jewelry on the bathroom counter that need to be dealt with, even if it’s easier to just ‘be busy” and ignore them.  Doing so, however, will never lead to growth and is incredibly dangerous to an emotional eater like me. Too many years of ignoring or stifling emotions led me to a very unhealthy place because it was/is easier to bury the pain; confusion; fear; grief….even the good….with food than it was/is to address it. Unfortunately, things never get sorted out if we are not willing to take the time needed to untangle our thoughts, confront our fears; forgive those who have hurt us, or surrender our pain and sadness….essentially our life to God….and we will never be truly free when we have ‘knotted up, tangled up, or otherwise messed up” thoughts that need to be dealt with.  Even when I throw a towel on the counter, those pieces of jewelry remain buried there, unwearable, unusable, and unable to bring the beauty that the designer intended when he/she created the items. Although we might think that just because we are hiding, burying, or numbing our pain with food, drink, or other substances/behaviors, denying our reality, or putting off doing what we need to do, the truth is that those issues are always going to be there if we aren’t willing to go through the frustration, aggravation, and sometimes pain of sorting them out.  Sigh……. I’m 100% convinced that changing the way we think is as important to our success as changing the way we eat or act.  BUT… it’s not easy. In fact, it’s downright hard!

Right now, the pile of tangled jewelry is not a critical thing on my “to do” list so it will likely be there for me to address after the holidays because it’s going to take a lot of time to sort out. Likely I will just deal with what emotions I need to deal with to get through this holiday season because I’m weary and have a lot to sort out, but I WILL be extremely conscious of my thoughts….acknowledge that they are there….and be very aware of what I eat, making sure that I am using food as fuel, rather than as comfort.  If you find yourself in a tangled web of thoughts and emotions, I encourage you to do the same and ask yourself if you are eating because you are hungry…..or because it’s easier than feeling whatever it is you feel. Nobody said that a life changing journey is easy….but it is so incredibly worth it. I remind myself that every single day.  We will be successful…..we will change our life…..and we will all experience more joy than we ever dreamed possible…..but only if/when we are willing to allow God to sort out the tangled mess that we sometimes create of our lives.

Have a  peace-filled….hope-filled day today!