I Ran Away for Four Days...
I looked in the bathroom mirror and just couldn't figure it out...
I had been exercising 2 hours a day, 6 days a week.
My diet was dang good. And by dang good, I mean chicken, broccoli and vegan protein shakes.
My skin care routine would make the most picky esthetician issue a stamp of approval.
I was drinking at least half my body weight in fluid ounces of water a day.
I wasn't drinking alcohol.
AND YET!!! I looked like an 18th century, grubby London street urchin with smallpox and a runny nose...a deceased one. I looked like dead Oliver Twist with spots.
First, I had this cold I couldn't kick. My oils helped, but this cold just lingered. I was COVERED in blemishes and not all in one place. No, I couldn't draw constellations on my chin and say "oh, must be hormones." They were all over. My eyes had massive purple bags under them. My hair was dry and frizzy. I was irritable, cloudy, and for the love of all that was holy, I was getting a belly! I mean seriously! Girls who train 6 days a week and live on chicken, water and broccoli don't get bellies! What the flip was going on?!
I blamed it on coffee.
I blamed it on lack of sleep, which honestly, contributed to the problem. I was getting around 6-7 hours a night. Anyone will tell you that is not sufficient.
I blamed it on not trying hard enough. Of being lazy even though I knew I wasn't. I blamed. Blamed blamed blamed. And I was blaming the wrong things.
This past weekend, I took four.
Not four minutes, four days. I was housesitting for a friend, about 25 minutes from home. It snows in April in NY, so I was iced in with some books, some paper, and my laptop. For the first time in months, there was absolutely no way I could run around like a decapitated chicken on crack. I couldn't go to the gym, church, or to rehearsals of any kind. I was stuck. And you know something about being stuck with yourself and God when you've been a decapitated chicken on crack? He wrestles with you.
Jacob and the Angel of God wrestled so fiercely God put his hip out of joint. Jesus wrestled with His own Dad in the garden until He was sweating drops of blood...like, actual drops of blood came out of his pores they were so hard at it. David wrestled with God when everything he had done with Bathsheba was crashing over him and the consequences were imminent. And I wrestled with God over cups of Constant Comfort tea and a blank planner.
"Little one, you're beyond stressed and your priorities are off. You have to let me fix this" He said. That was nicer than putting my hip out of joint.
He was right. My mom and I had the same conversation weeks prior - what can I get rid of in my life to balance it out? The answer? Nothing. It all felt important, but was it?
When cortisol has my skin looking like a strawberry, I have a beer belly when I don't drink beer, and I am accomplishing absolutely NOTHING on my to-do lists, am I really living the best life I can? I look at my business which I LOVE and it requires my attention like a newborn baby, but instead of loving on it, I'm scrambling to make people happy, clean up after them, and I'm digesting flippant criticisms like its my daily bread? Is that best?
"Make a list," He said. "My list. My heart for you. This is what's important in the life of Samantha according to Me."
And I began to write out the dreams God placed on my heart. I've known they were critical, but they're so easy to push off as 'not-nows'. The timing isn't good, this other thing demands my attention. I have to do this thing for someone. I'm too wound up from my day to focus on my future, so I'll skip working on my business and veg out instead.
He wasn't letting me off the hook this time; we were iced in and there was legit nothing to watch on Netflix.
I wrote out my dreams starting 20 years from now. When I am 47-years-old, what do I want? Good, now how about 10 years? 5 years? 3 years? How about next year? What do I want this month?
Three things shocked me when the list was made:
- My dreams for 20 years trickled down into bite sized dreams I could accomplish in April 2018. No cause for stress or anxiety - I could do something today to change 47-year-old me as well as the me of right now.
- I had no question that with God's help and some hard work, I am capable of accomplishing these things. After several years of being told 'you're not enough and you can't do it' I looked at this list and I knew that I absolutely was capable. That was massive.
- My biggest stressors right now had NOTHING to do with what I wanted for the future. NOTHING. Like, I could dump these toxic stressors like a bad date and nothing would change about the future.
That tells you something.
- My relationship with God and the gifts He is bringing out of me right now are priorities.
- My business is a passion and a priority. I love what I do, and I know what I want to do with it.
- My health is a priority
- The continued welfare of my healthy relationships (not the toxic ones) is a priority.
You know what's not a priority? Cleaning up the dishes someone else left in the sink for the 20th time this week. Not my priority. Claiming the vitriol, insecurities, and bile of others as God's truth about me? Having all the answers 100% of the time like I'm Encyclopedia Britannica in leggings?...Not my priority. Other people's opinion about how I prioritize my priorities? Not my priority.
"It's ok to let it go," He said. "It's ok to say no. It's ok to tell someone that they can't speak over your life like that. It's ok to actually claim your worth. It's ok to be the only one who believes in you, because I believe in you, or I would never have asked you to do these things. And I love you perfectly."
Way better than popping my hip out of joint, God <3
It's been four days, and (miracle!) the skin is clearing up. The belly is flattening down again. Books have been read, priorities realigned like a good spinal adjustment, things accomplished, and I'm re-learning to trust my instincts through everyday tiny acts of courage (thank you Mel Robbins and your '5-Second Rule'). Re-entry into everyday life is hard after a soul washing, but there's a list now. And you know your girl loves a list ;)