Monday, June 5, 2017

How to have the life you want when everything is a mess

How often do you think about your food and how it is broken down each and every day? Our bodies are amazing! Digestion is a process of breaking down food and making it into a substance that the body can use. It takes about 6-8 hours to fully digest and break everything down. That is a long time. It can't be rushed but it can be sabotaged. The truth is we don't really give our bodies the proper time to digest or eat all the nourishing food that it needs.

We digest not only our food but digest our daily life. Each day events happen and we try to process it the best we can. We feel feelings and store memories and thoughts as we try to break down those events.Some things and some foods are really hard to digest. Lately digestion has been something that I have been trying to improve because I have extremely poor digestion. Proteins and carbohydrates are harder to digest. Events that evoke stronger emotions are also harder to digest. Food that I eat is not being fully digested because of the damage to my gut. I realize to that I am not digesting all of life because my mind and heart have been damaged. This damage occurs when eating what we shouldn't and thinking negative thoughts and focusing on what we don't want instead of what we do.

To start focusing more on what I want in my I have been doing daily affirmations.These affirmations have definitely helped me see what can be but there is still so much conflict inside because of what I have been conditioned to believe for most of my life. That is, that stress and everything go together. That chaos is all around because that is what I often feel. I have often compared my emotions to a wave or tornado, and even a tsunami. All of these are things out of control and fiercely strong and torrent. I resist this conflict with all that is in me and wish it would just go away. Not that all of it would change, only I wish that too, but that I can see it differently and accept when my hands are tied as far as what is in my control. Nephi is a great example of not praying for his situation to change, even if he was bound by cords, but to be strengthened. I have been trying to figure out that connection to really accepting and being strengthened, rather than pushing it away or being fearful that things will never change. This is not just with my illness but relationships and things about myself too.

 Do you ever feel like there is so much to do in our lives and with ourselves, but no way to keep up? This way of thinking adds to our inner chaos and stress. We become our worst enemies by what we tell ourselves.I know because I learned that overwhelm was a state of living for me.We live in a fast paced world. We are so stuck in being busy. The gas is always on and our tanks are on empty. We have check lists and to do lists. We are productive alright but paying the price emotionally and physically. We are in a hamster wheel and it is hard to get out.

Just this week I  finished getting the kitchen clean and all I wanted was to take a shower. When I came out there was dishes and messes. I felt the "why me" creep into my mind and out of my mouth and tears welled up in my eyes. Some days the piles of dishes and laundry are enough to keep me in my bed most of the morning. The dread of "too much" and the emotional rollercoaster this can evoke is very real. Why does it all keep piling up? I want to just forget about it but so much begs for my attention. There is no doubt that it can feel like survival mode. That is a program my body knows all too well. Stress. Adrenaline. Feeling like a victim. Yes, those were my daily thought patterns. Peace has come more than it has in the past but it still can seem elusive in the heat of the moment or in frustration that the children won't help or make more messes. I keep thinking "don't they know I am sick.....Victim........or I can't do it by myself......victim, again. This is not good and it has to stop! Who is with me?

 Whose mess is it really? Is it more the outside mess or the inside mess that troubles us the most or both? So much to do and not enough energy to do it with. It has me questioning why all this inner and outer conflict? I cannot change someone so why do we see something that needs changing and someone else sees nothing? My kids have told me that they are fine with their rooms the way that they are. They are fine but I get all tied up inside.What am I missing here? This is all hard for me to digest and I just want to scream!

What we feel on the inside is mirrored in our outside world. I feel the conflict in me and in my family members too. Too many demands and no time for ourselves. We are doing the best we can but it feels like we are just balls of frustration and when we bump into each other we get even more of a charge and ignite. We become more scared, frustrated and out of control. I think it all comes down to this wish that things would be different than they are and not knowing how to enjoy this season in our life. This busy, crazy and messy time. It is too much to digest and consume all at once.Things keep breaking and so do we as we try to keep up. Who is in charge here anyway and why do we keep going when everything is saying slow down or stop? When we keep going and do not address the wounds that all this chaos is creating, then it is like we are putting a band aid on it and just keep going.We have no choice but to keep going.

Again Nephi had the right idea. To pray for strength. Nephi and his family were in the wilderness for years and they didn't know when they would stop and settle. I know the feeling! But Nephi knew the Lord would provide a way to accomplish all the Lord wanted them to do but that it wouldn't be easy. We can call upon that power and receive it. I have felt it. It is much harder to do when the problems keep showing up and we can't get a breath in otherwise or when they intensify and shake our very frames and crack our foundations.

Nephi demonstrates time and time again the importance of prayer. With prayer we can stand strong, knowing who we trust. Its knowing when to take a deep breath and do something or knowing when to not do something and take a break. This is really hard because even if you manage to catch a break somewhere you know that the mess is still there, waiting and growing. Right? Sigh. It makes it hard to enjoy a break. It is all what you put your FOCUS on! Things get out of balance and things get left or lost in the cracks. Usually the first to go is time you have for yourself. Your mental an emotional energy is all on fixing problems and stress will become chronic and overwhelm you. So how do we know when to keep walking and going the distance and when to pitch our tents and seek nourishment and replenish. How do we know when we get enough to keep going?

It is unsettling to be always moving but not knowing when we will get to that peace or become what we are trying to become. I get that it is a  process and a journey but how do you enjoy the journey when you are so weary? It takes time and learning to set priorities. If you don't know what should be a priority ask, PRAY! Redefining what is a priority can bring clarity when you are not sure what to focus on.The hardest step in all of this is to let things go that aren't high on your priority list. You are juggling a lot of duties and expectations. Make sure the ones that drop out are the right ones and not your sanity, because then they all fall! Taking care of your needs is not selfish it is a necessity! Learn to recognize when you are about a half a tank and refuel. Ditch the guilt that you should be doing other things. Pray for strength and keep going. You will be able to digest and fully absorb all that life has to offer when we change our focus and let go of the to do's and busyness. We are changing our inner vessel even if nothing else changes in our outer world. But the way we see and interact with our outer world will change. The way we see our lives and what they can be will change. End result-we get more of the life we want and imagine we can have!