I have been guilty of being one of those people on social media who post “Are you tried of starting again? Then stop quitting.”
The statement was meant to encourage people to be intentional about their choices, take responsibility, and to show up for their lives. However, being on this side of starting again- it feels like a finger pointing, shame producing statement. Ugh. I am sorry for any shame that sent anyone’s way.
We are not motivated by shame. We actually weren’t created for shame. In Genesis after describing the perfect creation of the entire world from nothing verse 25 says “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame (NIV).
Shame is stifling. Shame extinguishes hope, endurance, persistence, love, gentleness, kindness. All the things that Galatians 5:22 tells us are fruits of the Spirit, shame inhibits.
Over the last 2 years we all have one shared experience, a global pandemic that know one has control over. There is no such thing as being intentional with the virus that causes COVID-19. Monthly, weekly, daily plans are subject to change in a moments notice all plans are cancelled. Any hopefully your plans are cancelled due to you being contact traced verses being hospitalized due to symptoms. But either way, life will look different then the plan that you set.
When planning is disrupted we make a new plan. Then after we recover from the illness or are released from quarantine the original plan is difficult to restart. (Here is when shame has crept in for me.)
Why is it so difficult to do what I had planned?
I really liked the way things were going?
The motivation is there but there is something else there too. In the back of my mind I am thinking “What is the point? It is all going to get messed up again by this stupid virus.” To which my stubborn will replies, “Oh yeah, I am going to show this pandemic by working harder, longer, more intense, more dialed in!” Followed by reality of that not being possible in my current life situation.
It took a wellness visit with my primary care doctor to shed light on this extreme thinking I have developed and the effects it was having on my body. Not just because of some weight gain and muscle loss. But because I have lost the joy that exercise and cooking brings to me. Everything about intentional living carries stress and a heavy burden because I am not where I was.
But as we talked about my life then verses now he reminded me that we are not machines. Our lives are always in fluctuation, if we are really going to live intentional lives those intentions need to be allowed to fluctuate as well.
This week I will start again. I am setting the intention to support my body throughout each day – Praying, reading Scripture, breathing, exercise, eating well, taking breaks, reading for relaxation, creating new recipes, playing, etc. Each day will look different and that is okay. The sun rises in the morning and sets at night is my reminder of how much control I actually have – I get to be intentional about the decisions I make throughout the day.
Do you need to start again? Share in the comments.