Saturday, January 5, 2013

Confession #35 - There's no place like home, the comfort zone

It's 2013!  The start of a new year and with it comes the promise of opportunity and change.  Most of us have spent time ironing out our resolutions and putting them into practice.  I too have considered what needs altering in my life and how to go about doing it, but I'm concerned that my Dorothy Gale complex is getting in the way. 

"There's no place like home there's no place like home there's no place like home", Dorothy repeated those words over and over again until she woke from her Oz slumber and was reunited with her family.  Despite the fact that Dorothy had visited an incredible new land, met new friends, faced her fears and overcame tremendous peril, Dorothy couldn't wait to get back to her comfort zone, home.  Dorothy was terrified on her the journey inside the tornado.  When she readched the destination a wonderous, magical land managed to smiled and was friendly and gracious however, she remained on her a quest to get out of there an and back to where she felt safe.  Despite the fact that she was running away from home in the first place not to mention that she completely forgot she had a guardian who watched over her every move and when she need help it miraculously appeared. 

I used to think that I loved to travel, but truthfully, what I like is the destination; I hate the journey.  I want the instant fun, instant gratification. 

When I went to Italy back in 2001, I hated the journey.  The plane ride was brutal, touring the country in the motor coach was grueling but seeing the sites, immersing in the culture, and eating the incredible food made it all good, but after a few weeks of no cold drinks (they don't believe in using ice cubes), not being able to use my own hair dryer because of the wattage issues, enduring horrible swelling in my legs and feet, and just being outside my comfort zone, I was jonezing for home!  Because frankly, "There's no place like home."  My comfort zone.

To sum it all up, like Dorothy, I feared and hated the journey, I somewhat enjoyed the destination,  but after a short time, all I wanted to do is turn back for home.  What does that have to do with change?  Well, the problem that the Dorothy complex brings is that change requires a difficult journey, and a new destination, a permanent change in your comfort zone.  To be successful in making any change you have to be willing to not just endure the journey but to embrace it, and you must love your destination enough to want to stay put if not you're going to return to your comfort zone no matter the cost.

What I want to change most this year is my health.  I want to finally do whatever it takes to loose this weight.  However, having done this in the past, I know a few more things about myself.  I know that I hate the journey, the sacrifice of eating whatever I want whenever I want, the regiment of exercise, the pain of sore muscles, the discomfort of sweating, and the torment of the hard grueling work it takes to burn off the fat.  I enjoyed the destination, feeling energetic, confident and happy.  However operating in this new place was still scary for me.  I didn't know how to navigate around in my new destination and so I returned to my comfort zone a few short years later.  I do want to reach the destination, but if I cannot learn to enjoy the journey, and ultimately change how I will mentally deal with my new destination by figuring out how to keep myself there, I know that once again I will return to my comfort zone. 

I hate the idea of going through the difficult process of loosing theweight again, only to put it all back on simply because I'm not comfortable in my new skin.  Because honestly, there is no surrender for this Dorothy!

So my question is this, how do I make my change permanent?  How can I change how I feel about my new life?  How do I mentally push the fear and discomfort aside to be happy in my new skin?  I know this may sound strange to many of you who think I'd be so happy if I could just loose this weight.  But search yourself for a while.  Why did you put it on in the first place?  Where you like me?  Did you put on the weight as a shield of comfort?  Because frankly, once you shed that armor you will be completely vulnerable again.  If your not ready to deal with that vulnerability you are likely to return to your comfort zone.  I don't want that for you or myself.  So I am posing the question of how can I embrace the destination before I even begin the journey? 

Please do not think that I'm a downer or looking to give up before I even get started.  No, on the contrary, I want to start out knowing that I'm not going to return, that I'm not just visiting, I'm relocating,.  Frankly, that takes more than just a commitment to get to my destination it's a change that requires me to want to stay put in a new comfort zone.  I know I can get there, I've done it before, but can I stay there???? 

Dorothy wanted to get back to her comfort zone so badly that she neglected the fact that she just fought off an evil wicked witch with only a bucket of water!  She freed an entire land of oppression.  She had a powerful guardian watching over her and offering help in her times of need.  If she missed her family so much, she could have figured out a way to get Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and the rest of them to come to her instead of returning to where she felt comfortable.  She could have stayed in Oz, but she chose to return to what was familiar.  Dorothy also had the power of the ruby slippers on her all along, to take her wherever she wanted, but didn't know how to access that power until her guardian, Glinda showed her how. 

I put on this weight to shield me from my fears.  But as the bible tells me in Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms".  This is a deeper battle that I face than simply loosing weight.  This is facing the fierce wicked witch the devil and overcoming the oppession that keeps me from being the woman that God created me to be.  It's a spiritual battle.  Like the ruby slippers I have the power of the Holy Spirit within myself to overcome spiritual battles if I seek the Lord to show me how to access it.  Romans 8:25 says, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

Additionally, it's time to face my fears knowing that in my faith I have a whole new arsenal of weapons to fight these spiritual battles with that I did not have the last time. Ephesians 6:13 goes on to say, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, ( as I see it: temptation, fear, anxiety, discomfort) you may be able to stand your ground, (stay put in your new surroundings)  and after you have done everything, to stand. (the journey the hard work it took to loose that weight.) Ephesians 6:14-18, "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."  That's how we can stay put knowing that we are protected and safe with our powerful guardian, our Savior and Lord looking out for us in our times of need and weakeness.

The bible also tells that, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17.  I'm a new creation in Christ and so are you.  When we became Christians we moved to a new destination, a new comfort zone and we are perfectly fine.  We can conquer the fear, enjoy the journey and stay put in our new comfort zone, "...being strong in the Lord, and in his mighty power." Ephesians 6:10

I can do this, and so can you.  It's not going to be easy.  The bible tells us that, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  Lions and tigers and bears, Oh My!  But we don't have to be afraid, we can overcome if we clothe ourselves in God's holy armor.

Dear Heavenly Father, as I embark on my journey to good health Father I pray for you to lead me, protect me and keep me from evil.  Help me to keep my new destination in mind and to know that I have nothing to fear when I arrive.  And precious Lord, please help my dear sisters who chant, "There's no place like home,"  to understand that, "...that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4.  Give us the power and the perseverance to reach our goal and the peace to stay put once we get there.  In Jesus precious name I pray, AMEN!

I'll keep you posted on my spirtiual battle.  I hope and pray that we all overcome!

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