I recently met a lady at the Y who was complaining of hot flashes. I have found that taking black cohosh helps. I mentioned this to her, and she said that she couldn’t take it because it raised her blood pressure. OK, there are other things to do – stop drinking caffeine and stop eating all spicy foods.
“Oh, no! I can’t do that”, she said. It was as if I suggested that she cut off her hands. She was Hispanic and spicy foods were just part of who she is, she said. I said then it is her choice. Spicy foods and caffeine, or hot flashes. Which is more important to her? She can have one or the other.
She was in a real quandary. We are often like this. We want to have it all. We want the good things and not the bad things. Who doesn’t? We want to have our cake and eat it too. Or rather, we want to eat cake and not gain weight.
The interesting thing is that this lady is already doing something to take care of her health. She has already taken that first step by going to the Y. But there are always more steps to take. It is always hard at first. But eventually you get far enough away from the habits that you thought you needed to do and find out that you don’t need them at all, and that in fact you don’t even like them anymore.
It is all about choice. If you keep doing something that you know to be unhealthy or unhelpful – whether it is food or behavior, it is your choice. There has to be a payoff. The “bad” thing must have a better payoff than the “good” thing to you. You are getting something out of it. Root down and figure out what that is. If it is important enough, you can transfer that payoff into something else.
Perhaps you get a charge out of doing something “bad”. Perhaps you enjoy feeling like a rebel. Perhaps that is something you were taught as a child. That rebellious charge keeps you doing it. But if the behavior isn’t really what you want to do, then it is time to change that behavior. Sometimes we spite ourselves with our own behavior.
It is all steps, little bitty baby steps. Step by step, you are walking closer to who you are really meant to be. It is the most important journey you can take. But first you have to choose. Do you just coast through life, or do you really live it? Do you let things happen to you, or do you plan ahead? I encourage you to take a step towards the bright, beautiful, glorious you that God created.